Driver Training: A Guide to Ohio’s Graduated Driver Licensing Law

Follow these steps to obtain an Ohio Driver License:
  • Drivers must be at least 15 1/2 to be eligible for a temporary permit.
  • Obtain a copy of the Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws from a BMV Deputy Registrar (DR) agency, an Ohio State Highway Patrol Driver Examination (DX) Station, or by download at: to study for the knowledge test.
  • Visit a DX Station to take the knowledge test. A temporary photo will be taken at that time. Customers will be required to show two acceptable documents before taking the test.
  • Results of the knowledge test will be stored electronically and will be verified at a BMV DR agency before a temporarry permit is issued. Customers can purchase the temporary permit from the DR only after successfully passing the knowledge test and providing two acceptable documents. Another photo for the permit will be taken at this time. The permit is an all-inclusive plastic document.
  • When driving with a temporary permit, you must drive with your licensed parent, guardian or certified driving instructor seated beside you. When you turn 16, you may drive only with a licensed driver 21 or older.
  • Permit holders under the age of 18 will be prohibited from driving between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian who holds a valid license. This is a change to the previous restriction of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

  • Obtain either a commercial or high school driver education requirement consisting of 24 hours classroom instruction and 8 hours of driving if you apply for your license before you turn 18.
  • Obtain 50 hours of actual driving experience, certified by your parent, with at least 10 of those hours at night before obtaining license under age 18. These hours are in addition to the driver education requirements.
  • A temporary permit must be held for at least six months before obtaining a license under the age of 18.
  • At the minimum age of 16, make an appointment at a DX Station and pass the driving and maneuverability tests.
  • Return to the DR and purchase your driver license.

  • Note: Safety belts must be available to all passengers, and everyone must be buckled up for all holders of temporary permits and licensed drivers under 18.
  • Driver license holders 16 years of age will not be permitted to operate a motor vehicle with more than one person who is not a family member in the vehicle, unless accompanied by the license holder's parent, guardian, or legal custodian.  Studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have shown that one passenger doubles the risk of a crash among teen drivers, two passengers triple the risk, and three or more passengers increase the risk by more than six.
  • Driver license holders 17 years of age will be restricted from driving between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless the holder
    is accompanied by a parent or guardian, with the following exceptions: an emergency situation, driving to or from a school activity, or driving to or from work. The driver must have written documentation from the employer for travel to or from work.
  • Driver license holders who are 16 years of age are prohibited from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian with the same exceptions as above. This is a change to the previous restriction of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

For additional information, call 1-800-462-2269.

This program was designed to provide new drivers under age 18 with additional experience and skills when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle — skills that may one day help save lives.