Ohio Establishes $3 Million Tax Credit Program for CDL Training

Incentive Applies to Current and Prospective Employees
Ohio New Tools for CDL training

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

Ohio is offering a new $3 million tax credit program to help companies offset costs for providing commercial driver license training to their employees.

“Ohio is a state that makes things, and commercial drivers are essential to getting our products from here to there,” Gov. Mike DeWine said Nov. 9. “This program takes a major step towards a more competitive, skilled and agile workforce in Ohio that is poised to lead the future of manufacturing and trucking.”

DeWine announced the new tax incentive in the state’s Commercial Driver’s License Training Program for Ohio businesses to help raise skills for current and future employees. He was joined by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Lydia Mihalik, director of the state department of development.

“By supporting individuals through tax credits for CDL training, we’re not just helping businesses, we’re helping truck and bus drivers, and taking another positive step to attract people to a profession that is in desperate need of drivers,” Husted noted. “It’s a strategic move that benefits everyone — employers, workers and the state’s economy.”

Employers of all sizes and industries registered as Ohio businesses that have Ohio resident W-2 employees are eligible to apply. Employers can earn tax credits for half of approved training costs that can amount to $25,000.

The tax credit applies to the training and/or credentialing of both current and prospective employees. Eligible training can be done externally by CDL training providers on Ohio’s approved CDL course provider list or with qualified internal training instructors. Credentials must be issued for Class A or Class B state-issued CDLs.

“It’s important for us as a state to grow and maintain this industry as Ohio builds on its legacy as the heart of manufacturing,” Mihalik said. “Just as it’s imperative for Ohio’s businesses to stay ahead in a competitive global market, it’s essential that we have the skilled workforce to support them.”

Applications for the CDL Training Program, established through Ohio House Bill 66 in the 134th Ohio General Assembly from January 2021 to December 2022, will be released once annually starting this calendar year through 2026.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 1. Granted on a first-come, first-served basis, awards will be announced by Dec. 31.

The new tax credit program is the latest state action to favor Ohio’s trucking industry. In October, Husted initiated an InnovateOhio campaign to pave the way to easier CDLs for truck drivers.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted


Husted, director of InnovateOhio, unveiled three new modernizations for Ohio truck drivers to have an easier time obtaining and renewing CDLs without lowering standards using technology upgrades with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Now the state is offering online renewal for CDLs and modernized CDL testing using real-world scenarios to more accurately evaluate knowledge about modern vehicles and skills needed for a CDL holder to safely operate a vehicle.

Also, the Commercial Learner’s Permit has been increased to 12 months from six. Now potential truck drivers have additional CDL training time without having to buy a new permit every six months.

“These latest CDL improvements for Ohio truckers are the latest in a series of BMV innovations, in collaboration with InnovateOhio,” BMV Registrar Charlie Norman said Oct. 10. “To date, these modernizations have saved Ohioans over 4.5 million trips to deputy registrar locations and more than 500,000 hours of standing in line.”

Last month, Ohio had more than 388,000 active CDL holders and 7,000 open job postings seeking CDL holders. Ohio’s truck driving jobs are expected to grow 7% by 2030.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: