Getting Your Ohio Drivers Permit

The Need-to-Knows for Getting an Ohio Driver's Permit

The Key Requirements

What do you need to get a permit from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)? It’s important to be prepared with everything you need before you venture over to your local BMV. You don’t want to find yourself waiting in a long line, only to discover that you forgot a key document and must come back another day. To sit for your permit test, you must:

  • Be 15 years and 6 months or older.
  • Visit an Ohio BMV office in person.
  • Bring your certificate of completion for your Driver’s Ed course.
  • Provide proof of your identity, where you live, birth date, and legal presence in the US.
  • Take and pass the written permit test.
  • Pass a visual exam (don’t worry corrected vision is A-ok).
  • Pay the $22 learner's permit fee.

The Deets on the Docs

The easiest way to guarantee that you are able to verify your identity and legal presence in the US is to bring your Social Security Card and your birth certificate. To prove where you live, you can use a bank statement, credit card record, or a school certified record. If you are under 18, your legal guardian must go with you to the BMV and prove their identity as well (e.g. present a driver’s license).

If you don’t have these documents, there are some alternatives available to you. Your social security number can also be verified through a certified school record, a W-2 statement from your job, or official medical record. Name, birth date, and legal residency in the US can also be proven through a passport, if you have one. To see the full list of approved document options, visit this list .


The Big Test

Once you are all studied up and have your documents in line, you are ready to take your official Driver’s Ed exam and get your permit. There are 2 sections of 20 questions each = 40 questions total. You will need to score a 70% or above on each section in order to officially “pass” and get you permit. That means you should aim to get 15 or more questions right per section. This is the magic number.

Many new drivers may fail the test their first time around--so don’t fret too much; you will simply have a 24-hour waiting period before being able to try again. To avoid having to take the test more than once, sign up for your online prep course through Aceable now. If you want some extra study material and something to help you sleep at night, you can also get a free driver’s handbook from your local Deputy Registrar’s Office or just download a PDF version . The Ohio BMV also offers free practice tests to help ensure you are fully prepared.

Test. Check! What’s Next?

Once you have passed the permit test, you are ready for the driving portion. You MUST sign up for 8 hours of driving with a certified instructor. Make sure you bring your Aceable Certificate of Enrollment (or other Drivers Ed certificate) and present it before you begin driving lessons!

You will also be required to complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice (including 10 hours at night) with your legal guardian in the passenger seat. You don’t need to log these 50 hours. Instead, your parent/guardian will simply fill out a Fifty Hour Affidavit and get it notarized. You’ll need to present the affidavit at the Driver Exam Station when you test for your license.

You are now roadworthy, BUT...

Remember having a permit doesn’t mean you’re ready to spread your wings and go out on your own quite yet. The BMV outlines the below regulations for permit holders:

  • 15 1/2-16 years old: You are only allowed to drive when a licensed parent, guardian, or certified driving instructor is in the passenger seat.
  • 16 years old: You must have a valid licensed driver who is 21 years old or older in the passenger seat.
  • Under 18 years old (even with a license): Cannot drive between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., unless your guardian/parent is with you.

When can I get my Probationary Driver's License?

If you have:

  • Held your permit for 6 months at least
  • Completed your 8 hours with a certified instructor
  • Completed 50 hours (10 at night) with a parental unit

Sources in order of appearance: Pexcels , Pixabay

Krista Doyle
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