Ohio Commercial Driver License Exams

The Ohio commercial driver license test consists of two components: a written portion and a practical portion. The OH CDL written exam, also known as a knowledge exam, tests a license applicant on his or her knowledge of the laws, rules and safety procedures involved in operating a commercial motor vehicle. The driving skills portion of the CDL test evaluates an applicant’s skills in operating the specific type of commercial motor vehicle for which he or she is applying to get licensed. A separate CDL knowledge test exists for each class of commercial driver’s license, as well as each type of endorsement. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) requires that all CDL applicants pass both portions of the commercial driver license exam in order to receive a license to legally operate a commercial vehicle. Additionally, responsible employers will require a driver to possess a CDL prior to starting a job as a commercial driver. More details on the CDL exam can be found by reviewing the information below, which includes an explanation on the types of exams and how to take them.

The Ohio Commercial Driver License Written Test

The Ohio CDL written exam is one half of the full CDL exam required of all drivers in the state who wish to obtain a commercial drivers license. There is a separate written exam for CDL license types ranging from Class A to Class C. Additionally, a unique OH CDL test exists for each type of CDL endorsement you would like to add onto your commercial driver’s license. Taking the general CDL knowledge test is mandatory for all applicants, regardless of the class of license or endorsements they wish to obtain. You can learn how to pass the CDL exam by carefully reviewing information about the class of license or endorsement you wish to obtain.

Anyone taking the Ohio CDL written exam will be tested on some common material, regardless of the class of license for which he or she is applying. Topics to study include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • General commercial drivers license requirements
  • How to drive and transport cargo safely
  • Air brakes, which are a feature of many commercial vehicles

Individuals applying for a Class A commercial driver’s license will also be tested on information directly pertaining to the types of vehicles this particular license allows a driver to operate. Petitioners taking the commercial driver license test in OH are also evaluated on their specific knowledge pertaining to the type of endorsement for which they are applying. You can find more CDL written test information and advice when you download our comprehensive guide.

The Ohio Commercial Driver License Skills Test

After passing the Ohio CDL knowledge exam, all commercial drivers license applicants are required to pass the skills test. You must pass the OH CDL knowledge test before you are allowed to take the skills test, which is basically a practical commercial driving evaluation. The skills portion of the commercial drivers license exam includes three separate components: a vehicle inspection test, a vehicle control test and a road test. The vehicle inspection test generally examines an applicant’s ability to verify that his or her commercial vehicle is safe to drive. Since the majority of commercial vehicles require specialized skills and training in order to drive them effectively, the BMV verifies that all CDL applicants know how to drive and maneuver these vehicles correctly. The on-road portion of the CDL skills exam ensures that an applicant can manage a commercial vehicle in traffic and also tests a driver’s practical knowledge of traffic laws that pertain specifically to these types of vehicles. Failing any portion of the CDL skills test will prevent you from moving onto the next portion, as these skills test components must be taken in a specific order. For more detailed information about the Ohio CDL skills exam, you can download our complimentary guide today.

How to Take the Ohio Commercial Driver License Exam

Taking the Ohio commercial driver license test may involve a little more preparation and planning than taking exams related to obtaining a regular drivers license. Besides preparing for the OH CDL knowledge test, applicants need to practice driving a commercial vehicle. This requires that a CDL applicant obtain a commercial learner permit (CLP). When it comes time to take the CDL test, a commercial driver’s license applicant will need to visit two separate sites to take each portion of the exam. The CDL written exam can be taken at a local BMV office. The CDL license skills test, however, must be taken at either a state-operated testing site or a privately run facility licensed by the BMV. Keep in mind that you may be required to provide your own commercial vehicle when you take this portion of the exam.