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How to get a Ohio Driver's License

Ohio Drivers License
  • Ohio Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

OH Driver's License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

Try Sample Test!

All applicants need to be familiar with the Ohio Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

Get your OH Driver's Permit

You must be at least 16 years old and must have held a temporary permit for at least six months.

If this is your first driver's license, you will need to apply for an Ohio temporary permit which requires a written exam on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

Once you receive a valid temporary learners permit, you will then need to pass a road skills test and vision test to receive an OH probationary driver's license.

Applicants under 18 must have held a temporary learners permit for 6 months, receive a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in driver training, and log 50 hours (at least 10 hours nighttime) supervised driving time before taking the road skills test. The probationary license is valid until age 18.

Prepare for the Written Knowledge Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the Ohio practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

New Ohio Residents

New residents with an out-of-state license must obtain an Ohio driver's license upon establishing a permanent residence in OH. When heading to the BMV, be sure to bring the license from your former state as you will be required to surrender it in order to obtain the new license.

The written exam and vision test are required to change a valid out-of-state license to an OH driver's license, however the road skills test may be waived at the discretion of the examiner.

If your out-of-state driver's license is expired, you may be required to apply for a license as a new driver and pass all required testing.

International Drivers

Motorists who are residents of other nations and who are bona fide tourists visiting the United States may drive up to one year with their own national license plates on their cars and with their own driver license.

If you are a holder of a valid foreign driver license and wish to convert to an Ohio driver license, you must take and pass all required tests (vision, driver knowledge, driving and maneuverability). People from some countries may need to obtain a Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card.

Temporary residents who are foreign nationals residing in Ohio temporarily may obtain a non-renewable/non-transferable Ohio driver license which expires on the date indicated on the appropriate document issued by the Bureau of US Citizenship and Immigration Services and will not exceed four years.

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the Ohio DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted License (16 to 17 years of age) valid for 4 years
  • Full driver's license (18 and older) valid for up to 4 years.

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

Ohio Driver's License Resources

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