How to Get Your Ohio Drivers License
The time has arrived and you're on your way to getting behind the wheel. There's no better way to discover freedom and independence than on an open road!
While the process for a license is more stringent for teens in Ohio, don't let it deter you from getting in the driver's seat. So long as you show confidence, control, and knowledge of the road, you should have a straight path to an Ohio drivers license.
Be sure to review these guidelines to earn your full, unrestricted license by age 18.
Step One: The Learners Permit
At the age of 15½, teens in Ohio can apply for a learners permit (also referred to as a temporary instruction permit card or TIPIC). Everyone under 18 is required to take a DPS-approved drivers education course (like ours), which includes 24 hours of classroom instructions and eight hours of behind-the-wheel driving.
What you'll need to bring to the BMV:
- Proof of identity and legal residence. See a list of acceptable documents.
- Proof of Social Security number.
- Proof of residency in Ohio.
- Certificate of Completion for drivers education.
- An application fee.
You'll also need to take and pass both a written knowledge test and a vision screening. After you've done these things, you'll be issued a temporary instruction permit! Now you can prepare for your driving test with some serious practice.
However, there are a few restrictions if you're under the age of 16, the first one being that you may only drive when supervised by a licensed parent, guardian, or certified driving instructor.
If you're at least 16, you can drive with any licensed driver at least 21 years of age.
Step Two: The Drivers License
If you're at least 16, have held a learners permit for at least six months, and completed 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training (including 10 hours at night), you can apply for a proabationary Ohio drivers license.
Taking the Driving Test
You'll need to bring:
- A Certificate of Completion for drivers education
- An affidavit filled out by a guardian that confirms 50 hours of driving practice
- Your valid Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC)
- Required fees
Once you pass, you'll receive a probationary Ohio drivers license and can drive without supervision. However, there are some restrictions if you're under the age of 16:
- You can't drive between 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- You can't have more than one non-family passenger in the car unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
If you're under the age of 17, you can't drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
After the first 12 months of holding your probationary Ohio drivers license and if under age 18:
- You can drive between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
- You can drive outside of those hours when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or to and from work, and you must carry an Employer Approval for Probationary Driver License Holders Driving Within Restricted Hours (Form BMV 2825) with you. You can also drive to school or a church event with an Event Official Approval for Probationary Driver License Holders Driving Within Restricted Hours (Form BMV 2826.)
Step Three and Beyond
Once you turn 18, your probationary license will be converted to a full, unrestricted Ohio driver license. Congrats and safe driving!