New to Town?
Important note: You have 30 days from moving to the state to apply for an Ohio license
Unlike your previous state, that likely has a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). Ohio calls their office the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles). You will need to visit a BMV office in person to switch to an OH state license. You can find your closest office here. If you are 21 or over, you will pay $23 for your new license (valid for 4 years)–the cost goes down from there.
What will you need to bring to the BMV office?
You will need documents that prove your:
- legal name (including name change, if applicable)
- date of birth
- social security number
- legal presence in the U.S.
- Ohio residency (that you live in the state)
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/statement, utility bill, pay stub, or a school certified record. If you have changed your name legally, you will need a Marriage Certificate/Decree, Decree of Divorce/Annulment, or Court Ordered Name Change documents.
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 an official medical record. Name, birth date, and legal residency in the US can also be proven through a passport, if you have one. To view a full list of acceptable documents for any of the 5 elements listed above, check out the BMV approved list here.
As long as your previous out-of-state driver’s license is valid when you visit the BMV, you won’t need to take a driving exam. Yay! You will also take a vision screening test and, of course, make sure you arrive photo ready!
Once you have your new license, you will be good-to-go for 4 years–at which point you will need to renew at a local DPS office. Renewal cost is $25.75, and the process for renewal uses the same exact documents as listed above.