So you’re ready to get an Ohio driver license, huh? It’s a big step in any native Ohioan’s life, much like watching your first Buckeyes football game or the moment you first realized that Michigan is the absolute worst (that moment happened when you were like 3 months old, but still). Sure, getting your driver license in Ohio might seem like a complicated process, but we’re here to make it as easy as possible for you. Just follow our step-by-step guide and you’ll be driving to Ohio State games on your own in no time.
Obtain Your Ohio Driver License in Four Steps
- Earn Your Learner’s Permit
- Practice Driving
- Finish Drivers Education
- Pass the Ohio BMV Driver License Exam
Step 1: Get Your Learner’s Permit
All you have to do to be eligible for your instruction permit (also called a TIPIC in Ohio) is be 15 and 6 months old. Easy enough, right? Once the big half-birthday arrives, head to your local Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office (Ohio BMV) to take a vision test and an exam made up of multiple-choice questions. If you’re reading the word “test” and panicking right now — don’t freak out. Yes, in Ohio you have to pass a 40-question knowledge exam before you can get your permit, buuuut you don’t have to go in uninformed. You can easily prep for the permit test by taking the first couple hours of a drivers ed course along with a practice test or two. You’ll gain some basic traffic law knowledge and receive a drivers education Certificate of Enrollment, which you’ll need later in this process, anyway.
By the way, when you go to the driver license office, you need to bring some forms that prove your identity, such as a birth certificate, your social security number and valid identification card. Check out this list of all the documents you need. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay $22 to purchase your TIPIC. After you do all that, you’re officially an Ohio permit holder! Now on to the actual driving part …
Step 2: Practice Driving
Getting your full Ohio driver’s license isn’t so easy as taking a quick written knowledge test. You’ll have to pass a road test, and in order to do that you need lots of driving practice. That’s why the state of Ohio requires teen drivers to complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a parent or legal guardian before they can drive on their own. The only thing you have to do prove that you’ve completed those hours is fill out this 50 Hour Affidavit. You’ll get it signed and notarized, then bring it to the Ohio BMV office when it comes time to get your drivers license.
Additionally, teen drivers must complete eight hours of driver training at a state-approved professional driving school. This is where the drivers ed Certificate of Enrollment that we mentioned earlier will come in handy. You need to have proof that you’ve begun Ohio driver’s education before you can take this step. Yep, you’ll be doing a lot of driving — but after this step is over, you should be a total pro behind the wheel. If you need more guidance on where to find an approved driving school or want to read about the restrictions on your learner’s permit, BMV.Ohio.gov has all that information right here.
Step 3: Finish Up Drivers Education
While you’re working on your driving practice and behind-the-wheel training, you can continue taking your driver’s education course. At this point, you should have completed the first two hours of the course and received a Certificate of Enrollment. Now you can focus on finishing the program so that you’re ready to go back to the BMV office and pass your driving test to get a license — hooray! At the end of your driver’s ed course, you’ll be prompted to take another multiple-choice exam. In order to pass the course, you need to score 75 percent or higher on the test. If you fail, you must wait 24 hours to try to pass the test again. You have three chances total before you will be required to start the course over. Just pay attention to your drivers ed course and we promise that passing the test will be a piece of cake!
Step 4: Get Your Drivers License
Once you pass the final Ohio driver’s ed exam, you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion to present to the BMV office. Just like when you apply for a learner’s permit, when you go to get your license, you’ll need to bring some forms that prove your identity. Also make sure to bring your instruction permit and 50 Hour Affidavit to show that you’ve finished all your requirements. Purchasing a license will cost between $21-25 depending on your age.
Lastly, it’s time to prove you know your stuff by passing a behind-the-wheel driving test. To take the test, you’ll have to bring your own motor vehicle (the driver exam station does not provide motor vehicles for you). An agent will then inspect the car to make sure it meets safety standards. (Don’t worry — just basic stuff, like making sure you have valid license plates and working seat belts.) And after that’s done, you’ll perform a maneuverability test consisting of tasks like accelerating and braking, using your turn signals and backing up. If you want to practice, a full description of the test is available at BMV.Ohio.gov. Once you pass the test (yippee!) you’ll get your probationary license, which is just a restricted license for teen drivers. You’ll hold a license with a few restricted driving privileges until you’re 18, when you’re eligible for a drivers license renewal. Awww yeah.
Until then — drive safely and stay out of trouble with law enforcement on the road. We’re certain that with what you’ll learn in drivers education you’re destined to be an ace driver … unlike those Michigan drivers … They’re the worst, right?
Want to start driver education right now? Sign up with Aceable online or in the app store! You can complete state-approved drivers ed from your phone or laptop at the times that fit your schedule. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get your Ohio driver license, so what are you waiting for?