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  • Special Licenses in Ohio

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    Special Licenses in Ohio

    If you want to drive a heavy vehicle or transport a large number of passengers, you'll likely need to apply for a different type of license or endorsement with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

    On this page you'll find general information about some of the license classes and endorsements available to you.

    If you are looking for information about regular driver's licenses, please visit our pages on:

    Ohio School Bus Drivers and Chauffeurs

    If you want to drive a bus, a shuttle, or be a chauffeur, you will only need a commercial driver's license (CDL) if any of the following apply to the vehicle you'll be driving:

    • A combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 26,001 lbs (Class A license).
    • A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 26,001 lbs (Class B license)
    • It is designed to carry at least 16 passengers, including the driver (Class C license).
    • It's a school bus designed to carry fewer than 16 passengers, including the driver (Class C license).

    If either of the last two apply, you'll also need to acquire a passenger endorsement.

    Ohio no longer has a special chauffeur's license.

    Please refer to our Applying for a New CDL in Ohio page for information on how to obtain your license and endorsement. Be sure to check out our other CDL articles, as well.

    School bus endorsements will generally require you to:

    • Pass a background check.
    • Have a clean driving record.
    • Take a school bus knowledge test.
    • Pass the driving test in a school bus.

    For more information, please contact the Ohio BMV.

    Taxi Drivers in Ohio

    The state doesn't have a special license just for taxi drivers. Check with your local government or taxi companies in your area to see if there are any additional requirements for becoming a taxi driver, beyond having the standard operator's license. Some local municipalities may require you to:

    • Complete a criminal background check.
    • Maintain a clean driving record.
    • Become certified and trained as a taxi driver.
    • Pay a taxi licensing fee.

    Ohio Sport Vehicle Drivers

    Ohioans don't need a special license to operate an all-purpose vehicle (APV) or a snowmobile.

    But to operate an APV or snowmobile on the state's public lands or waterways, you'll need to have a current operator, probationary, or commercial driver's license.

    If you're younger than 16 years old, you also must have a licensed driver who is 18 years old or older with you.

    However, the state allows unlicensed riders between 12 and 16 years old to use a snowmobile or APV on state-controlled land, if they are with a currently-licensed parent or guardian who is over 18 years old.

    Some sport and off-road vehicles may require you to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Ohio page.

    Ohio Hardship License

    Under stringent requirements, children who are at least 14 years old may be granted a hardship license to drive within 10 miles of their home in order to:

    • Transport a disabled parent or guardian for medical appointments or emergencies.
    • Handle chores such as driving to the grocery store.

    NOTE: The minor must be the only currently-licensed driver in the household.

    Many other conditions must be met for this license to be issued, and the state will investigate the situation to make sure it meets all the requirements of the license.

    For more details on obtaining the license, call the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (614) 752-7600.

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