Applying for an Ohio CDL - Class A License

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by Joshua on July 30, 2014
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Do I Need One? You will need to apply for a Class A Commercial Driver’s License if you plan to drive any combination of vehicles with a combined gross weight of 26,001 lbs. or more, and the vehicles being towed have a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs. or more.

Getting Started

To obtain your Ohio Class A Commercial Driver’s License, you must first apply for your Commercial Driver’s Instruction Permit (CDIP).You’ll have to be at least 18 years of age (be aware that some employers have a higher age requirement), own a valid Ohio driver’s license, and have a physical examination (must be updated every three years) and carry a U.S. Department of Transportation medical certificate if you operate a motor vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. in interstate commerce.
You must carry a current copy of your medical examination when you drive. You can go to any State Highway Patrol examination station with your driver’s license and social security card. When you get there, you’ll need to take at least one “written knowledge test”: http://www.dmvcheatsheets.com/exams/commercial-drivers-license-written-test/products/cdl-general-knowledge-exam and a vision test. Additional tests are given to those who apply to drive hazardous materials vehicles, combination vehicles, tankers, passenger vehicles, air brakes vehicles, and double or triple trailers. It’s a good idea to pick up a Commercial Driver’s License Manual at any deputy registrar’s office and study. The manual contains basic rules of the road and specialized driving skills necessary to master for your CDL.
So long as there are no red flags on your driving record, you will receive your CDIP at any deputy registrar’s office. The permit costs $27 and is valid for 6 months. Once it expires, you’ll have to go through the application process over again. It’s not necessary to make an appointment to take the test. At the exam station, your photo will also be taken as part of the test record.
It is also important that you self-certify your type of vehicle operation:

  • Non-excepted interstate
  • Non-excepted intrastate
  • Excepted interstate
  • Excepted intrastate

Almost There

Once you have your CDIP, you may drive so long as a holder of a CDL is sitting in the passenger seat. The CLD holder must also have the appropriate license for the commercial vehicle you’re driving. As there are many third-party course providers throughout Ohio , you can also sign up for a truck driving instruction course. The Professional Truck Driver institute is responsible for setting the minimum standards for CDL driver’s training. It’s also a good idea to call (614) 752-7600 to be certain the provider is approved by the OH DMV.
After you’ve practiced driving and are ready to take your driving test, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with one of the skills testing locations. Depending on location, a $50 fee may accompany your appointment. Bring a vehicle of the class you intend to operate to take your test.
CDL classes include the following:

  • Class A: Any combination of vehicles that has a gross weight of approximately 26,001 lbs. or more provided the gross weight of the vehicles being towed is more than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B : Vehicles having a gross weight of approximately 26,001 pounds or more, or any motor vehicle that tows another which weighs just about 10,000 pounds or less.
  • Class C : Any solitary vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that is designed to transport 16 passengers or more, or designed for transportation of hazardous materials.

Home Stretch

The test is broken into three parts, each with its own fee:

  • Pre-trip inspection – $10
  • On-road test – $30
  • Off-road vehicle control – $10

The pre-trip test consists of a vehicle inspection where you’ll be expected to inspect vehicle parts and explain their significance to the examiner. The off-road vehicle control portion of the test is where you’ll be expected to demonstrate your ability to maneuver in various ways within an area. Lastly, the on-road test assesses your ability to drive safely in a variety of traffic situations.
If you pass all three portions of the test, you’ll be given your new Class A CDL. The fee for which is $42. In the event you wish to upgrade in the future, you’ll need to pass the knowledge and skills test again.
See OH DMV website for more information.

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