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ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Commercial Driver License - Frequently Asked Questions

ODPS | BMV | FAQs

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New Federal Regulations for CDL Holders

What if I did not receive the notification letter?

Contact the Ohio BMV at 614-752-7500 to verify and update the address on record and a letter will be mailed to you.
You can also view the most recent letter sent to all CDL holders here.

I am currently retired but want to keep my CDL, what category should I certify?

Most CDL holders in this situation are certifying category 2 or 4. Category 2 and 4 allow CDL holders to use the CDL for personal use and do not require you to submit a medical card.

I currently do not have a job, what category should I certify?

Most CDL holders in this situation are certifying category 2 or 4. Category 2 and 4 allow CDL holders to use the CDL for personal use and do not require you to submit a medical card.

I do not use my CDL for work purposes but do not want to downgrade, what category should I choose?

Most CDL holders in this situation are certifying category 2 or 4. Category 2 and 4 allow CDL holders to use the CDL for personal use and do not require you to submit a medical card.

What is the difference between Category 1 and Category 3?

Category 1 and 3 are similar except that those who certify category 3 do not drive out of Ohio. You may still be required to hold a medical card but do not have to submit the card to the Ohio BMV.

I work for a government agency and do not drive outside Ohio. What category should I choose?

Most CDL holders in this situation are certifying category 4. City, state, county and municipal employees may fall under category 4 if they do not drive outside of Ohio.

I do plan on driving across state lines, what category should I certify?

Category 1, you will have to submit a medical card when certifying category 1.

What are the new requirements for CDL license holders?

Starting on January 30, 2012 new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations will require all Commercial Driver License (CDL) holders to Self-Certify their expected type of commercial driving and/or submit the required Medical Examiner's Certificate to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles PRIOR to the issuance of a CDL.

What must I do to comply with the requirements for self-certifying and/or making my medical certification part of my CDL driving record?

When you:

 
  • Apply for a CDL
  • Renew a CDL
  • Apply for a higher class of CDL
  • Apply for a new endorsement on a CDL
  • Transfer a CDL from another state

You will be required to self-certify to a single type of commercial operation on your driver license application form. Based on that self-certification, you may need to provide the Ohio BMV with a current medical examiner's certificate to keep your CDL.

What are the self-certification categories?

Description of categories are listed on BMV Form 2159.

Do all CDL license holders have to self-certify?

Yes. All CDL drivers must self-certify their expected type of commercial driving by January 30, 2014.

How do I self-certify?

After January 30, 2012, you can self-certify upon application of your CDL at a local Deputy Registrar.

Is there a form to self-certify?

Yes - BMV Form 2159.

Where can I get the Medical Examiner's Certificate?

The Medical Examiner's Certificate is available online at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Who can complete a medical examination and perform DOT physical exams?

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define Medical Examiner as a person who is licensed, certified and/or registered in accordance with applicable state laws and regulations to perform physical examinations. The term includes but is not limited to doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses and doctors of chiropractic.

Effective May 21, 2014 the Medical Examiner who conducts the medical examination must be registered and listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. For more information visit: www.nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov

Who do I contact with questions about self-certification?

The Ohio BMV can be reached by calling 614-752-7500.

Do I have to have a Medical Examiner's Certificate (MECERT)?

If the CDL driver self-certifies in Category 1 on the Self-Certification form, they are required to have the Medical Examiner's Certificate (MECERT) completed and signed by the medical examiner. If the form is not legible or incomplete, it may be REJECTED.
NOTE: If the CDL driver self-certifies in Category 2, 3, or 4 the MECERT form is NOT required.

How long will it take to process the documents?

You will be notified within 10 business days of confirmation or rejection of your forms.

Where can I get my CDL issued?

Go to your local Deputy Registrar location to be issued your Commercial Driver License (CDL).

Do I need to obtain a new CDL license?

New licenses will be issued when renewing or upgrading.

How can I submit the MECERT and/or self-certification forms?

By Mail: Ohio BMV CDL/Out of State Process, P.O. Box 16784, Columbus, OH 43216-6784

By E-mail: CDL@dps.ohio.gov

By Fax: 614-308-5181 (please include a cover page with your name, address, and contact number).

For same day service, you may take completed forms to a Regional Service Center or a local Deputy Registrar.

What happens if I do not self-certify and/or submit the required MECERT form?

Failure to self-certify and/or submit the required Medical Examiner's Certificate by January 30, 2014 will put you at risk of losing your CDL privileges, until compliant.

Do drivers need to carry the medical certification when driving a commercial motor vehicle?

Yes. Drivers are required to carry a current copy of a medical examination certificate.

What is the protocol if the Medical Examiner's Certificate gets damaged, lost or unreadable?

A copy of the Medical Examiner's Certificate should be kept on file in the Medical Examiner's office. The driver may request a replacement copy of the certificate from the Medical Examiner or get a copy of the certificate from the motor carrier.

Can I still get a medical certificate if I have a medical condition that is being treated by a physician?

The decision is made by the Medical Examiner. The examiner may request information about the driver's condition from their treating doctor. In general, certification is permitted if the driver does not have a condition, use medication or receive treatment that impairs safe driving.

Is the driver required to provide a copy to their employer?

Please inquire with your employer.

Will my employer have access to my medical evaluation?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) do not require the Medical Examiner to give a copy of the Medical Examination Report to the employer. However, the FMCSA does not prohibit employers from obtaining copies of the medical examination form (long form).

How long is my medical certificate valid?

The certificate is valid for up to 2 years. Please refer to medical certificate expiration date or contact the medical examiner.

 

I recently purchased a truck with a GVWR under 26,000 lbs, but it is equipped with air brakes. I will be using it to transport non-hazardous materials. Will I need a CDL to drive this truck?

No. A CDL is not required to operate a vehicle if the GVWR is less than 26,001 lbs and it is not transporting hazardous materials or passengers. The presence of air brakes alone does not make it a CDL class vehicle.

I am a CDL holder and I was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I will be on an Insulin pump. Will I be able to keep my CDL?

You may retain your CDL, but a K2 restriction will be added to your license. The K2 restriction forbids a driver from operating a CDL class vehicle outside state boundaries or operating a school bus, and severely limits the opportunities available for operating a commercial vehicle within state boundaries. If you would like to know if the K2 restriction will interfere with your right to operate a vehicle within state boundaries, contact the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) at 614-728-9125.

I am a current CDL holder and have been told that I need a waiver to operate a commercial motor vehicle due to restrictions placed on my license (K2). Who issues the CDL medical/vision waiver?

The waiver issued to drivers who would otherwise be ineligible to operate a commercial motor vehicle due to vision or medical/physical condition is available from either the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) at 614-728-9125 for intrastate waivers, or from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at 703-448-3094 for interstate waivers.

Where can I get a copy of the DOT physical form?

The DOT physical form is available for a fee from the Ohio Trucking Association (OTA). For more information, contact the OTA at 888-382-1574.

I drive a pick-up truck for my job. Am I required to stop at the scales?

It depends on the empty weight of the truck. All trucks weighing 8,000 lbs or more empty are required to stop at the scales (including personal use rental vehicles).

I am a CDL Hazmat holder and I am concerned that the new Patriot Act will affect my CDL. Where can I find more information about the USA Patriot Act?

For more information about the USA Patriot Act, visit the Transportation Security Administration Web site.

Is there a practice CDL test offered to help prepare me for the CDL tests for my permit?

No, the state of Ohio does not offer any type of CDL practice testing. The reference material to help you prepare for the CDL exams can be found in the CDL Handbook, which is available free of charge at your local driver's exam station or license bureau.