Applying for an Ohio CDL - Endorsement P (Passenger)

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by Joshua on September 18, 2014
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In the United States, there are multiple types of driver’s licenses that someone can have. Most people have a Class D license, which allows one to operate vehicles that most people typically use. Large or specialty vehicles require other types of licenses. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required for a person to operate vehicles above a certain size, or specialty types of vehicles such as hazardous material vehicles or passenger transport vehicles.
There are three classes of CDLs throughout the entire United States: Class A, B, and C. A class A or B license allows the driver to operate vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 26,001 pounds. A class C CDL allows the driver to operate vehicles which are not over 26,001 pounds GVWR, that carry 16 or more passengers, transport hazardous materials, or small school busses.
To operate various specialty vehicles, there are additions to the basic CDL called endorsements. These are standard throughout the United States, even though the license is issued by individual states. A class P endorsement allows the driver to operate vehicles that carry more than 16 passengers. There are also sub-designations of this endorsement called P1, P2, and P4, which allow the driver to operate smaller passenger vehicles (less than 16 occupants). A related endorsement is the S endorsement, which allows the driver to operate school busses carrying children.

Eligibility and Requirements To Apply For a CDL with Endorsement P in Ohio

You will need to be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license and social security card, and be clear of any disqualifying factors (discussed below). You must pass a vision screening test and a written knowledge test . If driving on the interstates in any vehicle over 10,000 pounds, you must have a physical examination form, and a medical certification completed by a doctor.
Temporary or lifetime disqualifications include two or more DUIs (Driving under the Influence [of alcohol and/or drugs]), moving violations, or violations involving leaving the scene of an accident. Many different felony convictions can cause disqualifications for various endorsements. Disqualifications for Endorsement P include the aforementioned, as well as any criminal conviction indicative of a “bad moral character”, or documented actions of threatening others with harm. These definitely include any felony convictions that involve activity harming others, and possibly convictions such as misdemeanor assault. If you have minor convictions such as petty theft or disorderly conduct, it is recommended to still try your hand at applying.
Medical disqualifications both for a CDL and with that, any endorsements , include diabetes, a serious heart condition, or any condition that could cause a loss of consciousness of could interfere with vision while driving.

Procedure For Obtaining a CDL with Endorsement P in Ohio

You can obtain a permit which allows you to drive a CDL classed vehicle as long as an appropriately licensed person is sitting in the passenger seat and actively instructing you. To obtain this, you must bring your driver’s license and social security card to any State Highway Patrol examination station. You must pass the vision test, which is issued at the station, as well as a written knowledge test. Once this is done, you will receive a permit package which is valid for 6 months. After it expires, you must re-pass the vision test and written test to obtain a new one. The fee for this is $27.
To obtain a CDL in Ohio , you must pass a written and driving test specific to the class you are obtaining. You must also pass tests specific to get each particular endorsement. The driving test takes about 90 minutes. Obtaining the P endorsement requires an additional written test, as well as a skills test. Once the application is approved, the tests are passed, and the fees are paid, you will receive your CDL and any endorsements you earned.

Fees Required For Obtaining a CDL with Endorsement P in Ohio

The fee for the CDL test is $50, plus an additional $50 if you schedule an appointment rather than waiting (sometimes hours or more) in line. The cost for the first time CDL is $42 and $44.75 for renewal after 6 years. There is also a $43 fee for each endorsement added. Vision screening costs an additional $2.75. The fees for Endorsement P testing are $10, on top of the $43 fee to add an endorsement.

Other Information For Obtaining a CDL w/Endorsement P in Ohio

Be upfront with any medical issues or past convictions. You will not be able to hide them for long, and the consequences of doing so will be serious. Be wary of any services offering to get you a CDL regardless of these issues. Not only will medical issues put your passengers in potential risk, but you are likely to be discovered whether through a colleague reporting you, or through routine & other checks – such as if you were pulled over and ticketed, or arrested on some other charge and processed through the system.
Be prepared to set out an entire day for the testing procedure. Depending on where you are at, there may be many people ahead of you. People are typically helped on a first come, first served basis, so it can pay to arrive early (often right when the testing center opens). Take the time to study materials, and use any practice tests available. Failing a test means a re-test, which means more fees, more processing time, and another day or two of your time taken out waiting for & retaking tests.
Other Resources
Comprehensive information, practice tests, and more from DMV.org – http://www.dmv.org/oh-ohio/cdl/
The official CDL page from the Ohio BMV – http://bmv.ohio.gov/cdl.stm

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