Ohio CDL Requirements
CDL Classes in Ohio
You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Ohio (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle outside the state of Ohio (interstate). You must also be at least 21 years old to transport materials that are deemed hazardous and to transport passengers using a commercial motor vehicle. You need an Ohio CDL in order to operate either commercial or non-commercial motor vehicles that fall into the following categories:
Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds.
Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the criteria of either Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or is used in transporting materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Each applicant must also have a passenger or hazardous materials endorsement in order to obtain a Class C commercial driver’s license.
Applying for an Ohio Commercial Learner’s Permit
You must already possess an Ohio commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can take the CDL Skill Test. Before applying for an Ohio commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Ohio State driver’s license. You will be issued an Ohio commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Skill Test.
In order to obtain an Ohio commercial learner’s permit, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old for intrastate driving (within the state of Ohio only).
- Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving (outside the state of Ohio).
- Be at least 21 years of age to transport materials deemed hazardous.
- Be at least 21 years of age to transport passengers in a CMV.
- Possess a valid Ohio State driver’s license.
- Provide your current out-of-state driver’s license or I.D. card (if you are not currently licensed in the state of Ohio).
- Provide your original Social Security card.
- Provide the necessary documents of identification (Spanish version can be found here).
- Prove you are of legal U.S. status by providing the required documents (Spanish version can be found here).
- Provide proof of your current Ohio residency that shows your name and address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, insurance card).
- Provide your current Medical Examiner’s Certificate and completed Medical Examination Report.
- Certify that your privilege to drive any motor vehicle is not currently suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified anywhere.
- Certify that you currently hold no more than one driver’s license.
- Pass the physical exam (must be administered by a FMCSA certified physician).
- Pass the vision exam (you must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye with or without glasses).
- Pass the color blindness test (you must be able to recognize green, red, and amber colors).
- Complete and sign the Commercial Driver’s License Application.
- Pass the CDL written knowledge test.
- Pay the $27 fee to cover the cost of the commercial learner’s permit.
If you have any questions about which documents to bring to your nearest Ohio Driver Exam Station when you apply for your commercial learner’s permit, you can either call your local Driver Exam Station, or you can speak to a customer service representative by calling the Ohio BMV Driver License Information Center at (614) 752-7600 Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.
CDL Written Tests
The CDL written tests are administered at all . All commercial driver’s license applicants must pass the general knowledge written test in order to be eligible to receive a CDL. The CDL general knowledge test consists of 50 questions. In order to receive a passing score, each applicant is required to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly in the time allotted for that test.
All written tests require a score of at least 80% to pass. Any applicant that exceeds the time limit or incorrectly answers too many questions on the general knowledge test will fail. All applicants should arrive at the Driver Exam Station at least one hour prior to closing when taking the written tests.
Once you successfully pass the CDL general knowledge written test, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles will issue you a commercial learner’s permit so that you can practice operating a commercial motor vehicle. You may only operate a CMV under the supervision of a front seat passenger who is at least 21 years old and carries a valid CDL of the same class or greater than the class of vehicle you are operating.
The commercial learner’s permit will be valid for up to six months from the date it is issued. If you do not successfully pass the CDL Skill Test and obtain your commercial driver’s license before your commercial learner’s permit expires, you will be required to purchase a new commercial learner’s permit. You will also be required to retake the CDL general knowledge written test and the vision exam.
Over 60% of first time CDL applicants fail the written test! Be sure to download and study the Ohio Commercial Driver License Handbook, as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL tests, including some sample test questions.
Our Free CDL Practice Tests will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.
Click here to see the map and clickable list of Ohio Driver Exam Stations that administer the CDL written tests.
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Applying for an Ohio Commercial Driver’s License
In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of Ohio, you must:
- Possess a valid Ohio commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
- Possess a valid Ohio State driver’s license.
- Possess a current D.O.T. card (cannot be more than 2 years old).
- Provide proof of vehicle insurance and vehicle registration (must be verified before you can take the test).
- Provide a test vehicle of the same class as the CDL you are testing for (must display a valid inspection sticker).
- Provide a passenger that is 21 years of age or older with a valid Ohio CDL to ride with you in your test vehicle to the test location.
- Schedule an appointment for the CDL Skill Test.
- Pay any CDL Skill Test fees.
- Pass the CDL Skill Test.
- Pay the $42 fee to cover the cost of the commercial driver’s license ($44.75 for CDL renewals).
- Pay the $43 fee for each CDL endorsement.
The CDL Skill Test
Once you obtain your commercial learner’s permit, you will be allowed to schedule an appointment to take the CDL Skill Test at either an Ohio Driver Exam Station that administers the CDL Skill Test, or at any Ohio state certified Third Party CDL Skill Test location.
The CDL Skill Test is a three part test that consists of a Pre-trip Inspection, a Basic Vehicle Controls Test, and an On-Road Driving Test. The Ohio Driver Exam Stations will not supply a vehicle for you to test in. You must bring your own test vehicle. Most Third Party CDL Skill Test locations do provide a test vehicle that you can rent for the test.
You will be required to take the test in the same class and type of motor vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL. If you take the CDL Skill Test in a commercial motor vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, then you will have an air brakes restriction attached to your commercial driver’s license.
- Pre-trip Inspection: Before you can take the CDL driving tests, you will first be tested on your knowledge of the class of vehicle you plan on driving once you obtain your CDL. The Pre-trip inspection also determines if your commercial vehicle is safe enough to drive on public roads. If you fail the Pre-trip Inspection, you will not be allowed to take the Road Skills Test.
- Basic Controls Test: Before you can take the Road Skills Test, you will first need to prove that you have the skills to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. This test consists of various off-road maneuvers such as backing up your vehicle, moving your vehicle forward, and making turns within a defined area.
- Road Skills Test: Once you pass the first two tests, you will be required to drive your commercial vehicle on public roads in various traffic situations. You will be required to operate the same class of commercial vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.
The Basic Controls Test may include the following maneuvers:
- 90 degree alley docking
- Straight line backing
- Parallel parking (driver side)
- Parallel parking (conventional)
- Offset back/right
- Offset back/left
The Road Skills Test will be administered on a route predetermined by the safety specialist. The test route will most likely include the following:
- Observing traffic signs
- Observing traffic signals
- Observing other traffic
- Using vehicle controls
- Maintaining proper lane positions
- Downgrade stopping
- Upgrade stopping
- Railroad crossings
- Bridge clearance
- Underpass clearance
- General observance of traffic laws
- General safe driving practices for trucks or buses
On the day of your CDL Skill Test appointment you must:
- Arrive on time.
- Bring your validated commercial learner’s permit.
- Bring your valid D.O.T. medical card.
- Bring a passenger (age 21 or older) that is qualified to drive a CMV with the same class of CDL or greater than the test vehicle.
- Bring a test vehicle that is the same class of license that you are testing for and that has passed inspection.
Failure to do any of the above may result in an immediate cancellation of your CDL Skill Test appointment! The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles advises applicants to schedule their Skill Test appointment a few weeks in advance and to arrive early for their test appointment.
If you decide to cancel your Skill Test appointment, you must cancel the appointment no less than 48 hours before your scheduled test date and time. If you fail any part of the CDL Skill Test, you will not be permitted to take the test again until the next day.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has the right to cancel any CDL Skill Test appointment due to bad weather, under sourced staffing, or any other unforseen circumstances. Be sure to call the Ohio Driver Exam Station on the day of your Skill Test to see if your appointment has been canceled due to bad weather.
Be sure to download and study the Ohio Commercial Driver License Handbook, as it contains pertinent information that will help you pass the CDL Skill Test.
Click here to see the map and clickable list of Ohio Driver Exam Stations that administer the CDL Skill Test. Click here to see the map and clickable list of Ohio state certified Third Party CDL Skill Test locations.
Ohio Restricted Commercial Driver’s License
Unlike most states, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles does not offer a CDL waiver to commercial drivers. They do, however, provide a restricted commercial driver’s license for seasonal CDL drivers. Download and read the Application for Restricted CDL for Farm Related Service Industries for more details.
Commercial Driver Self-Certification
In the state of Ohio, all commercial driver’s license holders must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and whether they meet or exceed the medical and physical standards put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to legally and safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. All CDL applicants must self-certify once they obtain their commercial driver’s license.
If you operate a commercial motor vehicle in either intrastate or interstate commerce solely for the following purposes, then you are under “excepted” status, and therefore do not need to provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate:
- Transporting school children and/or school staff members between home and school.
- Operating any vehicle as an employee of either Federal, State, or Local government.
- Operating fire and rescue vehicles for emergency purposes and other related events.
- Transporting sick, injured, or deceased persons.
- Primarily transporting propane heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring an immediate response.
- When custom harvesting on a farm or to haul farm machinery and supplies to and from a farm or when transporting crops between a farm and a market or storage facility.
- When operating a farm vehicle that is not a combo vehicle (power unit and towed unit), and is used to haul agricultural products, farm supplies (cannot be materials deemed hazardous), or farm machinery to and from a farm and within 150 air miles of the farm.
- Transporting bees as an apiarist during beekeeping season.
- When transporting migrant workers.
- As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business activities.
If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you operate in either “non-excepted” intrastate commerce, “non-excepted” interstate commerce, or both. “Non excepted” interstate drivers and “non-excepted” intrastate drivers must submit a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate along with a completed and signed copy of the CDL Self-Certification Authorization Form.
If you have any questions regarding self-certification, you can call the Ohio BMV CDL Unit toll-free at 1-855-240-8844, or you can send them an email at email@example.com. For more information about the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, please continue reading below.
Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License
- Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
- Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
- Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
- Advanced practice registered nurse
The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be attached to the Medical Examination Report and dated within the previous two years if you are renewing your commercial driver’s license. If you are a first time CDL applicant submitting your Medical Examiner’s Certificate, then the certificate must be dated within the previous 60 days of the date you submit your documents.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles will only accept your medical forms if they have been completed by a qualified physician who has been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for a FMCSA certified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
The FMSCA requires you to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees (70 degrees in each eye) in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these and other medical requirements.
Once you have completed and signed the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, the Medical Examination Report, the CDL Self-Certification Authorization Form, and any applicable medical waivers, you can submit your documents by doing any of the following:
- Bring your completed and signed documents in person to any Ohio Regional Reinstatement Office or Deputy Registrar.
- Fax your completed and signed documents to (614) 308-5181.
- Scan and email your completed and signed documents in PDF form (as an email attachment) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mail your completed and signed documents to:
CDL/Out of State Processing
P.O. Box 16784
Columbus, OH 43216-6784
Please include your name, address, and contact number on all mailings, faxes, and emails. Be sure to double check and, if needed, correct any errors before you submit your documents. All CDL applicants are advised to keep copies of these documents for their own records. Failure to comply with state and federal self-certification regulations will result in a cancellation of your commercial driving privileges.
If you have any questions regarding self-certification, you can call the Ohio BMV CDL Unit toll-free at 1-855-240-8844, or you can send them an email at email@example.com.
Any person that is applying for a Hazardous Materials CDL endorsement is required to undergo a federal background check and federal fingerprint check according to guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration. All applicants must also provide the required documents to verify their identification and legal U.S. status. For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s F.A.Q. page.
You can apply for the security threat assessment on the TSA Hazardous Material Endorsement Enrollment Website. You must begin applying at least 30 days before the expiration of your CDL. You can start the application process on the HTAP Online Application Website. To apply by phone call (855) 347-8371. Use the TSA Enrollment Center Locator to find the nearest TSA approved fingerprint office.
In the state of Ohio, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian with a 2 year safe driving record, then you may qualify for the waiver of the CDL Skills Test and may be exempt from taking the commercial driver skills test. You will still be required to take the written tests. Certain restrictions apply. Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver Military Exception to start the process.
If you have any questions about the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver Military Exception, you can either call your local Driver Exam Station, or you can speak to a customer service representative by calling the Ohio BMV Driver License Information Center at (614) 752-7600 Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Ohio CDL Endorsements
H Placarded Hazmat Required to transport hazardous materials under DOT regulations.
N Tank Vehicles Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.
X Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination Required to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles
T Double/Triple Trailers Indicates CDL holder is certified to operate multiple trailer haulers.
P Passengers Indicates the CDL holder is certified to operate passenger vehicles.
S School Bus Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus.
Methods of Payment
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles accepts the following methods of payment:
- Personal Checks
- Money Orders
- Certified Cashier Checks
- Traveler’s Checks
- County Agency Vouchers
- Intra-State Agency Vouchers
Important Ohio Commercial Driver’s License Resources
Ohio Commercial Driver License Handbook
Ohio CDL Practice Tests
Ohio BMV Acceptable Documents List
Ohio BMV Lista De Documentos Aceptables
Ohio BMV Liiska Dokumentiyada La Aqbali Karo
Proof of Ohio Residency-Certified Statement
Application for Restricted CDL for Farm Related Service Industries
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver Military Exception
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
CDL Self-Certification Authorization Form
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
Check out our list of truck driving schools in Ohio that will provide you with the necessary skills to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start your career in the exciting field of commercial truck driving! You may also want to check out our nationwide list of truck driving schools.
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Map of Ohio Driver Exam Stations
Title Address 1. Allen County DES 419 N. Elizabeth Street, Suite C, Lima, OH 45801 2. Ashland County DES 1652 Eagle Way, Ashland, OH 44805 3. Ashtabula County DES 77 N. Chestnut Street, Jefferson, OH 44047 4. Athens County DES 1002 E. State Street, Suite 20, Athens, OH 45701 5. Auglaize County DES 15472 Wapakoneta-Fisher Road, Wapakoneta, OH 45895 6. Belmont County DES 320 Hall Street, Bridgeport, OH 43912 7. Brown County DES 740 Mt. Orab Pike, Georgetown, OH 45121 8. Butler County DES Hamilton Crossing Shopping Center, Bldg C, 1720-B South Erie Blvd, Hamilton, OH 45011 9. Butler County DES** 3701 Tytus Avenue, Middletown, OH 45052 10. Carroll County DES 155 W. Main Street, Carrollton, OH 44615 11. Champaign County DES 1512 South U.S. 68, Urbana, OH 43078 12. Clark County DES Park Shopping Center, 1139 N. Bechtle Avenue, Springfield, OH 45504 13. Clermont County DES 457 W. Main Street, Batavia, OH 45103 14. Clinton County DES 950 Rombach Avenue, Wilmington, OH 45177 15. Columbiana County DES 7735 SR 45, Lisbon, OH 44432 16. Coshocton County DES 706 S. 7th Street, Coshocton, OH 43812 17. Cuyahoga County DES 14000 Broadway Avenue, Garfield Heights, OH 44125 18. Cuyahoga County DES 12000 Snow Road, Parma, OH 44130 19. Cuyahoga County DES 6420 Mayfield Road, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124 20. Darke County DES 641 Wagner Avenue, Suite B, Greenville, OH 45331 21. Defiance County DES 999 Procom Drive, Suite 104, Defiance, OH 43512 22. Delaware County DES 2079 U.S. 23 North, Delaware, OH 43015 23. Fairfield County DES 980 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Lancaster, OH 43130 24. Franklin County DES Customer Service Center West, 1970 W. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43223 25. Franklin County DES 4738 Cemetery Road, Hilliard, OH 43026 26. Franklin County DES 1583 Alum Creek Drive, Columbus, OH 43209 27. Fulton County DES 152 S. Fulton Street, Wauseon, OH 43567 28. Galia County DES 499 Jackson Pike, Gallipolis, OH 45631 29. Geauga County DES Woodiebrook Shopping Center, 602 South Street, Suite B-6, Chardon, OH 44024 30. Greene County DES 601 Ledbetter Road, Suite C, Xenia, OH 45385 31. Guernsey County DES 224 Dewey Avenue, Cambridge, OH 43725 32. Guernsey County DES Cambridge Blue Title Inspection, 225 Dewey Avenue, Cambridge, OH 43725 33. Hamilton County DES 10940 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45231 34. Hamilton County DES 11177 Reading Road, Suites 201-202, Cincinnati, OH 45241 35. Hancock County DES** 8210 County Road, 140, Suite C, Findlay, OH 45840 36. Huron County DES 142 Cleveland Road, Norwalk, OH 44857 37. Jackson County DES 301 Huron Street, Jackson, OH 45640 38. Jackson County DES** 25 McCarty Lane, Jackson, OH 45640 39. Knox County DES 671 N. Sandusky Street, Mt. Vernon, OH 43050 40. Lake County DES 2736 N. Ridge Road, Unit 7, Painesville, OH 44077 41. Lawrence County DES 2717 S. 3rd Street, Suite B, Ironton, OH 45638 42. Licking County DES 873 E. Main Street, Newark, OH 43055 43. Licking County DES** 1361 E. Main Street, Newark, OH 43055 44. Logan County DES 1365 C.R. 32 North, Bellefontaine, OH 43311 45. Lorain County DES 657 Chestnut Commons Drive, Elyria, OH 44035 46. Lucas County DES 4400 Heatherdowns Blvd, Toledo, OH 43614 47. Mahoning County DES 490 S. Broad Street, Canfield, OH 44406 48. Marion County DES 222 W. Center Street, Rm 1127, Marion, OH 43302 49. Medina County DES 970 N. Court Street, Medina, OH 44256 50. Medina County DES** 8730 Lake Road, Seville, OH 44273 51. Mercer County DES 330 Portland Street, Celina, OH 45822 52. Miami County DES 1275 Experiment Farm Road, Troy, OH 45373 53. Montgomery County DES 6134 Chambersburg Road, Huber Heights, OH 45424 54. Muskingum County DES 2324 June Parkway Plaza, Zanesville, OH 43701 55. Pickaway County DES 141 W. Main Street, Suite 600, Circleville, OH 43113 56. Portage County DES 444 S. Meridian Street, Ravenna, OH 44266 57. Preble County DES 530 Junction Village Mall, Eaton, OH 45320 58. Richland County DES 1157 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, OH 44906 59. Ross County DES 475 Western Avenue, Suite L, Chillicothe, OH 45601 60. Sandusky County DES 500 W. State Street, Suite E, Fremont, OH 43420 61. Scioto County DES 3980 Rhodes Avenue, New Boston, OH 45662 62. Seneca County DES 451 E. Market Street, Tiffin, OH 44883 63. Shelby County DES 1000 Milligan Court, Suite 102, Sidney, OH 45365 64. Stark County DES 3195 Whitewood Street NW, North Canton, OH 44720 65. Summit County DES 650 Graham Road, Suite 100-A, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221 66. Summit County DES 21 5th Street SE, Barberton, OH 44203 67. Trumbull County DES 5555 Youngstown-Warren Road, Unit 203, Niles, OH 44446 68. Tuscarawas County DES 1260 Monroe Street NW, Suite 9E, P.O. Box 6007, New Philadelphia, OH 44663 69. Union County DES 940 London Avenue, Suite 1300, Marysville, OH 43040 70. Van Wert County DES 10234 Van Wert Decatur Road, Van Wert, OH 45891 71. Warren County DES 19 Dave Avenue, Unit C, Lebanon, OH 45036 72. Warren County DES** 3701 Tytus Avenue, Middletown, OH 45042 73. Washington County DES Frontier Shopping Center, 148A Gross Street, Marietta, OH 45750 74. Wayne County DES 340 S. Market Street, Wooster, OH 44691 75. Williams County DES 13065-A County Road, Suite D50, Bryan, OH 43506 76. Wood County DES 1616 E. Wooster Street, Bowling Green, OH 43402
**The CDL Skill Test is available at this location.
Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information.
Map of Ohio Third Party CDL Skills Test Locations
Title Address 1. Ameristar CDL** 14056 Moulton-New Knoxville Road, Wapakoneta, OH 45895 2. Canton CDL Testing Company** 2230 Shepler Church Avenue SW, Canton, Ohio 44706 3. CDL of Northern Ohio** 202C Republic Street, Norwalk, Ohio 44857 4. CDL Testing, Inc.** 4060 Perimeter Drive, Columbus, OH 43228 5. Northwest CDL Center** 26718 Oregon Road, Perrysburg, OH 43551 6. Pike County Joint Vocational School** 175 Beaver Creek Road, Piketon, OH 45661 7. Rathburn Enterprises** 1688 N. Pricetown Road, State Route 534, P.O. Box 506, Lake Milton, Ohio 44429 8. Commercial Transportation Testing Center 1475 Upper Valley Pike, Suite 140, Springfield, OH 45504 9. US America Manufacturing, Inc.** 8334 U.S. 36, Gnadenhutten, OH 44629
**CDL Skill Test location offers vehicles for renting (no school buses available).
Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information.
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