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Ohio Driver’s License: How to Apply for One

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If you’re in Ohio, you never want to miss out on driving via the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway or the Combing Brush Road. It’s one of the most spectacular drives ever! But wait, do you have an Ohio driver’s license? If you don’t have one, your experience may turn out probably into the worst! 

Driving without a valid driver’s license in Ohio is a first-degree misdemeanor resulting in a penalty of $1,000 and a jail time of six months. Well, you will certainly love to avoid that. Even if you’re moving to the state, you must learn how to get one. Keep reading our article to know in detail about the requirements for a driver’s license in Ohio. 

Find the cheapest car insurance in Ohio

What are the two different types of Ohio driver’s licenses? 

There are two types – standard and compliant cards.  

The standard card looks and functions in the same way as previous license and ID cards. To get one, you must provide documents to the Deputy Registrar license agency proving your legal name, birth date, Social Security Number (SSN), residency, and, in some situations, legal permission to be in the country.  

However, a compliant card also functions as a nationwide ID card. From October 2021, some federal facilities have made this card compulsory for residents to access the facilities. Irrespective of the destination, you will require a compliant card or a US passport to board any commercial flight. 

What documents do I need to get an Ohio driver’s license? 

You must be at least 16 years to apply for a license in Ohio. Before you go to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for a Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC), you must present documents proving the following.  

  • Your name 
  • Birthdate  
  • SSN 
  • Lawful presence in the US 
  • Two proofs for residency 
  • Proof of name change, if applicable  

For the complete list of acceptable documents, click here 

Applicants with physical or medical ailments affecting their driving abilities, like epilepsy, must mention the condition while applying for a license. They may sometimes need to submit a medical evaluation within 20 days. 

How do I get a new driver’s license in Ohio?


If you’re under 18, in Ohio, like most states, you must undergo a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program. So, getting a driver’s license in Ohio requires you to go through these stages.  

  • Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC) 
  • Probationary driver’s license 
  • Adult driver’s license 

Know about car registration in Ohio! 

How to get a Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card 

Getting a permit is the first stage of obtaining a license in the state. Follow these steps to get one.  

  • Attend and pass the knowledge exam online. There will be 40 questions on the state’s road safety, traffic laws, and road signs. You must answer at least 30 to pass the exam. You can even attend the exam at a driver exam station 
  • Apply for your permit at a deputy registrar license facility. You should complete it within 60 days after passing the knowledge exam. Your parent or guardian must also accompany you.  
  • Submit documents providing your identity, birthdate, SSN, residency, and lawful presence. Find the entire list of documents here 
  • Pass the vision test. To pass the test, you must have at least 20/40 vision or more and 70 degrees of side vision in each eye. 
  • Take your new photograph. 
  • Pay the permit fee. 
  • Then receive your TIPIC.  


You get driving experience through a TIPIC. But there will be the following restrictions throughout this period.  

  • You must always have TIPIC while driving. 
  • All passengers, including you, must always wear seatbelts.  
  • Suppose you are under the age of 16. In that case, you must drive under the supervision of your parent, guardian, or a registered driving instructor. 

A licensed driver over 21 can supervise only you if they meet the following requirements.  

  • You put their names on a notarized BMV 2438. 
  • They are not drunk while supervising you. 

How to get a probationary driver’s license 

It is the next stage of getting a driver’s license in Ohio. If you’re 18, you can proceed to the next stage and work on your adult driver’s license.  

If you fulfill these conditions, you can apply for a probationary driver’s license.  

  • Hold your TIPIC for at least six months. 
  • You must complete a driver’s education program from a state-approved driving school. 
  • You completed 50 hours of supervised driving, including ten at night. 

What to do 

  • Schedule your driving test via the BMV website. 
  • Bring the following when coming for the test – your TIPIC, driver’s education certificate, and a car for the test. 
  • Pass the test. 
  • To receive your probationary driver’s license, visit a deputy registrar’s license facility. Your parent or guardian must also accompany you to confirm they will bear financial responsibility for your driving activities. 
  • Then produce the following documents – proofs of your identity, residency, citizenship, SSN, and a completed BMV5791 Fifty-Hour Affidavit confirming your supervised driving hours. 
  • Pay the license fee. 
  • Then you will receive a temporary paper license. You will receive the probationary driver’s license via mail in 7-10 days.  


Expect the probationary license to come with these restrictions.  

  • Supervised driving is only allowed from 6 am – 12 am (5 am – 1 am after the first year). A guardian, parent, guardian, or licensed driver over 21 years (identified on a certified BMV 2438) must accompany you during these hours. There isn’t a need for supervised driving if you’re going to or from the workplace, a religious event, or a school-sponsored event. 
  • Except when supervised by your parent or guardian, passengers can only be family members. 
  • You and the passengers must wear seat belts. 
  • The usage of gadgets like mobile phones is strictly prohibited.  

How to get an adult driver’s license 

driver's license in Ohio
Image courtesy: https://www.bmv.ohio.gov

Your probationary license will expire after one year or when you become 18, whichever comes first. So, when you renew your license, the BMV will issue an adult driver’s license with full driving rights. 

Are you aged above 18? Then follow these steps to get an adult Ohio driver’s license.  

What to do 

  • Attend the knowledge exam online 
  • Go to a deputy registrar license facility and produce the following documents – proofs of identity, citizenship, legal presence in the US, residency, and SSN. 
  • Pass the vision test. 
  • Take your new photograph. 
  • Pay the TIPIC fee. 
  • Visit the BMV website and schedule your driving test. 
  • On the day of the test, bring your valid TICIP and car for the driving test.  
  • Pass the driving test.  
  • Visit the deputy registrar license facility and purchase your adult license by paying the required fees. The fees differ by your age.  
  • Then get your temporary paper license and wait for your adult driver’s license to arrive via mail. You will get it within 7-10 days. 

How much is a driver’s license in Ohio? 

Depending on your age and the license type, it can vary between $20.75 and $48.  

License type Ohio driver’s license cost 
TICIP $23.50 
Probationary driver’s license (16 years) $25.75 
Probationary driver’s license (17 years) $24.50 
Adult driver’s license (18 years) $23.25 
Adult driver’s license (19 years) $22 
Adult driver’s license (20 years) $20.75 
Adult driver’s license (21 years and above ) $24.75 (4-year license)
$48 (8-year license) 

How long does it take to get an Ohio driver’s license? 

Ideally, you’ll get your probationary and adult driver’s license in 7-10 days.  

Where is your Ohio driver’s license number? 

The license will have two letters and six numbers. You can locate the number to the right of your photo, just below the address. 

What is an enhanced driver’s license in Ohio?  

Enhanced driver’s license in Ohio is a state-issued enhanced driver’s license that verifies your identity and US citizenship when driving across the border. 

Have you lost your license? Here’s the info on how to replace it! 

What do I need to get an enhanced driver’s license in Ohio? 

You must produce documents proving the following to get it.  

  • Your complete legal name 
  • Birthdate  
  • Residency 
  • SSN 
  • Lawful presence in the US 

What does a gold star on an Ohio driver’s license mean? 

compliant license in Ohio
Image courtesy: https://www.bmv.ohio.gov

It means an Ohio REAL-ID. The star, which can have five distinct looks, indicates that your driver’s license or state-issued identification card is a REAL-ID. 

Do you need a star on your driver’s license to fly? 

The compliant card is valid for flying and entering federal facilities, including military bases. However, you can’t travel internationally with a compliant card. 

What are the vision requirements for a driver’s license in Ohio? 

To pass the test, you must have at least 20/40 vision or more and 70 degrees of side vision in each eye. 

Can I renew my Ohio driver’s license online? 


Yes, you can renew it online. Know more about the renewal process via our blog 

Can I change my Ohio driver’s license address online? 

Yes. You can change it online by visiting the Ohio BMV website 

Can a doctor take away your driver’s license in Ohio? 

You’ll need a two-part driver’s license if a medical or eyesight condition may impair driving. It consists of a driving permit and a medical restriction card outlining the driver’s requirements, which you must carry along with your license. 

Getting auto insurance in Ohio 

Ideally, the Ohio auto insurance rates are lower than the national average rate. But would you like to find an even cheaper insurance policy? How could you get one? 

Way.com can help you with that! You can get quotes from all insurers in your area using our website or app. Then compare all the quotes and buy the one with the lowest rate. Save $971 on your Ohio car insurance today! 

Way.com is the ultimate shop for car owners. We help you find affordable parking spots, offer you affordable refinancing and auto insurance quotes, locate the closest car wash and EV charging station, and offer gas discounts. How about finding cheap home insurance? Way.com has it all! 


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