The Ohio Department of Public Safety Bureau of Motor Vehicles runs the state’s driver’s license programs. Individuals seeking to drive big rigs, buses or other large vehicles generally need to get a commercial driver’s license. Applicants must first take a knowledge test with a local BMV to get a CDL learner’s permit. After passing that test and getting training, drivers can get an Ohio CDL license by passing a hands-on CDL skills test with the BMV.
Access the Ohio CDL manual. You can get a copy of this CDL study guide at a local Ohio BMV or online at Publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/hsy7605.pdf.
Use the manual to prepare for the CDL knowledge exam. The test and CDL manual for commercial drivers varies a bit than a standard driver’s license test. Because there are many types of commercial vehicles, endorsement tests exist that give authority to drive certain types of vehicles or haul hazardous materials or other cargo. You only have to study for and take endorsement tests for the vehicle or cargo that applies to your personal situation.
Note that there is an extra requirement for CDL drivers in Ohio and other states who will be hauling hazardous materials (HAZMAT). You must go through a safety threat assessment, which is essentially a background check. Go to Hazprints.com as early as possible to start this threat assessment. It can take several months in some cases.
Also keep in mind that, while the Ohio CDL manual is the main source to study for the knowledge test, you can find other free or low-cost resources online to help you get ready for the Ohio CDL test. Go to a search engine and look for “CDL practice test” and “CDL study guide” to find these resources.
Complete your CDL medical checkup so you can get the required DOT medical card. Access the exam form at Fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/forms/649f.pdf and take it to a doctor for your examination. Take the card with you when you go to apply for your CDL license and exam.
Go to the nearest Ohio BMV so you can take the knowledge test. After passing, you can then get an Ohio CDL permit that allows you to practice driving commercial vehicles on Ohio roads.
Complete enough Ohio CDL training to prepare for the CDL skills test. This second part of the test involves safety checks, maneuvering and driving. If you want to be a truck driver, you can check out truck driver training schools through the Professional Truck Driver Institute. Access the list of certified programs at Ptdi.org/schools/schools.aspx or ask for a recommendation from existing Ohio truckers who have had training at other schools.
You can also check out opportunities for bus driving. Many companies provide training for passenger buses. Check out corporate websites like that of Greyhound to learn more about these CDL training opportunities. You should also contact the local Ohio school district if you are interested in work as a school bus driver.
Schedule and take the CDL skills/driving test with the Ohio BMV. If you pass, you can get an Ohio CDL license and operate commercial motor vehicles.
Ohio Truck Driver Training Opportunities
Ohio CDL Manual