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  • Renewing Your License in Ohio

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    Determine the Status of Your License

    Be sure you know when your license expires because you are legally bound to hold a current driver's license whenever you get behind the wheel.

    Of course, you'll also need to have proof of financial responsibility. Carrying auto liability insurance is the simplest way to do this. You can find the most affordable rates available through our Insurance Center.

    Valid License

    You may renew your class D (operator) or Class M series (motorcycle-related) license at any time before its expiration date. However, if you do so more than 90 days in advance, your license will be valid for 3 years instead of the usual 4 years.

    If you're younger than 21 years old, your license is good until your 21st birthday, no matter when you initially received it. Those in this age group may renew their license within 30 days of turning 21 years old.

    Commercial drivers need to refer to our Renewing Your CDL page for instructions on how to deal with those requirements.

    No matter your circumstance, you must renew your license in person at any deputy registrar license agency, unless you're a member of the military or a civilian temporarily living outside the state.

    If you need to check your license status, you may always obtain a copy of your driving record.

    Expired License

    While it's illegal to drive on an expired license, you have up to 6 months after it expires to renew it without being forced to restart the driver licensing process. You can always buy a copy of your driving record to check your driver license status if you're not sure.

    If your license remains expired longer than 6 months, you will be required to reapply for a new license. This means applying for an instruction permit and passing a road test.

    Suspended License

    Suspended licensing issues can be complicated. But, you can always check on your current license status by ordering a copy of your driving record. Also, your insurance premiums will likely increase, so it's a good idea to visit our Insurance Center and find the most affordable rates for you.

    Our Suspended License page provides detailed information on how to reinstate your license, as well as the costs involved.

    Lost License

    Those who need a duplicate license should follow the instructions given on our Replacing a Lost License page.

    Check Your Renewal Notice

    Several weeks before your license expires, you may receive a renewal reminder mailing from the BMV. You don't need to take this card with you when renewing your license at the license agency.

    Renew Online

    The state doesn't offer online renewals; you'll need to renew in person.

    Renew in Person

    Before heading to the license agency, be sure to have with you:

    • Documents proving your:
      • Birth date.
      • Legal name.
      • Social Security number.
      • Proof of citizenship or legal presence in the U.S.
      • Ohio residency.
    • Payment for the $25.75 renewal fee. The BMV accepts: cash, checks, money orders, county agency vouchers, and intra-state agency vouchers.

    You'll also need to pass a vision test before your renewal is granted.

    Renew by Mail

    Military Personnel

    If you're stationed in the military outside Ohio, you may renew by mail by contacting the BMV at (614) 752-7600 and asking the agency to send you a renewal packet. After completing the packet and returning it, a new license will be sent to you.

    You may also wait to renew until you return as long as you are still on active duty, or have been inactive for less than 6 months.

    These rules also apply for spouses and dependents of military personnel. See the BMV military renewal page for complete details.

    Out-of-State Residents

    If you're temporarily living outside the state, the BMV does offer mail renewals as a courtesy. You'll be sent a mail renewal packet, which you must complete and return. Call (614) 752-7600 for more detailed instructions.

    Update Your Driving Skills

    Enrolling in and completing a traffic school class is an excellent way to sharpen your driving skills, and may even lower your insurance rates in the process. See your insurance provider to find out if those discounts are offered. If not, you might find one that does through our Insurance Center.

    True or False

    Doctors don’t work with the same urgency to save your life if they know you’re an organ donor.

    True False

    False

    Every doctor's first priority is to save your life regardless of your organ donation status.

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