Ohio Graduated Drivers License Requirements
Today, most of the states have graduated license programs that were designed to keep young drivers safe during their first years of driving. Ohio is no exception to this rule and the Ohio graduated drivers license program features the same key elements as GDL programs of other states, such as mandatory drivers education programs, supervised driving hours and prolonged drivers permit holding periods. The Ohio graduated license program applies only to drivers under age of 18, so if you are already 18 years old, you may follow a simplified application procedure when trying to obtain your Ohio drivers license. Keep in mind that even though most of the GDL rules don't apply to you, you will still have to take the Ohio permit test!
The reason why teenagers are “disadvantaged” so is the fact that according to the statistics, teenage drivers have the highest crash rates among all other age groups. There is no single factor that is to blame for this, it's a combination of insufficient driving experience, inability to predict the consequences of one's actions and proneness to risk taking behavior. The graduated drivers license system that is currently in place in Ohio addresses all these issues with compulsory drivers education classes, supervised driving and a number of permit and license restrictions that were designed to keep teenage drivers out of trouble.
Ohio Graduated License Stages
Before we get into the details, we would like to remind you that the Ohio graduated drivers license requirements described here are applicable only to those who choose to apply for the Ohio drivers license before they turn 18 years old. You can read a detailed account for the licensing procedure in the official Ohio drivers manual.
Also going through the Ohio graduated driver's license system is a continuous process, you can roughly divide the program into three main stages:
- Temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC)
- Junior drivers license
- Full drivers license
In order to move from one level of the graduated license system to another, the student has to fulfill a number of requirements. As you go through the levels, you are given more driving privileges with each next step. Failure to meet the requirements of a certain level may see you downgraded to the previous stage of the program.
Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card
You must be at least 15 years and 6 months old in order to be eligible for the Ohio temporary instructions permit, however you can start preparing for this well in advance. One of the requirements set before you by the BMV is that you have to prove that you know the state driving laws and you do so by taking the Ohio permit test at one of the license testing stations. You can learn everything you need to know for the temps test by reading the temps handbook and following up with some practice permit test Ohio sample questions. There is more than one practice temps test available on the site, choose from this Ohio BMV practice test or the Ohio driving practice test once you are done with permit practice test questions. Do as many sample questions as possible, it will really help you once you go down to the testing station!
Once you pass the test and receive your permit, you can start practicing your driving, but you must make sure to observe all Ohio learners permit restrictions while you do that. The main condition of you driving with a permit is that you must have a supervising driver seated next to you at all times. For those who are under 16 years old the supervising driver must be a parent or a legal guardian while everyone else can drive with any licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. The Ohio graduated license law mandates that you are not to have more than one passenger who is not an immediate family member at this stage. All passengers that you carry must wear seatbelts.
During this phase of the graduated license program you must complete an Ohio drivers education class. The class includes both classroom and driving hours and once you are done with those, you will get an official certificate of completion that will come in handy when you decide to take your Ohio drivers test.
The temporary instruction permit must be held for at least 6 months and within this period you must complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving with your parents (in addition to the compulsory drivers education class).
Junior Drivers License
You can apply for your Ohio junior drivers license once you successfully fulfill the requirements of the previous step of the Ohio graduated drivers license program and have passed a driving skills test. The junior license allows you to drive unsupervised most of the time, but it still has a number of restrictions that you will need to abide to. If you are 16 years old, you cannot drive unsupervised between midnight and 6 a.m. If you want to drive during this time, you must have a parent or legal guardian seated next to you. For drivers who are 17 years old the curfew is between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
16 year olds who are convicted of a moving violation within 6 months of receiving a license will have to drive under parental supervision until they turn 17.
Full Drivers License
A full Ohio drivers license can be issued only to those who are at least 18 years old. When you reach this age, your junior license will be automatically upgraded to a full license and all restrictions of the Ohio graduated driver's license program will be removed.