Is Driver's Ed Required in Ohio?

getting a license in ohio

If you’re hoping to get your Ohio driver’s license, you’re probably wondering is driver’s ed required in Ohio?

The short answer: Yes, driver’s ed is required in Ohio for teens under 18.

The long answer: The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has multiple requirements for driver’s ed.

In this post, we’ll cover the different requirements for Ohio driver’s ed, and we’ll give you some tips to move through those requirements as quickly and easily as possible.

Before You Start Your Driver’s Ed in Ohio

Here are a few important details to know before you start your required driver’s ed course in Ohio:

  • You must be at least 15 years and five months old to sign up for your course.

  • Your course must be taken through one of the BMV-approved driving schools in Ohio.

  • You’ll be required to take both “classroom instruction” (which can be completed online; it doesn’t have to be in a physical classroom) and behind-the-wheel driving instruction.  

24 Hours of Classroom Instruction

The state of Ohio requires 24 hours of classroom instruction from one of the BMV-approved driving schools in Ohio. This comes with good news and bad news:

  • Bad news: You can’t cram these hours into a single (very long!) day. The BMV only allows you to take up to two hours per day.

  • Good news: With online Ohio driving school options, you can work at your own pace. Thirty minutes here and there adds up quickly! If you’re highly ambitious, you can knock these hours out in under two weeks. But you should know, you’ll have to be at least 15 years and six months old to start the behind-the-wheel phase of your required driver’s, so if you started your classroom instruction at exactly 15 years and 5 months, you may want to take a little longer to move through your classroom instruction.   

Once you complete your 24-hour Ohio driver’s ed course, you’ll be eligible to take your written permit test at your local BMV site. According to Mary at the Ohio BMV, “the test can be difficult for applicants, so it’s best to study and take a practice test.” She recommends taking the Sample Knowledge Test available through the BMV’s website

When you pass your exam, you can apply for your Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC), and get ready to get behind the wheel!   

Eight Hours of Driving Instruction

The state of Ohio requires eight hours of driving instruction through one of the BMV-approved driving schools in Ohio. This will teach you the practice of safe driving, as opposed to the theory of safe driving, which you learned through your classroom instruction.

As with the classroom instruction portion of your driver’s ed requirement, the BMV only allows you to take up to two hours per day of driving instruction. So you’ll need at least four days to meet this requirement. You’ll need to complete all 32 hours of required driver’s ed training within six months of starting the program. 

50 Hours of Driving Practice

While this isn’t technically part of the driver’s ed requirement, you should know you’ll need to spend at least 50 hours driving with a licensed adult before you can get your own Ohio driver’s license. At least 10 of these hours must be completed after dark.

The Bottom Line

So is driver’s ed required in Ohio? Yes. You’ll be required to take a 24-hour classroom course (in a physical classroom or a virtual one) plus an eight-hour behind-the-wheel driving course.

If everything goes smoothly, meaning you complete the coursework as quickly as legally allowed, you pass your permit exam on the first try, and a driving instructor is available when you need them, you could complete your required Ohio driver’s ed in under three weeks.

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