Legal-Ease: CDLs and farmers

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney with Schroeder Law LLC in Ottawa. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at (419) 523-5523. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

A CDL is required to operate many motor vehicles in the state of Ohio. Buses, trucks, semi-tractors, dump tracks and more require that the driver have a CDL. But the requirement to have a CDL excepts farmers in some situations. The way in which the farmer uses the vehicle is what defines whether it would be excepted from Ohio’s CDL requirements. There are five requirements for a farmer in place by the state of Ohio that would except the farmer from the CDL requirement under the farming exception.

In order to operate most semi-tractors, dump trucks and tandem axle straight trucks in Ohio, the operator generally needs a commercial driver’s license,. In fact, a CDL is required to operate many different motor vehicles in Ohio, such as many buses and many light trucks that are transporting certain hazardous materials. There are three classes of CDLs in Ohio, Class A, Class B and Class C.

The requirement to have a CDL excepts farmers in certain circumstances. Farmers are not required to have a CDL to drive vehicles that would otherwise require a CDL, if the farmer’s use of the vehicle meets several specific requirements. The character of the vehicle does not matter. The use of the vehicle by the farmer is what excepts it from Ohio’s CDL requirement.

Read more about CDL requirements in Ohio and the exceptions afforded under the farming exception in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: CDLs and farmers

Source:, “Legal-Ease: CDLs and farmers,” by Lee R. Schroeder, July 23, 2016

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