How to Get an Ohio Commercial Driver’s License
Published July 26, 2021
Ohio has a variety of commercial driver’s license (CDL) classes and endorsements that allow for the driving of various commercial motor vehicles (CMV). Each license and endorsement has unique qualifications and is governed by distinct standards. Violations of these driving laws may result in the suspension of Ohio commercial driver license. This article discusses the process of getting an Ohio driver’s license and the penalties associated with CMV violations.
When Ohio CDL is Required
To operate a CMV, an Ohio commercial driver license is required. Any vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds or more designed to transport hazardous items or 16 or more passengers is considered a CMV. School buses are classified as commercial motor vehicles. A commercial driver’s license is unnecessary to operate personal transport vehicles, recreational vehicles, prisoner transport vehicles, fire trucks, snowplows, military vehicles, or ambulances. A farm truck is also exempt if it is operated by the farmer for agricultural purposes within 150 miles of the farm.
You must have an Ohio commercial driver’s license to operate the following vehicles:
This restriction applies only to “combination” vehicles having a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) greater than 26,000 pounds and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds of the vehicle being towed. A driver who holds a Class A CDL (together with any necessary endorsements) is also permitted to operate all vehicles classified in Class B, C, or D below.
Includes single or combination vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of greater than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being towed cannot exceed 10,000 pounds. At the same time, a driver holding an Ohio Class B CDL (together with the necessary endorsements) is legally permitted to operate all Class C or D vehicles.
Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Group A or Group B as defined in this section. However, it is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or transport hazardous materials. As illustrated in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which requires the motor vehicle to be equipped with a hazmat system (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).
Regular operator or private passenger.
Defining Endorsements, Restrictions, and Restricted CDL
CDL operators may be required to pass additional examinations in order to obtain CDL endorsements. In addition, endorsements are added to the license to allow for the operation of specialized CMVs such as school buses and hazardous materials tankers. (A hazardous endorsement is also subject to approval by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
Additionally, Ohio may impose particular limits on a driver’s license based on a person’s health or experience. For instance, a driver under the age of 21 is restricted to driving exclusively within the state.
Ohio offers a seasonal agriculture commercial driver’s license valid for 180 days and does not involve passing a knowledge or driving test. However, the motorist must have held a valid driver’s license for one year and be free of any suspensions or prohibitions in the preceding two years. Additionally, the driver must get a farm-related waiver and operate only a class B or C CMV within 150 miles of the farm.
Ohio Commercial Driver License Age Requirements
To drive within state boundaries, you must be at least 18 years old (intrastate).
However, you are required to be at least 21 years old to:
- drive commercial vehicles across state lines (interstate)
- transport hazardous materials
After that, the applicant must pass a driving history check, a vision test, and a written test in order to acquire a temporary instruction permit (TIP). The TIP authorizes the operating of a commercial motor vehicle under the supervision of a licensed commercial driver.
CDL driving exam
After 14 days with a TIP, the applicant may sit for the CDL driving exam in order to earn a full CDL. TIP holders with prior military experience operating CMVs may be exempt from the driving exam.
All CDL holders are required to self-certify the sort of driving they do and receive a medical certificate. The medical certificate is a physician-signed document certifying that the driver is in good general health and capable of operating a CMV.
Steps to Take in Getting Your CDL
Applying for an Ohio commercial driver license is a critical step in expanding your employment options and ensuring a reliable source of income for you and your family. Your CDL training is vital in preparing you for a successful career as a truck driver. If you are 18 years or older and already hold a non-commercial driver’s license, the following steps below will explain how to get a commercial driver’s license in Ohio:
Step 1: Pursue a commercial learner’s permit, or CLP, which enables you to drive a commercial motor vehicle as a practice test while preparing for an actual CDL.
Step 2: Payment of the $27 commercial learner’s permit fee is required at the time of your test.
Step 3: Enroll in a CDL training course if you intend to drive a semi or work as an OTR driver (a.k.a. over-the-road or long-distance truck driver)
Step 4: Make an appointment with a CDL-certified doctor for a fitness examination (Form 649-F). You will obtain a certificate from the medical examiner that you must carry with you at all times while operating a commercial vehicle.
Step 5: Pass an eye examination, which may be conducted with or without the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your normal or corrected vision in each eye must be at least 20/40.
Step 6: Submit to a driving record check covering the last ten years of your driving history in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Step 7: Prior to taking the exam, ensure that you have the required identification documents on hand, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, and social security card, to back up your:
- Legal full name
- Date of birth
- U.S. lawful presence
- Social Security Number
- Ohio address
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About The Author
As a professional writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Paolyn has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. Her knack for uncovering important truths and conducting thorough research on each topic she writes about has helped thousands of people across the world.