How to Apply for a New Drivers License in Ohio
The Ohio drivers license is available to state residents who are at least 15 years old. However, the process of getting a BMV license in Ohio varies for minors and adults, with minors being required to get drivers education before they are allowed to get a permit. Both groups are required to go to the DMV office in person, submitting documentation and an application that proves their identity to the DMV.
In this article, you will learn all that you need to know about getting a BMV drivers license in Ohio: the fees you will need to pay, the tests you will need to take and more. Whether you are a minor or an adult, by the end of the article you will have a clear idea of how to get driving privileges in the state.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Ohio as an Adult (18 or Older)
You should learn how to get a drivers license in Ohio if you are an adult. You may be required to get a permit before you can get a license. In order to get a new drivers license in Ohio, you need to be a resident of the state who is legally allowed to be in the US. If you are an adult, you automatically fulfill the age requirement for getting a license. That said, unless you have a license from out of state, you will be required to get a permit before you can get your license.
You cannot get a drivers license online in Ohio because you need to submit several tests and submit acceptable documentation in-person to your local BMV office. When determining where to get a drivers license in Ohio, keep in mind that different offices have different hours of operation, and not all of them are open ever day. You will need to contact your office ahead of time in order to determine when they are open.
What do you need to get your license in Ohio? First, you need to get a temporary permit, which is required no matter your age. Before you take the two tests required to get this permit, you will need to submit an application. The Ohio drivers license application is not available online, which means you will have to fill it out at the office. As well, you will have to submit official documents that show your legal name, SSN and birth date.
Once you have submitted these documents, you will be able to take both the eye exam and the written exam. The eye exam will determine whether you need to wear glasses when you drive, while the written exam will ensure you understand laws and road signs. You can prepare for your written exam by taking a driver’s license practice test.
Steps to Obtain a Drivers License in Ohio
When you have successfully completed both tests, you will need to submit at least three official documents proving your legal name, SSN, authorization to be in the US, state address and birth date. These are the most commonly used official papers in the state:
- Birth certificate, which proves your name, birth date and legal presence
- Passport, which proves your name, birth date and legal presence
- Certified school transcript, which proves your address and Social Security Number
- Social Security card, which proves your Social Security Number
- Paycheck issued within the last six months or financial correspondence issued in the last 60 days, which proves your address
These are the most commonly used documents, but you have other options. Consult the Acceptable Documents List to see if your documents will count as proof.
These Ohio drivers license requirements are designed to ensure that your license is REAL-ID compliant. This means you will be able to use your license or permit for the purposes of federal identification. For most people, this will be important when boarding domestic flights.
You will be able to practice driving with your temporary permit. You will then need to take a road test. This test can be scheduled online or by calling (614) 752-7600. You need to wait a week if you fail it. If you fail it four times, you are required to wait six months before taking it again.
You can apply for a drivers license in Ohio once you have passed the road test. You will need to submit your temporary permit to do so, but you will not be required to re-submit the documents listed above. Whether you are paying for a test, permit or license, you can use the following payment methods:
- Money order
- Credit card
Getting an Ohio Drivers License as a New Resident
Ohio drivers license requirements are less extensive for adults who have a valid license that was issued in another state. In that case, you will still have to submit the documents outlined above, but you will not be required to get a permit or take the required tests. If your license is expired, you will have to go through the steps listed above.
Minors who have a license from out of state will need to follow the requirements listed in the following sections, but they may use a course taken out of state to cover their driver’s ed requirement.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Ohio as a Teen (Younger Than 18)
The process of getting a license is similar for adults and minors, although there are a few important differences. Drivers license eligibility in Ohio requires minors to be at least 15 and a half years old before applying for a permit or license. They must be residents of Ohio who are legally allowed to be in the United States, and they must have passed a driver’s education course.
There are many drivers license services in Ohio, but one of the most important for minors is the driver education program. These programs are required for minors looking to get a temporary permit, which in turn is required to get a license. A driving course can also help minors pass their exams, as it involves no less than 8 hours of behind-the-wheel experience. These courses also cover laws and road signs.
This portion of the course may be taken online or in-person. These courses are not administered by the state, but private businesses administering these courses must be licensed by the state.
Steps to Obtain a New Drivers License in Ohio as a Teen
Drivers license information in Ohio is similar for minors and adults, because minors are still required to submit the documents and application listed above. As well, the process of taking the required tests and scheduling an appointment is the same.
The biggest difference is that minors will need their parent or guardian to go with them to get a permit. This sponsor will need to present either an Ohio drivers license or an official state ID.
Once they have their permit, the person with them in the passenger’s seat will need to have custody or be an instructor. For minors who are at least 16 years of age, any licensed driver who is at least 21 years old may accompany them in the driver’s seat.
The minor will be able to apply for a drivers license once they have driven with the permit for six months. This BMV license may only be used from 6 a.m. to midnight for the first year, though exceptions are given if you are accompanied by your guardian.
An exception is also given if you need to drive to a school, work or religious function during those hours. Minors who have had a license for a year will be able to drive from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Once again, the above exceptions apply.
Ohio Drivers License Costs
Drivers license costs in Ohio vary based on your age.
- The fee for drivers between 16 and 20 years of age ranges from $19.25 to $24.25.
- The fee for drivers who are 21 years of age or older is $23.
- The fee for a temporary permit is $22.
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Driver License/Identification Card Related Fees from BMV.Ohio.gov
- Temporary Permit - Over Age 18 from BMV.Ohio.gov
- New Ohio Residents Guide to Obtaining a Driver Authorization, Vehicle Title and License Plates from BMV.Ohio.gov
- Probationary Driver Licensing - Under Age 18 from BMV.Ohio.gov