Ohio Driver's License

Ohio Driver’s License: Requirements and Restrictions

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Apr 30, 2021

Are you ready to drive in the Buckeye State? In this guide, we’ll take you through every requirement you need to know and the steps you need to take to get your driver’s license in Ohio!

How to Get an Ohio Driver's License

These are the 5 steps you need to complete:

  1. Instruction permit
  2. Prepare for the driving skills test
  3. Take the driving skills test
  4. Probationary license
  5. Unrestricted driver’s license 

Depending on your age, you may skip some steps.

Step 1: Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card

In Ohio, everyone regardless of age is required to start with a temporary instruction permit if they fall under one of the following categories:

  • Applying for a license for the first time
  • The license has expired for more than six months
  • The license has been suspended or revoked leading to an expired license

You must take and pass a written test consisting of 40 questions, of which you must answer 30 correctly to pass. You will be tested on Ohio traffic laws, road signs and other things pertaining to driving.

After having passed the required tests and received your permit, you must have a licensed adult over 21 in the seat beside you at all times when driving.

If you would like to know more about this part of the licensing process, we recommend that you read our in-depth Ohio permit guide.

Step 2: Prepare For Your Driving Skills Test

If you are over 18, you do not have a minimum time to practice with your TIPIC before you can apply for your road test. However, if you fail the test, you will be required to wait a week before you can retest, and you will be required to take the Abbreviated Adult Driver Training Course. Make sure you are confident with your driving ability before moving to the next stage.

If you are under 18, you must complete the following requirements before you qualify to take the test:

  • Hold and practice with your TIPIC for at least six months
  • Complete an approved Ohio Driver’s Education Course. It must consist of 24 hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of driving instruction. 
  • Complete and log 50 hours of supervised driving, with at least 10 of those hours driven at night. 

The best way to pass your driving test is to master all the Ohio laws and driving mandates. Our learning program is designed to help you learn and retain all the information you need to ace your exams AND become a safe driver.

Step 3: Take Your Skills Test

When you are ready to schedule your skills test, you will need to provide the following:

  • Your TIPIC
  • Your Certificate of Completion of a Driver Education Course, if applicable
  • Your 50-hour log of driving practice, if applicable
  • A vehicle for your road test. Make sure it can pass inspection- if it is deemed unsafe, the test administrator will not do the test until the problems are fixed.

The first part of the test is the driving portion. You will be asked to perform common driving maneuvers like backing up, starting and stopping, and maintaining a safe following distance.

The second part is the maneuverability test. You can find the full maneuverability test on their official website, along with goals and penalties.

You can read our full Ohio driving test guide here.  

Step 4: Ohio Probationary Driver’s License (Under 18 Only)

If you are over 18, you can skip to the next step.

If you are under 18, you will be required to start with a probationary driver’s license.

  1. Visit an Ohio Deputy Registrars’ office after passing your driving skills test. Make sure to bring approved documents of the following:
    1. Full legal name
    2. Birthdate
    3. Social Security Number
    4. Citizenship or legal presence
    5. Ohio Residency
    6. Your receipt with the identification number from the driving testing center
    7. Your TICIP card
  2. Pay the required fee for a probationary license.
  3. Have photograph taken
  4. You will receive your new probationary license in the mail within ten days.

Probationary License Restrictions

An Ohio probationary driver’s license will give you a lot of freedom, but there are still certain restrictions associated with it.

You may not operate a vehicle from midnight – 6 a.m. unless:

  • Accompanied by a parent or guardian
  • Driving to or from work, school, or a religious event. You must have the proper documentation from your supervisors in these events.
  • You may not operate a vehicle with more than one non-family member as a passenger unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • You may not use any mobile devices while driving, including cellular phones.

After six months, the driving restriction time changes to 1 am to 5 am, with the same exceptions still applying.

A conviction of a traffic offense within the first six months of having a license may result in a parent or guardian having to accompany you for six months or until you reach age 17.

If you are caught with alcohol in your system, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months.

Step 5: Full Ohio Driver’s License

Once you are 18 or older, you can finally apply for your full Ohio driver’s license!

  • If you are under 21, your license will be a vertical design labeled with a red bar and the words “Under 21.”
  • If you are over 21, you will receive the standard horizontal design.

After paying the Ohio driver’s license fee, your new license will take about 10 days to arrive in the mail. 

That's It!

There you have it! Those are all the steps towards getting your driver’s license in Ohio. Be sure to reference this guide as well as using our practice tests to get your license without a hassle.

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