Ohio CDL License Requirements – 2022 Guide

| Last Updated: October 10, 2021

Do you live in Ohio and are thinking of getting a Commercial Driver’s License? If so, then you’ve just landed on the right platform. Here, you’ll learn the requirements for getting one, the much it’ll cost you, and the waiting period.

You’ll also get to know why Ohio is one of the best states to start a truck driving career and the salary to expect from commercial truck driving in the state. Let’s get going!

How to Get a CDL in Ohio

Obtaining a CDL in Ohio is a path to a career that promises a substantial income and long-term job security. With a commercial driving license in hand, you can operate heavy, passenger, and even placarded vehicles.

However, you must first fulfill a bunch of requirements as discussed below.

Requirements for Getting a CDL in Ohio

To get a CDL in Ohio, you need to meet the following requirements (and more):

  • Age Requirements: You must be 18 years old for intrastate driving and at least 21 to drive a commercial motor vehicle beyond Ohio state lines.
  • Proof of Valid Medical Examination: As a CDL applicant, you must provide a valid medical examiner’s certificate from a licensed US doctor of medicine or a chiropractor.
  • Proof of Residency: You have to submit documents that show that you reside in Ohio. It can be done using a utility bill, insurance card, vehicle registration, among others.
  • Commercial Learner’s Permit: To get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP), you must possess a valid Ohio driver’s license. It’s only after getting the CLP that you can start truck driving training and eventually take the CDL skills test. You must also pay $27 to cover the CLP fee.
  • Pass the Skills Test: The skills test comprises the pre-inspection, basic controls, and road skills test. The road skills test includes starting, observing traffic lights, braking, stopping, and downgrades and upgrades. It also covers vehicle controls, railroad controls, bridge clearance, maintaining proper lane positions, and underpass clearance.
  • Meet Physical Requirements:

Vision: You must pass a vision test that requires at least 20/40 vision with or without visual improvement devices in each eye. Each eye must have a field vision of at least 70 degrees. You should also be able to distinguish traffic colors red, green, and amber.

Hearing Requirements: You should be able to hear a forced whisper at least 5 feet away, with or without the help of a hearing aid.Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure: You don’t qualify to get a CDL in Ohio if your blood sugar is higher than 200. And if diabetic, ensure that you only control it through medication and proper diet. Controlling diabetes via insulin injections is not allowed. Also, your blood pressure level should never surpass 140/90.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a CDL in Ohio?

Obtaining a commercial driver’s License in Ohio takes several steps. Each step incurs its own cost, as listed above. And by the time you get the license, you’ll have spent at least $400.

Here’s a summary breakdown of the costs:

  • $42 for a standard CDL license
  • $43 for added CDL endorsements
  • $25 for farm waiver
  • $27 for CLP
  • $30 for an on-road test
  • $10 for pre-trip inspection test
  • $50 appointment fee
  • $27 for duplicate CDL

How Long Does It Take to Get a CDL in Ohio?

On average, it takes about seven weeks to get your CDL when attending a full-time training program. If doing it part-time, it might take you longer.

Commercial License Types & Classes in Ohio

In Ohio, there are 3 CDL classes; A, B, and C.

Class A CDL

With a Class A CDL, you can operate any combination of vehicles featuring a Gross Combination Weight Rating of more than 26,000 pounds. The towed vehicle must be heavier than 10,000 pounds.

A Class A CDL enables you to drive tractor-trailers, tank vehicles, flatbeds, truck and trailer combinations, and livestock carriers. With proper endorsements, A class CDL lets you drive some Class B and C vehicles.

Class B CDL

Class B CDL enables you to operate single or combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating of more than 26,000 pounds. The towed vehicle should not be heavier than 10,000 pounds.

With a class B CDL and appropriate endorsements, you can drive box trucks, tractor-trailers, segmented buses, large passenger buses, and straight trailers.

Class C CDL

Obtaining a Class C CDL allows you to operate any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver. You can also drive a single or combination vehicle used in the transportation of hazardous materials.

Texas CDL Endorsements

Even with these CDL classes, you need to get the appropriate CDL endorsements to drive certain single or combination vehicles. 

These endorsements include H for Hazardous Materials, N for tank vehicles, S for School Bus, P for passenger vehicles, and T for triple/double trailers.

Why Is Ohio a Great Place to Start a Truck Driving Career? 

If you are interested in truck driving, starting your career in Ohio will most likely give you rewarding results because of the following reasons:

  • The trucking industry in Ohio has a shortage of drivers
  • The state has many truck driving job openings
  • Ohio’s economy continues to grow
  • Competitive salary

Shortage of Drivers

For more than a dozen years, the trucking industry in Ohio has been experiencing a tremendous shortage of truck drivers. The cause is primarily due to the lack of interest by millennials and the retirement of drivers with fewer replacements available.

With fewer drivers, there are high chances for you to secure a job from this state once you obtain your CDL.

More Job Vacancies

According to the Ohio Trucking Association, there were 338,700 open trucking industry jobs in 2019. In 2020, the state had 22,410 trucking companies, and the number keeps growing by the day.

With the high number of companies, you will most probably not hunt for a job for long. Some top Ohio trucking companies you can find employment with include LV Trucking, Z Brothers Trucking, 1st Express, and Ohio Freight Solutions.

Growth of Ohio’s Freight Economy

From an economic standpoint, the freight economy in Ohio continues to grow. The more it increases, the more tit needs truck drivers to ferry the goods.

Competitive Salary

The starting salary for truck drivers in Ohio is higher than in many other industries. And on top of that, your salary will scale with years of experience. The longer you stay in this industry, the more you’ll earn. You can expect to make $45.976 and more each year.

Job Outlook and Salary for Truck Driving in Ohio

Just like when joining any other career, you have to consider the amount you’ll bag every month after becoming a truck driver and whether the salary can sustain your family.

Well, the salary is more about the company you’re working with and the job performed. The average salary for truck drivers is $20.66 per hour and $42,970 per year.

However, one thing to note is that the entry-level salary for truck drivers is considerably less like with any other profession. This is because most inexperienced drivers are considered a high risk to companies. However, some reputable companies pay well for beginners as well.

Joining the industry should give you a reason to smile since the employment of truck drivers is projected to grow for over a decade. The trucking industry in Ohio will have to hire more drivers to keep up with the demand.

What Is the Demand for Truck Drivers in Ohio?

Demand for truck drivers in Ohio is skyrocketing. This is attributed to the growing economy and high demand for delivered goods. Utility, construction, and other industries are also hunting for CDL drivers.

The most affected area is the large haul trucking since most drivers shy away from it. Most can’t cope with the lifestyle it brings along, such as being away from home for a long time.

Growth projections for up to 2026 show that trucking jobs in Ohio might grow at a slightly lower rate (less than 6% growth anticipated nationwide). Nonetheless, about 85,000 new truck jobs will be added annually.

How Much Do CDL Drivers Make in Ohio?

As of August 27, 2022, the average salary for a CDL driver in Ohio was $45,976. Wages generally start from $40,588 and can go up to $53,300 and more annually as the years of experience increase.

Conclusion 

Although getting a CDL in Ohio comes with many requirements, obtaining one assures you of job security. You just need to get a commercial learner’s permit, train for an actual CDL, and get ready to start an exciting, well-paying career.

Photo credit: daf.com via GIPHY

And since there are lots of truck driving job openings in this state, joining the industry may not take you long. You are also assured of job security since the high demand for truck drivers in Ohio isn’t going down soon.

People Also Ask

If you have troubling questions on Ohio CDL requirements, this section will help you get answers to clear your doubts, get more informed, and understand what you might have found complex in our discussion.

What Disqualifies You from Getting a CDL in Ohio?

You get disqualified from getting a CDL if you refuse to take an alcohol/drug test in any vehicle if found under the influence of a controlled substance, and for failure to wait after an accident.

You’ll also get disqualified for using any motor vehicle to commit a felony, violating any two or three serious traffic rules, and for testing positive for excess alcohol when operating a commercial motor vehicle.

How Long Do You Have to Hold Your CDL Permit in Ohio?

A CDL permit is valid only for six months and can be renewed once before it expires. You must hold the CLP for at least 14 days to be allowed to take the skills test.

Who Is Required to Hold a CDL in Ohio?

You are required to hold a CDL in Ohio if you want to operate a single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds. You must also get a CDL if looking forward to driving a combination vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds and a towing vehicle of over 10,000 pounds GVWR.

The state of Ohio also requires drivers to obtain a CDL if they are looking to operate commercial motor vehicles carrying 16 passengers or more and those designed to transport hazardous waste or materials.

What Is the Military Skills Test Waiver Program in Ohio?

Ohio provides a military set skills waiver if the applicant submits proof of military service for the past year that required operating a truck. They should also submit proof of military skills experience of driving a truck for at least two years immediately preceding the discharge or application date.

Do You Need a CDL to Drive a Tow Truck in Ohio?

You must hold a commercial driver’s license if the tow truck weighs 26,000 pounds or more in GCWR, with the towed vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or more. 

If the tow truck alone has a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or more, you’ll need a CDL, both when towing no vehicle and when towing one weighing 10,000 pounds or less.



After spending years on the road, I had a lot of time to think about the hardships that came with the trucking industry. I realized there was an opportunity to lend a hand a create a resource for truckers by truckers. With the help of my tech-savvy son, I built Trucker Geek as a way to show people that becoming a driver doesn’t need to be a stressful headache.