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Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers in Ohio
Obtaining a temporary permit is generally the first step that a beginner driver takes toward becoming a fully licensed driver in Ohio. You are eligible to apply for a temporary permit if you are at least 15 years and 6 months old and:
- you have never been licensed to operate a vehicle, or
- you are a new resident of Ohio who has been licensed in another state, but your driver's license has been expired for longer than six months
HOW TO OBTAIN AN ORIGNAL TEMPORARY PERMIT
- Download a copy of the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws, or get a hard copy by visiting a BMV Office.
- If you are under 18 years of age, your parent or legal guardian must accompany you to sign the application form. This person must also carry two forms of identification
- Visit your local Deputy Registrar Office to submit the application. You must bring with you:
- Your certified birth certificate for age and identity proof is required, but other documents for proof are also acceptable.
- Your social security card.
- The application fee of $22.00. Credit cards will not be accepted.
- Applicants who state that they have a medical condition which may affect their driving have to complete a medical procedure.
- If the documents submitted are acceptable, the Deputy Registrar will complete the application and give you a Temporary Permit Application packet. This packet is not a driving license but the contents of this packet have to be retained without damage until you have received your regular driver's license.
- Submit your Temporary Permit Application packet to the nearest Ohio State Highway Patrol driver license examination station. You will be given a written test and a vision test. If you pass these tests, you will be issued a Temporary Permit.
THE PROBATIONARY LICENSEYou can apply for a probationary license after you have held a valid temporary permit for a period of six months and successfully completed a minimum of 25 hour driver training education (classroom) and at least 8 hours of driving with a certified instructor. You also need to submit an affidavit (BMV 5791) signed by a parent or legal guardian certifying completion of 50 hours of driving, at least 10 hours of which were at night; and pass a road skills and a maneuverability test. The probationary license in Ohio includes the following restrictions:
- If you are less than 17 years of age, you can have only one passenger who is not related in the vehicle unless accompanied by your parent or legal guardian.
- If you are less than 18 years of age, you cannot drive between 12:00 am and 6:00 am unless accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian, or driving for a work or school activity or in the case of an emergency. To drive at these hours for work related activity, you need written documentation from the employer.
THE UNRESTRICTED FULL LICENSEA full, unrestricted license may be issued when you are at least 18 years old. A probationary license may be changed to a regular, non-commercial driver's license, provided you do not have any moving or alcohol related violence during this period.
- For more information, see our Beginner Drivers section.
- See also Applying for a Drivers License.
- See also Driver's Education, Driving Schools and Practice Tests
- Learn more about Ohio's Licensing Requirements for Young Drivers.
- Bear in mind that in order to drive legally in the state of Ohio, you must have valid auto insurance. See our Auto Insurance section for more information, or to obtain a competitive quote on car insurance.