Ohio BMV Permit and Driver's License FAQ

  • Applying for Your OH License
  • Preparing for the OH Permit Test
  • Taking the OH Permit Test?
  • Preparing for the OH Driving Test
  • Taking the OH Driving Test
  • Renewing Your OH License
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Applying for Your OH License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

The Ohio Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program requires teens to complete a series of steps to earn their full, unrestricted license. This process is designed to help teens gain valuable experience and knowledge so that the are prepared to an expansion of their driving privileges. The age requirements and levels of Ohio’s GDL program are:

  • 15 ½ years old – Learner’s Permit (TIPIC – Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card)
  • 16 years old – Probationary Driver’s License
  • 18 years old – Full, Unrestricted Driver’s License

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in Ohio?

Plan to present all of the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of birth date
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of legal presence
  • $22 permit fee

Here is what Ohio considers acceptable documents to submit as proof of the above. In addition to you submitting proof, your parent or legal guardian will also need to submit two proofs of identity.

Where do I file my OH driver’s license application?

You should file your application at a local office of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

How can I contact my local office?

Call (844) 644-6268 or visit https://bmv.ohio.gov/about-contact.aspx to find office locations and contact information.

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

Yes, Ohio requires new teen drivers to complete a driver’s ed course that has 24 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

What if I am new to OH?

To transfer an out-of-state driver’s license to Ohio, visit a local BMV office with proper identification, your out-of-state license, proof of driver’s ed completion and cash for the license fee, which can range from $24.25 if you are 16 to $23 if you are 17 to $21.75 if you are 18.

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Preparing for the OH Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

The Ohio written test covers state driving regulations and road signs. All questions are derived from the state Driver’s Manual, which is officially called The Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws. Here are two examples of content from the manual that might be tested for on the written exam:

  • A left turn on red may be made only from the extreme left lane of a one-way street to the extreme left lane of another one-way street, providing there is no sign posted forbidding a left turn on red.
  • The importance of merge and pavement width transition signs is to warn traffic by the use of arrows to illustrate the changes in traffic patterns.

How is the test formatted?

The test is presented in multiple choice format.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

There are no trick questions on the test, only questions designed to ensure you have the knowledge to drive safely in the state of Ohio. All questions are drawn from the state Driver’s Manual so you should study the digest thoroughly.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

There are two sections consisting of 20 questions each. You must get at least 15 questions (75%) correct in each section to pass. The two sections are traffic laws and road signs.

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

Study every page of the Ohio Digest to ensure you have the knowledge to pass. To verify your knowledge level, take practice tests online. This can be a great way to identify weak areas so that you can devote more study time to getting stronger in those areas.

Where can I get a free Ohio Driver’s Manual to study?

Click on the following link to get a free copy of The Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

When studying the digest take special note of distances, lengths and measurements and try to memorize them. Also, be sure to study the driving under the influence section and memorize the meaning of road signs. To better familiarize yourself with what is on the test, take a practice test.

What should I do the night before the test?

Read over the digest one more time and study the road signs to be sure you have them all committed to memory. You can then take a practice test or tests to verify your knowledge. Finally, you should try to get a good night’s sleep so that you are well-rested and thinking your best come test time.

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Taking the OH Permit Test?: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

Contact your local BMV office to see if appointments are accepted and, if they are, it is recommended that you make one.

Where do I take the written test?

You will take the test at a local BMV office.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of birth date
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of legal presence
  • $22 permit fee

Here is what Ohio considers acceptable documents to submit as proof of the above.

Who should accompany me to the written test?

You should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

Yes, you will need to pay a $22 permit fee.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

You will be given two sets of 20 questions each. One set of questions will be on road signs and the other set will be on traffic laws. You need to answer at least 15 questions in each section correctly in order to pass. When taking the test you cannot refer to any notes or to the driver’s manual. To better familiarize yourself with the test, take a practice test.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Learner’s Permit and can begin supervised driving practice. You need to complete 50 hours of driving practice, with 10 of those hours coming at night.

What happens if I fail the written test?

You can retake the test.

How soon can I retake the written test?

You must wait at least 24 hours before retaking the test.

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Preparing for the OH Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written permit test, what are the next steps?

You can now begin supervised driving practice with a parent, guardian or licensed driving instructor. You must log 50 hours of driving practice in all, with 10 of those hours completed at night.

How long after getting my Learner’s Permit can I apply for a license?

You can apply for a probationary license when you are at least 16; when you’ve had your Learner’s Permit for at least six months; when you have completed driver’s ed; and when you have logged 50 hours of supervised driving practice.

Can I drive anywhere in Ohio with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you can drive on any Ohio public road or street. Remember, you must be accompanied by a licensed supervising driver.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

No, Ohio also requires you to log at least 10 hours of driving practice at night.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m driving with my Learner’s Permit?

You must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or licensed driving instructor.

What should I do if I have a lost Ohio Learner’s Permit?

To replace a lost or stolen permit, visit your local BMV office with proper identification. You will also need $24.50 for the permit replacement fee.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

Practice both common driving maneuvers as well as driving defensively in traffic. When you can do both of these things with skill you will be prepared to pass the test. This means you should practice stopping, backing, turning and parking. You should also regularly use defensive driving skills like checking mirrors, signaling and following at a safe distance.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

Yes, the driving test may include such maneuvers as stopping and starting; turning around; backing; making proper left and right turns; giving hand signals or using mechanical turn signals; driving in the proper lane; and maintaining a safe following distance.

How can I simulate the driving test?

If you cones or something similar and access to a vacant parking lot you can set up your own maneuverability course. See pages 9 and 10 in The Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws to see how to set up the course. You should also practice driving in traffic, where you should be focused on safe driving techniques and obeying road signs.

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Taking the OH Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

A driving test can be scheduled Online, by contacting a driver exam station or by calling (614) 752-7600.

Where do I take the driving test?

You will take the test a local driver exam station.

What should I bring to the driving test?

Bring the following to your driving test:

  • A well-maintained car with registration and proof of insurance
  • A driver’s education completion certificate
  • Your Learner’s Permit (TIPIC)

Once you’ve passed the test, bring the following to any deputy registrar license agency:

  • Learner’s Permit
  • Probationary Driver’s License fee (16 – $24.25; 17 – $23; 18 – $21.75)

Who should bring me to the driving test?

A licensed parent or legal guardian should bring you.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

The driving test has two parts – driving and maneuverability. During the driving part you will be asked to stop and start; turn around and back up; perform turns; use vehicle turn signals; drive in the correct lane; and maintain a safe following distance. During the maneuverability part you will be asked to move forward and backward in a marked course.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

Failure to maintain control of their vehicle in the maneuverability course; inability to back up in a straight line; nerves; distracted driving; and not listening to the examiner are all common reasons for failure.

What are five mistakes I should be sure to avoid when taking the driving test?

  • Not checking mirrors when turning or changing lanes
  • Knocking over markers in the maneuverability course
  • Failure to properly complete a three-point
  • Failing to obey a road sign
  • Following too closely

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You will be allowed to retake the test.

How soon can I retake the test if I failed?

You must wait seven days before retesting. After your fourth failure you will be asked to wait six months before retesting.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

You will receive your Probationary Driver’s License.

What restrictions come with an Ohio license?

  • If you are 17 or 18, you can drive unsupervised except between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • If you are under 17, you can drive unsupervised except between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.
  • If you are under 17, you can have no more than one passenger in your vehicle who is not a family member unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in OH?

Minimum coverage required by Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Law is:

  • Bodily injury – $12,500 per person and $25,000 per accident
  • Property damage – $7,500 per accident

Note: These amounts are the bare minimum allowed by law in most cases you would need significantly more coverage to pay for a serious crash.

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Renewing Your OH License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

An Ohio Class D (operator) Driver’s License can be renewed at anytime; however, you renew more than 90 days in advance of the expiration date, the license will only be valid for three years instead of four. If you are under 21, your license will be valid until you turn 21 and then must be renewed within 30 days.

To replace a lost or stolen license, visit your local BMV office with proper identification. You will also need $24.50 for the license replacement fee.

Where can I renew my Ohio driver’s license?

You must renew your Ohio license in person at a local BMV office. The renewal fee is $25.75.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

Yes, you are required to pass a vision test when renewing. when renewing in person you will need to take a vision test.

The minimum vision for most drivers to qualify for an unrestricted license is 20/40. The minimum requirement for an unrestricted license is 70 degrees of side vision in each eye.


The Ohio BMV Test– What You Need to Know

The excitement of getting your driver’s license is a wonderful feeling.  It’s a special, once-in-a-lifetime moment. But, before the state can issue you a permit you must first to pass the state permit test.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is responsible for administering the test as well as issuing permits and licenses.   More commonly known as the Ohio permit test, this test will determine if you have the knowledge to be a safe and courteous driver.  You will be tested on Ohio’s traffic laws, signs and signals, and safe driving practices.

Assess Your Knowledge Now With OH BMV Practice Tests

Unfortunately, failing the OH permit test seems to be a common occurrence. You might be surprised to know that statistics reveal over 70% fail the exam every year!

But don’t worry, we can help.

We went through great pains to create a powerful collection of permit test study resources. Here you’ll find our interactive Ohio practice permit tests and the official Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws.