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  • Commercial Driver FAQs in Ohio

    Can't find the commercial driver license (CDL) information you need? We'll touch on a few topics here, and then provide you with some other good sources for this information.

    Hazardous Materials

    If you want to add or renew a hazardous materials endorsement, you must first be fingerprinted and pass a criminal background check. You will receive instructions on how to complete the check when you submit your application for the endorsement at a deputy registrar's branch.

    The BMV has prepared a wealth of information about the hazardous materials regulations.

    Medical Waivers

    All CDL holders must pass certain minimum physical requirements to be eligible for the license. However, in some cases you may be able to obtain a medical waiver.

    With a waiver, you will be able to obtain a restricted license to drive within the state of Ohio.

    All waivers are administered and granted by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission. Send a letter of application, a copy of your current physical exam, and a medical evaluation from a board-certified physician to:

    • Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
    • 180 E. Broad St.
    • Columbus, OH 43215

    You can also fax your documents to PUCO at (614) 752-8349.

    Your request will be processed and you should receive a waiver packet in the mail with applications and complete instructions. Please call PUCO at (614) 466-3191 if you don't receive a packet, or if you have further questions.


    License Suspensions

    As a CDL holder, you are subject to stiffer penalties than other drivers if you misuse the license or drive dangerously.

    You can have your CDL suspended―or revoked―for a variety of offenses. Here are some possible violations, and the penalties associated with them:

    • 2 serious traffic violations within 3 years - Suspension for 60 days
    • 3 serious traffic violations within 3 years - Suspension for 120 days
    • 1st conviction for driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a traffic crash, using a commercial vehicle during a felony, or refusing to submit to alcohol testing - Suspension for 1 year

    Note: If any of these offenses occur while operating a vehicle placarded for hazardous materials, the penalties are for 3 years.

    You can even have your license suspended for life for a 2nd conviction of any of the following: driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a traffic crash, using a commercial vehicle during a felony, or refusing to submit to alcohol testing.

    It is illegal in Ohio to have any amount of alcohol in your blood while operating a commercial vehicle. If any amount is detected, you can immediately receive an out-of-service order for 24 hours.


    Employer Requirements

    If your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you must notify your employer within 1 business day.

    You must also tell your employer in writing within 30 days of any traffic convictions you have received. This includes convictions obtained in your own private vehicle.

    If you've had any out-of-state convictions, you have 30 days to notify the OH BMV of the offense. Send notification to:

    • Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    • P.O. Box 16784
    • Columbus, OH 43266

    Other Resources

    Your trusty Commercial Driver License Manual contains valuable information, too. You may also pick up a copy at any deputy registrar's branch.

    Among the worthwhile information you'll find are discussions on license disqualification, serious traffic offenses, physical qualifications and examinations, and the rules concerning alcohol and driving with a CDL.

    Another option is to check the OH BMV Frequently Asked Questions page. You will find a handful of questions and answers there, covering areas such as health issues and vehicle weight restrictions.

    One other possible place to look is at the Ohio Revised Code for commercial driver guidelines and regulations.

    You can also search the code by browsing through the topics. Or, you may enter a keyword search.

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