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  • Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Ohio

    Applying for a New Teen Driver’s License in Ohio

    If you’re a teenager applying for your first driver’s license, you’ll need to complete each step of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) graduated driver licensing (GDL) program.

    Completing each step of the Ohio GDL program will help you build the skills necessary to pass your DMV road test and become a safe driver.

    On this page you’ll find information about the Ohio BMV GDL program requirements and the steps you’ll need to complete to obtain your first unrestricted driver’s license.

    New to Ohio?

    If you are younger than 18 years old, have recently moved to Ohio, and wish to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, visit your local Ohio BMV office (If you are required to take a road test you will need to go to a Driver Exam Station) and:

    • Have your parent or legal guardian with you.
    • Present your out-of-state Driver’s Ed completion certificate.
    • Pass a vision exam and DMV written test.
    • Provide proof of your name, date of birth, Social Security number, legal presence, and Ohio residency with documents such as your:
    • Pay your driver’s license fee by cash, check or money order.

    Your first Ohio driver’s license will cost:

    • $24.25, if you are 16 years old.
    • $23, if you are 17 years old.
    • $21.75, if you are 18 years old.

    NOTE: The DMV driving test is usually not required when you transfer a valid out-of-state driver’s license. If you need to take a road test, schedule an appointment with your local Driver Exam Station.

    Ohio GDL Program & Restrictions

    The Ohio GDL program is made up of the following phases:

    • Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC), or learner’s permit, which allows you to drive:
      • When supervised by a licensed parent, guardian, or certified driving instructor.
      • With any licensed driver who is at least 21 years old, if you are at least 16 years old.
        • NOTE: If driving between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., you must be accompanied by your licensed parent or guardian.
    • Probationary license, which allows:
      • Unsupervised driving except between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., if you are between 17 and 18 years old. Driving during these hours requires you to be accompanied by your licensed parent or guardian.
      • Unsupervised driving except between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., if you are younger than 17 years old. Driving during these hours requires you to be accompanied by your licensed parent or guardian.
      • No more than 1 passenger in your vehicle who is not a member of your family, if you are younger than 17 years old unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
    • Full, unrestricted driver’s license.

    Age Requirements

    The minimum age requirements to begin each step of the Ohio BMV GDL program are as follows:

    • Temporary Instruction Permit (Learner’s permit): 15 1/2 years old.
    • Probationary license: 16 years old.
    • Full driver’s license: 18 years old.

    Ohio Learner’s Permit

    When you turn 15 1/2 years old, you’ll be eligible for your Ohio learner’s permit. Visit your local Ohio BMV Driver Exam Station with your parent or legal guardian and:

    • Present proof of your identity, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship/legal presence, and residency with documents such as your:
      • Birth certificate.
      • U.S. passport.
      • Military ID.
      • Student ID.
      • School records.
      • Bank statements.
    • Have your parent/legal guardian provide 2 documents to verify their identity.
    • Pass a vision exam and the DMV written test.
    • Pay the $22 temporary permit fee with cash, check, or money order.

    With your learner’s permit, you’ll be able to begin your supervised driving practice and complete your driver’s education program. For more information about your driver’s education requirements, please visit our page on Driver’s Ed in Ohio.

    Driving Restrictions & Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

    While on your learner’s permit, you may only drive when supervised by a licensed parent, guardian, or certified driving instructor.

    NOTE: If you are at least 16 years old, you may drive with any licensed driver as long as they are at least 21 years old. However, if you are driving between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. you must be accompanied by your licensed parent or guardian.

    Before moving on to your probationary Ohio driver’s license, you’ll need to complete 50 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours at night.

    Probationary License

    You’ll be able to move on to the next step of the Ohio BMV GDL program by obtaining your probationary license if you:

    • Are at least 16 years old.
    • Have had your temporary instruction permit for at least 6 months.
    • Have the certificate proving you completed an OH driver’s education course.
    • Have completed at least 50 hours of supervised driving with 10 hours completed at night and submit a Fifty Hour Affidavit (Form BMV 5791).

    Once you meet the requirements above, contact the Ohio BMV to schedule your driving test, or schedule one online.

    For the driving test, you must:

    • Provide your own car.
    • Bring your Driver’s Ed certificate of completion.
    • Pass both the driving and maneuverability portions of the test.

    After you pass the BMV road test, submit the following to your local Ohio deputy registrar office:

    • Your OH learner’s permit.
    • Payment for your first-time probationary driver’s license fee (cash, check, or money order):
      • 16 years old: $24.25.
      • 17 years old: $23.
      • 18 years old: $21.75

      Driving Restrictions

      While holding a probationary Ohio driver’s license, you can drive:

      • Unsupervised except between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., if you are between 17 and 18 years old. If you drive drive during these hours you are required to be accompanied by your licensed parent or guardian.
      • Unsupervised except between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., if you are younger than 17 years old. If you drive drive during these hours you are required to be accompanied by your licensed parent or guardian.
      • No more than 1 passenger in your vehicle who is not a member of your family, if you are younger than 17 years old unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

      Full Unrestricted Ohio Driver License

      You must follow the Ohio BMV probationary license driving restrictions until you are at least 18 years old. See “Ohio GDL Program & Restrictions” above for details.

      When you turn 18 years old, these driving restrictions will be lifted and your probationary driver’s license will convert to a full, unrestricted OH driver’s license.

      Track and share your progress when you follow our new license checklist for Ohio.

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