What Age to Start Driving School in Ohio?

teen driving in ohio

If you’re like most teenagers, you cannot wait to get your driver's license. Of course, one of the big hurdles to getting your license is completing driver’s ed. Ohio has rules about when you can start a course, how many hours you’ll need to spend in driving school, and how those hours are structured. Although many teens focus solely on needing to complete driving school, Ohio has other time-consuming requirements before you can even attempt a driving test. Learn about when you should start driver’s ed and how long it will take to get your driver's license.

When Can I Start Driving School in Ohio?

The Ohio Department of Public Safety allows you to start driver’s ed when you are 15 years and 5 months old. You are required to take 24 hours of in-person or online driving school in Ohio.  The 24 hours of instruction must be broken up into two-hour chunks, and you can only do up to two hours a day.

Your online or in-class instruction will prepare you for the knowledge test you’ll need to pass to get your temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC). The knowledge test is 40 multiple-choice questions about motor vehicle laws and traffic signs.

In addition to knowledge test prep, your driver’s ed class will focus on two things: the dangers of driving under the influence and the dangers of driving while texting. These lessons are especially important according to Robyn Darden, Manager of Driver Exam Services for the Ohio BMV, who says that the biggest safety concern with teen drivers is “distracted driving.”

In addition to the 24 hours of instruction, to complete driver's ed, you must have eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction on public streets and highways. You can start the driving portion of your driver’s ed course:

Like the in-class instruction, you can only take two hours of behind-the-wheel instruction per day.

To prove you’ve completed driving school, Ohio requires you to bring a certificate of completion to your driving exam. Make sure to ask your driver’s ed instructor how you get this certificate.

Besides Driver’s Ed, What Else Do I Need to Do Before I Can Get a Driver License?

Completing your Ohio driving school requirements is just one piece of the driving license puzzle. In addition to driver’s ed, you’ll need to complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving with a parent, guardian, or another responsible adult over 21. At least 10 of those 50 hours need to be at night. These hours are in addition to the eight hours required for the driver’s ed course.

To prove you’ve completed your 50 hours of driving time, your parent, guardian, or responsible adult will need to complete an affidavit. Bring this affidavit to your driving exam.

You will also need to wait at least six months after you get your TIPIC to take a driving test.

Finally, if you’ve met all of those requirements, you’ll need to schedule your driving test. The driving skills test is the last hurdle before you get your driving license. The driving test will cover two areas — driving and maneuverability.

Get on the Road Today

Assuming you get started with your temporary permit and driver's age right when you are 15.5 years old, you can have your probationary license by the time you're 16. The final piece of the puzzle is getting your full license, which can only happen when you're 18. While the process might seem daunting, just remember that it will lead to a lifetime of freedom on the road.