How to Get a Commercial Drivers License in Ohio
The Ohio CDL is required for all drivers operating vehicles commercially. This CDL license allows motorists to operate vehicles that are larger and more dangerous than standard vehicles. Essentially, it is a license that allows you to drive buses and/or trucks, depending on which endorsements you choose to get. You must have a standard driver’s license before you can get your commercial license, and you will need to take additional tests to prove that you are ready to handle the additional responsibilities of commercial driving.
The commercial drivers license process in Ohio includes a learners permit period, along with commercial driver testing. Additionally, you must present certain required documents at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or BMV, and pass your road test to get fully licensed. Once you meet all of the state-specific requirements, you can begin your journey as a professional driver in the state.
CDL Requirements in Ohio
CDL license requirements in Ohio state that you must be at least 18 years of age before you can apply for your commercial driving privileges. You will need to pass vision, knowledge and road tests, as well as proof that you are legally allowed to be in the US.
CDL requirements allow out-of-state drivers to get a commercial license. However, you will need to take a commercial driving course from an Ohio school as part of the procedure.
Most first-time infractions of CDL rules do not permanently disqualify you from getting a license. However, the second time you are convicted of any of the following, you will be permanently disqualified from getting a CDL:
- Refusing a blood test or testing positive for a blood alcohol content level of at least .04
- Operating a vehicle when you do not have driving privileges
- Driving a vehicle while committing a felony
- Accidentally killing someone while driving a commercial vehicle
How to Apply for a CDL Permit in Ohio
The Ohio CDL permit allows you to practice operating a commercial vehicle before taking your road test. To get the CDL learners permit, you need to go to a DMV office and submit a document proving you are allowed to be residing in the U.S. In addition, you need to submit your standard driver’s license.
To fulfill the residency CDL permit requirements in Ohio, you can submit proof that you are a citizen or a qualified resident of the United States.
CDL permit rules state that you must be supervised by a licensed commercial driver. This driver must have the license class and endorsements required to operate the vehicle with which you are practicing.
CDL Written Test in Ohio
The CDL written test in Ohio is offered at DMV locations across the state. The questions asked in the CDL general test are all also covered in this manual. These questions include topics such as:
- How to safely transport large groups of people.
- Safe driving habits.
- Properly packing your vehicle.
- Obeying the rules of the road.
Note that the Ohio BMV does not offer the CDL test online, although you may take a practice test online.
Ohio CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests
You need to take a course at a CDL school in Ohio if you are from out of the state. Though this form of CDL training is not required for Ohio residents, it is recommended, as it allows you to get hands-on experience before taking the road test.
The most important form of CDL prep can be found in the Commercial Driver License Manual. The material covered in this CDL book is the same material that you will be tested on during your knowledge and road tests.
There is an Ohio CDL practice test on the state DMV’s website. You can take this practice test before going to the DMV, in order to ensure that you have properly absorbed the material you need in order to pass the exam.
How to Get a CDL License in Ohio
You can apply for CDL licensure once you have had your permit for at least two weeks. To get your CDL, you need to pass a road test and a vision test.
Like with your permit, when you attempt to get a CDL license, you will need to go to the BMV with a document proving your identity. Then, you will need to fill out the required paperwork. The Ohio CDL application is not available online, so you will have to go to the DMV to fill it out in person.
CDL Driving Test in Ohio
The Ohio CDL test is designed to prove you are capable of safely driving a commercial vehicle. To do so, you will need to exhibit safe driving habits, such as when driving:
- On single-lane and multi-lane roads.
- On highways.
- While turning and at intersections.
Note that if a common driving situation does not occur during your CDL driving test, your test proctor will ask you to verbally explain how you would handle a given situation.
How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in Ohio
The Ohio CDL for veterans and active service members allows some military personnel to waive their road tests. In order to get this waiver, one of the following needs to apply:
- You drove commercial vehicles for two years in the military
- You are currently driving a commercial vehicle for the military
- The CDL requirements were waived so that you could drive a commercial vehicle for the military
You cannot get a military CDL waiver if you will be driving a bus or another vehicle that transports 16 more passengers. In addition, the knowledge test is required, no matter your level of experience.
CDL Medical Exams in Ohio
New DOT physical requirements in Ohio state that all CDL applicants must pass a medical examination. The Ohio CDL physical checks to ensure that you do not have any medical conditions that would negatively impact your ability to drive a commercial vehicle safely.
If the DOT medical examiner determines that you are not eligible for a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, you may be able to get a Provisional Medical Certificate, which allows you to drive commercially if you follow a number of restrictions.
Types of CDL Classes in Ohio
The Ohio Class A license, Class B license and Class C license each allow you to drive different types of commercial vehicles. The three license classes are defined as:
- The Class A CDL allows you to drive single or combination vehicles that weight at least 26,001 pounds. You are allowed to tow a vehicle or group of vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
- The Class B CDL allows you to drive single vehicles that weight at least 26,001 pounds. You are not allowed to tow more than 10,000 pounds with this license.
- The Class C CDL allows you to drive commercial vehicles not covered by the Class A or Class B licenses. This includes vehicles that can transport 16 or more passengers, and vehicles that are less than 26,001 pounds, but can carry hazmat materials.
Types of CDL Endorsements in Ohio
CDL endorsements in Ohio allow you to drive vehicles that require extra testing. The list of endorsements for which you can test includes:
- The Hazmat endorsement, also known as the “H” endorsement, which allows you to operate a vehicle carrying hazardous materials.
- The Tanker endorsement, also known as the “N” endorsement, which allows you to operate a vehicle carrying liquid and/or gas tanks.
- The Passenger endorsement, also known as the “P” endorsement, which allows you to operate a commercial vehicle that can carry 16 or more people.
- The School Bus endorsement, also known as the “S” endorsement, which allows you to operate a school bus.
- The Doubles/Triples endorsement, also known as the “T” endorsement, which allows you to drive with double or triple trailers that create more than one articulation point when combined.
- The Hazardous Tanker endorsement, also known as the “X” endorsement, allows you to operate a vehicle carrying hazardous liquid and/or gas.
Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in Ohio
CDL licenses are divided into two different categories: interstate and intrastate. The Ohio intrastate CDL only allows you to drive within the state. The Ohio interstate CDL, on the other hand, allows you to drive across state lines. Because the interstate CDL grants additional responsibilities, interstate applicants must pass more stringent medical requirements.
Commercial Driving License Fees in Ohio
The CDL license cost in Ohio is consistent for all applicants. If you need endorsements, such as for transporting 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials, you will need to pay an additional fee.
The cost figures for CDL-related services in Ohio are as follows:
- The CDL permit cost is $27
- The CDL license cost is $42
- The CDL endorsement cost is $43
- The CDL road test cost is $50, including the pre-trip inspection and basic maneuverability test fees
Ohio CDL Forms
- CDL Self-Certification Authorization
- Medical Examiners Provisional Certificate
- Application for Skill Test Waiver: Military Exception
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- CDL Self-Certification from bmv.ohio.gov
- Commercial Driver License (CDL) Disqualification from bmv.ohio.gov
- Ohio Commercial Driver License Manual from bmv.ohio.gov