Ohio CDL Test Requirements and Endorsement
- CDL Endorsement by Vehicle Type
- How to Prepare for the CDL Exam
- License Classifications and ID Requirements
How To Get your Commercial Driver's License
CDL drivers will have to take one or more knowledge tests, depending on what License Class and Endorsements you need. All CDL applicants must take the General Knowledge Test.
Select your Vehicle Type below to tell you any additional tests you must take:
Available CDL Courses
- General Knowledge
- Air Brakes
- Combination Vehicles
- Hazardous Materials
- School Bus
- Passenger Transport
- Pre-trip Inspection
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Do I Need a Commercial Driver License in Ohio?
If you live in Ohio and drive a Class A, B or C commercial vehicle, you must have an Ohio Commercial Driver License (CDL). CDL Endorsements are required for double/triple trailers, tanker vehicles, passenger vehicles and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials.
To operate a commercial vehicle in one of the following classifications, you must have a Ohio CDL Endorsement.
- Class A License - This classification applies only to "combination" vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) exceeding 26,000 pounds, provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds. The holder of a Class A license, which includes any appropriate endorsements, may operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (Operator License).
- Class B License - This class includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle exceeds 26,000 pounds. The vehicle in tow must not exceed 10,000 pounds. Class B licensees, with appropriate endorsements, may drive all vehicles in Class C or D.
- Class C License - Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials, that do not meet the criteria for Class A or B above fall under this classification and may drive all vehicles in Class D.
The law exempts these categories from the CDL (Contact the Ohio Department of Transportation for further information.):
- A "Farm Truck."
- Fire equipment.
- A public safety vehicle.
- A recreational vehicle.
- A vehicle that is operated for non-business purposes.
About the CDL Knowledge Test
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests, depending on what class of license and what endorsements you need. All CDL applicants must take the general knowledge test.
A CDIP (CDL Instruction Permit) may be issued to an individual who holds a valid automobile or classified driver's license. The holder of a CDIP may drive a commercial motor vehicle on a highway only when accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver's license, valid for the type of vehicle driven, who occupies a seat beside the individual, for the purpose of giving instruction in driving the commercial motor vehicle. The CDIP is valid for six months and cannot be renewed. A new permit must be purchased and the vision and knowledge tests must be re-taken.
Ohio CDL Skills Tests
If you pass the required knowledge test(s), you can take the CDL skills tests. There are three types of general skills that will be tested: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. These tests will take up to ninety minutes. You will need to provide a vehicle appropriate to the class of license you apply for, including a bus (designed to carry 16 or more persons including the driver) if applying for a passenger endorsement.
- Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection: You will be tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what you would inspect and why.
- Basic Vehicle Control: You will be tested on your skill to control the vehicle. You will be asked to move your vehicle forward, backward, and turn it within a defined area. These areas may be marked with traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something similar. The examiner will tell you how each control test is to be done.
- On-road Test: You will be tested on your skill to safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic situations. The situations may include left and right turns, intersections, railway crossings, curves, up and down grades, and single or multi-lane roads, streets, or highways. The examiner will tell you where to drive.
What Are The Other Requirements For A CDL?
To get a CDL or CDL instruction permit (CDIP) you are required to be at least 18 years of age and have a valid Ohio State driver's license.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require drivers to pass a physical examination once every 2 years. The main physical requirements include good hearing, 20/40 vision with or without glasses or corrective lenses, and a 70-degree field of vision in each eye. Drivers must not be colorblind.
What Should I Bring To The Department Of Motor Vehicles?
Before you head to the Ohio BMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your CDL or CDIP. Bring your current driver license and your social security card.
What Fees Will I Have to Pay?
To obtain a CDL you will need to pay the appropriate fees.
- $10 for the pre-trip inspection portion of the test;
- $10 for the off-road maneuvering portion of the test;
- $30 for the on-road portion of the test.
The CDL applicant who schedules an appointment with the Ohio State Highway Patrol may have to pay an appointment fee of $50 at the time he schedules the appointment.
These fees are in addition to any fees for your basic driver's license.
First CDL License: $42.00
CDIP fee: $27.00.
For current CDL licensing and endorsement fees visit the Ohio DMV:
Where Can I Get More Information?
Ohio CDL Manual: Ohio CDL Driver's Handbook
For Federal Requirements for a CDL: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm
For Medical Requirements for a CDL: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/medical.htm