How to Get a New Ohio Driver's License

Columbus, OH at dusk
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Visiting the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles can be nearly equal to visiting the dentist on the stress meter, but it doesn't have to be a chore if you how to rules and if you come to the bureau with the right documents. Follow the steps below to get your new Ohio driver's license.

  • Visit a Bureau of Motor Vehicles deputy registrar. For a list of those near you, visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
  • Request a temporary permit packet (fee is currently $15, but subject to change) Don't lose the packet or you will have to purchase a new one.
  • Take two forms of identification (passport, state ID, birth certificate, social security card) plus a photo ID (if your other documents do not include a photo). New rules state that you need one ID with your Social Security number on it.
  • If you are between 15 1/2 and 17 years of age, you must take a parent or guardian with you; they will also need two forms of ID and a photo ID.
  • Study the temporary packet materials. These include information on Ohio driving laws.
  • Contact an Ohio Driver's License Exam Station for an appointment to take the written Ohio driver's test. Walk-ins are accepted but discouraged. For a location near you, see the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
  • It is recommended that new drivers practice at least 10 hours prior to taking the test. Temporary license holders can only drive if there is a person age 21 or older with a valid Ohio driver's license in the front passenger seat. 50 hours of driving experience is required for drivers under 18.
  • Make an appointment to take the road test. You must be at least 16 years of age to take the road test. Applicants under 18 need to present a driver's education certificate and must have had their temporary permit for at least six months prior to the test.
  • Successful applicants are given a form to take to the deputy registrar and are issued a license for $22 (fee subject to change).


  • You cannot drive (even with a licensed driver) until you pass the written exam.
  • Ohio law requires that all drivers have auto insurance.
  • If you have a valid out-of-state license and move to Ohio, Ohio will usually waive the road test, but you must take the written test, as Ohio laws vary from other states.
  • More information is available at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 800 462-2269.
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