Ohio Permit Requirements

When applying for your Ohio driver permit with Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, it is helpful to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the requirements and that you have the required paperwork ready.

Applying for a learner permit in Ohio is the important first step towards becoming a licensed driver.  There is a procedure new drivers must follow to obtain a permit, and knowing the rules and requirements will make the process easier.  Applicants must be at least 15 ½ to apply for the driving permit in Ohio, known as the Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC).  The permit must be held for at least six months before obtaining an actual license.

Applicants will need to assemble specific documentation for your trip to the BMV office.  You must provide documentation for your full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, U.S. citizenship or U.S. legal presence and resident street address in Ohio.  Applicants can accomplish this with:

  • an original birth certificate or valid US passport
  • Social Security card
  • school ID or transcript or other genuine and reliable document showing a physical Ohio address

Additionally for applicants under 18, a parent or guardian must sign off on the permit application and show two forms of ID.  You will then take a vision screening which test your visual acuity, horizontal fields and color blindness.  The fee for the TIPIC is $22. 

The part of application process that you will need to prepare for the most is the written test.  The test is divided into two parts, to determine your knowledge of regulations and traffic signs.  Each section will contain 20 multiple choice questions, each with four answer choices.  You must score a 75% or better by correctly answering 15 or more questions on each section to pass.

The TIPIC allows you to drive only with a parent or instructor until you turn 16.  Then you may drive with any licensed driver aged 21 or older.  This will allow you to begin the required 50 hours of supervised practice driving, of which at least 10 hours must be at night.  Your time should be logged on the official affidavit. http://publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/bmv5791.pdf  You will also need to complete an approved driver education course, consisting of 24 hours of classroom time and 8 hours of behind the wheel instruction.  With the TIPIC you will be allowed to drive only between 6 AM and midnight.  The TIPIC is valid for only one year.

Upon turning 16 and you have held the permit for at least 6 months, you can take the driving test to earn a probationary driver license.  This will allow you to drive independently only from 6AM to midnight, and 5AM to 1AM for drivers 17-18.  You will also only be allowed to have one passenger who is not a family member in the car until you turn 18.  Also, 16 year olds who receive a moving violation during the first 6 months of driving will be required to drive only with their parents for 6 months.  The probationary license converts to a full driver license with no restrictions at age 18.