Explainer: What does it take to get an Ohio driver’s license?

We recently reported that Ohio is offering $4 million in funding for driver’s education programs, which would allow some high schools to use funds to bring back driver’s education programs.

That got us thinking about current rules for earning a license in Ohio. It involves several steps and several documents you will need to line up ahead of time for going through the process.

Here is a a breakdown of the steps needed to get you behind the wheel.

A temporary ‘learner’s’ permit

What is sometimes called a “learner’s permit” is actually known as a “temporary instruction permit identification card” (TIPIC).

To get a TIPIC, you need to be at least 15 and a half years old.

In order to receive a learner’s permit you must pass a 40-question, multiple choice exam either online or in person at your local Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office.

The test is about motor vehicle regulations and traffic signs. To pass, a person must answer 75 percent of the questions correctly.

To study, you can download the manual found here. A sample test can be found here.

If you go in person, you will need to bring acceptable documents. You then have 60 days to go to a deputy registrar license agency to obtain your permit. When you go, you will again need to bring documents.

You will also be required to pass an eye test. This test can be performed at the BMV or at the deputy registrar office.

Driver education class

Driver education is required before you can obtain a driver license. The class must be taken at a licensed driver training school, which includes 24 hours of classroom or online instruction and 8 hours of driving time.

You can find an approved driver training school here.

Once you compete the class you will receive a Driver Education Certificate which must be provided at time of Driving and Skills testing.

In addition to the driver education requirements, you must complete 50 hours of driving, with at least 10 hours of night driving.

Driving and skills test

After having a TIPIC for six months, you can take the next step of obtaining a driver’s license (or probationary driver’s license if you are under 18).

The road test has two parts: driving and maneuverability. These will show if you know the general rules of the road, stay in the proper land, know how to use turn signals and park in marked spaces going forward and backward.

Once you pass the driving and skills tests, you need to get to a deputy registrar license agency within 60 days to purchase the driver’s license.

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