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    Commercial Driver (CDL) Classes

    • Class A: Multiple vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more. This also requires the tow vehicle to have a GVWR of 10,001 or more.
    • Class B: Used to drive any one vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. Cannot have at trailer over 10,000 pounds.
    • Class C: Small vehicle that is not a Class A or B vehicle but is:
      • Designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
      • Carrying hazardous materials in an amount requiring placarding
      • Any school bus that is not considered a Class A or B.

    Where Do I Go?

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.12 (B)

    Commercial Driver (CDL) Testing

    First-Time Applicants

    To obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL) or Commercial Learner Permit (CLP), you must:

    • be at least 18 years old,
    • have a valid Ohio driver license, and
    • provide proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

    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.

    Commercial Learner Permits (CLP)
    • A CLP holder can only operate a commercial motor vehicle on a highway when driving with a CDL holder properly endorsed for the vehicle.
    • A CLP is valid for six months and may be renewed once before it expires.

    Vision Requirement

    You must pass a vison test. If you are unable to meet Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration physical qualifications for drivers, you may be eligible for a restricted CDL.

    CDL Vision Waiver

    If you have a K restriction, you must obtain a vision waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to drive for a company regulated by the Public Commission Utilities of Ohio.

    Hearing Exemption

    Testing is available to individuals with a hearing exemption waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The waiver must be obtained prior to getting your CLP.

    Requirements
    • Must pass vision and knowledge testing
    • Must keep your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hearing waiver with you at all times
    • Must pass the skills test within three hours

    Knowledge Tests

    A knowledge test is required for each class of vehicle, for each endorsement, and to remove the air brake restriction.

    Skills Tests

    Skills testing consists of:

    • Pre-trip inspection (30 minute time limit)
    • Basic maneuverability test (40 minute time limit)
    • Road test

    You must provide a vehicle appropriate for the class of license you are 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, you must wait one week to retest.

    Renewal or Upgrade

    You must provide any updated information, complete any testing, and provide proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

    • Drivers who surrendered a CDL or any endorsement must pay applicable fees and retake knowledge and skills test(s).
    • For a hazardous materials endorsement, the driver must complete the Transportation Security Administration’s Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program before the license can be issued.

    Fees for Testing

    At a state-owned testing facility, a CDL Test Receipt first must be purchased at any deputy registrar license agency in Ohio.

    • Pre-trip inspection: $10.00
    • Basic test: $10.00
    • Road test: $30.00

    At a third-party testing facility, fees are paid on site.

    • Pre-trip inspection: $27.00
    • Basic test: $27.00
    • Road test: $61.00

    Out-of-State 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 certificate from an Ohio truck driving school.

    Where Do I Go?

    More Information

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.10

    Ohio Administrative Code: 4501:1-1-20 (E) (1) (4)

    Commercial Driver (CDL) Endorsements and Restrictions

    Endorsements

    • H: Hazmat – To drive a vehicle transporting hazardous materials in an amount requiring placarding
    • T: Double and Triple Trailers – To drive a vehicle with double or triple trailers that create more than one articulation point for the combination
    • P: Passenger – To drive vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
    • N: Tanker – To drive tank vehicles
    • S: School Bus – To drive school buses transporting children
    • X: Tanker/Hazmat – To drive vehicles and hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding
    Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) Endorsements
    • N: Tanker – Permit holder may drive tank vehicles
    • P: Passenger – Permit holder may drive vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
    • S: School Bus – Permit holder may drive school buses transporting children

    Restrictions

    • E: No Manual Transmission Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicle – Restricts driver from operating manual transmission equipped commercial motor vehicles
    • K: Intrastate Only – Restricts driver to intrastate operation only
    • L: Vehicles without Airbrakes – Restricts driver to vehicles not equipped with air brakes
    • M: No Class A Passenger Vehicle – Restricts driver from operating class A passenger vehicles
    • N: No Class A and B Passenger Vehicle – Restricts driver from operating class A and B passenger vehicles
    • O: No Tractor-Trailer Commercial Motor Vehicle – Restricts driver from operating tractor-trailers
    • V: Medical Variance – Indicates existence of a medical variance on the driver record in the commercial license information system
    • W: Farm Waiver – Restricts driver to the operation of commercial motor vehicles in accordance with a waiver for farm-related service industries issued under section 4506.24 of the Revised Code
    • Z: No Full Air Brake Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicle – Restricts driver to vehicles not equipped with full air brakes
    Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) Restrictions
    • K: Intrastate Only – Restricts driver to intrastate operation only
    • L: Vehicles without Airbrakes – Restricts driver to vehicles not equipped with air brakes
    • M: No Class A Passenger Vehicle – Restricts driver from operating class A passenger vehicles
    • N: No Class A and B Passenger Vehicle – Restricts driver from operating class A and B passenger vehicles
    • P: No Passengers in Commercial Motor Vehicle Bus – Restricts driver from transporting passengers in a commercial motor vehicle bus
    • V: Medical Variance – Indicates existence of a medical variance on the driver record in the commercial license information system
    • X: No Cargo in CMV tank Vehicle – Restricts the driver from transporting cargo in a tank vehicle

    Where Do I Go?

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.12

    Commercial Driver (CDL) Self-Certification

    Drivers who apply for a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) or CDL must self-certify their type of driving as described below. Please see the CDL Self-Certification Authorization (form BMV 2159) for examples from each category.

    Category 1 Non-Excepted Interstate

    CDL holders who drive across state lines or transport freight that has or will cross state lines and must meet federal medical requirements subject to 49 CFR part 391. Must submit a medical card to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

    Category 2 Excepted Interstate

    CDL holders who drive across state lines but do not need to meet federal medical requirements. Operating exclusively in transportation or operations excepted under 49 CFR 390.3(f), 391.2, 39168 or 398.3.

    Category 3 Non-Excepted Intrastate

    CDL holders who drive exclusively in Ohio and do not drive across state lines, but are required to meet state medical requirements.

    Category 4 Excepted Intrastate

    CDL holders who do not use the CDL for business purposes and are not required to meet state medical requirements. Operating exclusively in transportation or operations excepted from all or part of the state driver qualification requirements. (R.C. 4506.03(B)(1-10))

    How Do I Self-Certify?

    Drivers can self-certify:

    Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Provisional Waiver

    The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio offers Provisional Medical Certification for eligible intrastate Ohio drivers unable to pass the physical examination required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    You must carry your waiver and CDL license at all times when operating a commercial motor vehicle.

    More Information

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.12

    Commercial Driver (CDL) Exemptions

    For these vehicle categories, the driver is exempt from CDL requirements.

    Farm Truck

    • Operated by a farmer for transportation to or from a farm for a distance of no more than 150 miles
    • Truck must not be used in the operation of a motor transportation company

    Fire Equipment

    • Equipment for a fire department, volunteer or non-volunteer fire company, fire district or joint fire district

    Public Safety Vehicle

    • Vehicles used to provide transportation or emergency medical service for ill or injured people

    Recreational Vehicle

    • Vehicles defined as recreational vehicles in Ohio Revised Code 4501.01 and used exclusively for purposes other than engaging in business or profit

    Commercial Motor Vehicle

    • Commercial motor vehicles used by local government employees to remove snow or ice from a roadway by plowing, sanding or salting
    • Applies only if a non-CDL licensed employee is able to operate the vehicle or the local government determines a snow or ice emergency exists and additional help is needed
    • Eligible unit of local government means a village, township, or county with a population of not more than 3,000 persons according to the most recent federal census

    Vehicle Operated for Military Purpose

    • Operated by any member or uniformed employee of the armed forces of the United States or reserve components, including the Ohio National Guard
    • Does not apply to United States reserve technicians

    Non-Business Commercial Motor Vehicle

    • Commercial motor vehicle not used in commerce and not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission

    Vehicle Designed for Transporting Goods

    • Vehicle used for non-commercial transport of goods or personal property

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.03

    Commercial Driver (CDL) Farm Waiver

    A restricted commercial driver license and waiver for farm-related work may be issued to allow a person to operate a commercial motor vehicle during seasonal periods.

    For more information, please see the Application for Restricted CDL for Farm-Related Service Industries (form BMV 2170).

    Ohio Revised Code: 4506.24

    Contact Information

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