To obtain a CDL or Commercial Learner Permit (CLP), a driver is required to be at least 18 years old, possess a valid Ohio driver license, and provide proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the United States.
- A CLP holder can only operate a commercial motor vehicle on a highway when driving with a CDL holder properly endorsed for the vehicle being driven.
- A CLP is valid for six months and may be renewed once before it expires.
- Drivers seeking to obtain a CDL or CLP must self-certify their type of driving.
- After a CDL is issued, adding a passenger endorsement, upgrading the license or removing a restriction require both knowledge and skills tests.
A knowledge test is required for each class of vehicle, for each endorsement and to remove the air brake restriction. If any knowledge test is failed, the applicant must wait one day to retest.
The driver must provide a vehicle appropriate for the class of license he or she is applying for, including a bus (designed to carry 16 or more persons including the driver) if applying for a passenger endorsement. Third-party testing sites may have vehicles available for rent.
If any part of the skills test is failed, driver must wait one week to retest.
Skills testing consists of:
- Pre-trip inspection (driver is permitted 30 minutes to complete)
- Basic maneuverability test (driver is permitted 40 minutes to complete)
- Road test
Renewal or Upgrade
When applying for a CDL renewal or upgrade, the driver must provide any updated information and complete any additional testing.
- Drivers who surrendered a CDL license or any endorsement must pay applicable fees and retake knowledge and skills test(s) to obtain another CDL.
- If requesting a hazardous materials endorsement, the driver must complete the Transportation Security Administration’s Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program application process before the license can be issued.
CDL Vision Requirements
In order to qualify for a CDL a driver must:
- Have vision in both eyes (binocular vision)
- Have a minimum acuity of 20/40 in each eye with or without lenses
- Have a visual field of not less than 70 degrees
Applicants must meet Minimum Visual Acuity Standards. If a driver is unable to meet federal 391 standards, he or she may be eligible for a restricted CDL.
CDL Vision Waiver
If a driver has a K restriction (intrastate driving only), he or she must obtain a vision waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to drive for a company regulated by the Public Commission Utilities of Ohio.
- Click HERE for information about PUCO Provisional Medical Certification.
- Click HERE for information about FMCSA Driver Exemption Programs.
Fees for Testing
At a state-owned testing facility, a CDL Test Receipt first must be purchased at any deputy registrar agency.
- Pre-trip inspection: $10.00
- Basic maneuverability test: $10.00
- Road test: $30.00
At a third-party testing facility, fees are paid on site.
- Pre-trip inspection: $20.00
- Basic maneuverability test: $20.00
- Road test: $45.00
Out-of-State CDL Applicants
Out-of-state applicants may take the Ohio CDL skills test with an out-of-state CLP as long as the driver presents a current out-of-state driver license and a completion certificate from an Ohio truck driving school.
Where Do I Go?
Ohio Revised Code: 4506.10
Ohio Administrative Code: 4501:1-1-20 (E) (1) (4)