Obtaining a license has changed for teen drivers in Ohio. Ohio employs a three-step process to obtaining a license.
The first step begins when you turn 15 1/2. At this time you may apply for a temporary permit and take the drivers license knowledge exam and the eye test. If you pass you will receive a confirmation number to present to your local BMV. You are required to bring a copy of your birth certificate and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
When you are driving with a temporary permit, you must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or licensed driving instructor seated in the front passenger seat until you turn 16 years old. At 16, you can drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older seated in the front passenger seat. You must carry your temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC) with you while driving.
These additional rules apply to temporary (TIPIC) drivers:
- You may not drive with more passengers than the total number or originally installed seat belts and all passengers must be wearing seat belts.
- You may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian or legal custodian.
- You must receive a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in driver training.
- You must complete 50 hours of driving with a parent or legal guardian, including at least 10 hours of nighttime driving. Your parents or guardians must verify the hours in writing.
After turning 16 and having had your temporary permit for 6 months, you will be eligible to go to your local BMV to take the driving test and a second vision test. At this time you will present proof that you completed 50 hours of driving time. Upon completing these steps you will be issued your probationary license. Make sure a parent comes with you to sign the application form or get your parent’s notarized signature on the form ahead of time.
Now that you have a probationary license, you are allowed to drive without a parent. But certain restrictions still apply. If you have held a probationary license for less than 12 months, you may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. You can drive to and from work but you must have in your possession written documentation from your job. You can also drive to or from a school activity, or in an emergency. You may also not drive with more than one passenger who is not a family member unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian.
After you have driven for one year under the probationary license, Ohio extends your curfew (but not by much). You may not drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian with the same exceptions as above. You may not have more passengers than the total number of originally installed seat belts and all passengers must be wearing seat belts. The probationary license is valid until age 18.
At age 18, teen drivers are eligible for a full license if they have successfully completed the probationary license requirements. License applicants age 18 or older who fail the required road or maneuverability test must take an abbreviated driver training course prior to attempting the test a second or subsequent time.
But what if you break the rules?
If you are under 17 and have a probationary license, and if you are convicted of having committed a moving violation during the first 6 months of license issuance, you must then only drive when accompanied by a parent or guardian for the next 6 months or until you turn 17, whichever comes first. Your temporary permit or probationary license can be suspended for periods of up to one year if you are convicted of multiple moving violations or any alcohol-related offense. If your temporary permit or probationary license is suspended, you must meet a number of requirements before your permit or license can be returned, including completion of a juvenile driver improvement program and retaking the driver’s examination. Ohio’s “zero tolerance” law makes it illegal for teen drivers (under age 21) to drive with a blood alcohol content of .02 or greater.
Teen drivers facing an Ohio OVI offense, please give us a call!