Ohio CDL Requirements

You must get an Ohio commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be able to drive commercial vehicles in Ohio. For Federal CDL Requirements applicable to every state, click here.

Ohio adopted the Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, and is part of a nationally uniform system of classifying, testing, and licensing commercial vehicle drivers.

When is an Ohio CDL Required

You need an Ohio CDL when you operate the following vehicles:

CLASS A – Applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with a Class A CDL (plus any appropriate endorsements) can also operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (below)

CLASS B – Includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with an Ohio Class B CDL (plus appropriate endorsements) can also legally operate all vehicles in Class C or D.

CLASS C – Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

CLASS D – Private passenger, regular operator.

Ohio CDL Age Requirements

You must be at least 18 years of age to drive within state lines (intrastate).

You must be at least 21 years old to:

  • drive commercial vehicles across state lines (interstate)
  • haul hazardous materials

How to Apply for an Ohio CDL

Documentation Requirements

Procedures for Obtaining a CDL or CDL Instruction Permit

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.

NOTE: Employers may impose additional standards and/or higher age requirements. Click here for more info from the Ohio BMV.

Bring the following to the licensing office:

  • Your social security card issued by the Social Security Administration. Your social security number is required for identification purposes. This is a mandatory requirement.
  • A CDIP 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. A CDIP expires after six months and cannot be renewed. A new permit must be purchased and the vision and knowledge tests must be re-taken.
  • The CDIP fee is $27.00

How much does the Ohio CDL cost?

Commercial Driver License Fees

  • CDL Temporary Permit
  • First CDL License
  • Renewal CDL
  • CDL – Add Endorsement
  • Duplicate / Replacement CDL

Additional fees

  • $10.00 for the pre-trip inspection portion of the test;
  • $10.00 for the off-road maneuvering portion of the test;
  • $30.00 for the on-road portion of the test.
  • The CDL applicant who schedules an appointment with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP), may have to pay an appointment fee of $50.00 at the time he schedules the appointment. These fees are in addition to any fees

Official Ohio CDL Manual
Ohio BMV
FMSCA Guidelines