How to Get an Ohio Driver’s License

Ohio Adult License Guide

Ohio has a graduated driver licensing (GPL) program starting at 15 ½ years old.

Teens begin their driving certification with a learner’s permit followed by a provisional license.

Teens can apply for their unrestricted license after showing driving responsibility, behind-the-wheel experience, and patience. This usually takes place 12-months after receiving a provisional license. Or, if the teen turns 18 years old and willing to take a driver’s ed course and pass similar DMV tests.

Here’s how you’ll get an adult license assuming you kept a clean record, completed the prior stages of the GPL program, and currently have a valid probational license.

Get an Ohio Unrestricted License

An Ohio license is available for those having “graduated” the GPL program at age 17 and older. The OH BMV requires everyone to pass a driver’s education course. Plus, behind-the-wheel experience before applying for an unrestricted license to ensure drivers understand the rules of the road.

What you’ll do:

  1. Schedule and visit a local OH BMV office
  2. Provide personal identification
  3. Provide proof of residency
  4. Provide a valid provisional license
    1. 18yo+ do not need a provisional license but must take a driver’s ed course
  5. Pass the written test
  6. Pass the vision screening
  7. Pass the road test
  8. Pay the application fee

A license issued to those under 21 will expire on their birthday. Those having turned 21 will need to process a license renewal. Your license is valid for 4-years at a time, from then afterward.

Application fees depend on your age:

  • 18: $21.75
  • 19: $20.50
  • 20: $19.25
  • 21+: $23

By now, you should have auto insurance covering the state’s minimum. If you do not, consider adding auto insurance coverage as soon as you can – or when registering your vehicle.

Proof of Identification includes:

  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 or 1099

Proof of residency includes:

  • Mortgage statement
  • Utility bill
  • Current deed
  • Medical/health card

The DMV driving test verifies your ability to:

  • Check for safety
  • Control the vehicle
  • Obey traffic signs
  • Signal properly
  • Observe and communicate


You’re now a new, proud owner of an unrestricted license! Drive carefully and you’ll enjoy years and years of enjoyable trips and experiences!