How to Get an Ohio Learners Permit

Read through our essential guide on getting your Ohio learner’s permit, called a temporary instruction permit identification card.
Written by Jessica Gibson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
, you’re eligible to apply for a learner’s permit—called a temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC)—once you’re 15 years and six months old. To get the permit, you’ll need to pass a written knowledge test and a vision screening.
If you’re itching to get your Ohio driver’s license, there are a few things you need to do first! Getting your temporary instruction permit is first on your to-do list. 
To help you make sense of the requirement and regulations, read through our helpful guide. We’ll walk you through the tests you need to pass, the forms you need to show, and the rules you’ll have to follow. Let’s go!

How to get an Ohio learner’s permit

First things first: you’ve got to meet the legal
Ohio driving age
of at least 15 years and six months old to apply for a temporary permit, or as Ohioans call it, your temps. If you’re already old enough, great! 
Your next step is to pass a 40-question multiple-choice knowledge test. The test covers driving regulations and traffic signs. You’ve got to get a 75% to pass. Pick up an Ohio Driver’s Manual or
download it from the state website
to study. Ask a friend to quiz you or take one of the sample practice tests available on
Ohio’s Department of Public Safety website
When you’re confident and ready to take the actual knowledge test, you’ve got a few options. You can take it online anytime (as long as you’re on a laptop or desktop computer) at the
state’s website
or take it in person at any Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) driver exam station. There are 49 locations throughout the state.
You have 60 days from passing the test to purchase your temporary permit. If you wait too long, you’ll have to retake the test!
Once you pass your knowledge test, get your vision screened. You can do this right after you take the test in person. If you took the knowledge test online, get your vision screening when you go to the BMV to pay for your temporary permit.
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What to bring to BMV

It helps to be prepared when you head to the driver exam station. Basically, you need to show documents that prove your identity and address. Here are the five things you need to verify and the
documents you can show
  1. Full legal name: birth certificate, passport, naturalization certificate, military ID
  2. Date of birth: birth certificate, passport, naturalization certificate, military ID
  3. Social Security number: social security card, Medicare card, W-2, 1099 form, pay stub, a school record that displays Social Security number
  4. Ohio residency
    : school record with address, pay stub, military discharge papers, tax documents, federal citizenship paperwork
  5. Citizenship or legal presence: birth certificate, passport, naturalization certificate, federal citizenship paperwork
There is a $23.50 fee for the temporary permit packet. If you’re under 18, you’ll also need a parent or legal guardian to accompany you and provide proof of ID.
The BMV will issue your temporary permit identification card, and you can begin learning to drive, with some restrictions, of course.

Ohio learner’s permit regulations

You’ve already put in some effort toward learning to drive—now it’s time to get serious about practicing. Ohio has a few restrictions when it comes to drivers with temporary permits. Specifically, you’ll have to follow these rules:
  • You must have your TIPIC with you whenever you drive.
  • If you’re not 16, you must have a parent, guardian, or licensed driving instructor in the passenger seat when you drive.
  • If you’re 16 or older, you can drive with any licensed driver over the age of 21 unless it’s between midnight and 6:00 a.m.
  • You can’t drive with anyone intoxicated in the passenger seat.
  • You and all passengers must wear seat belts.
Once you’ve had your TIPIC for at least six months, you can begin studying for the next step in the graduated driver's license program—the probationary driver’s license. To get this next license, you must enroll in a
state-approved Ohio driver’s ed course
and earn a certificate by completing:
  • 24 hours of class time 
  • A minimum of eight hours of driving with an instructor
You can take the class time online or in a physical setting—it’s totally up to you! However, you can’t take more than two hours of class in one sitting, so don’t plan on cramming. The same goes for behind-the-wheel instruction. You can only put in two hours of driving per session.
Then, you’ll need to show that you completed 50 additional hours of supervised driving, with at least ten hours of night driving.
Schedule your appointment
for a driving test and skills test at the BMV. After you pay the additional license fee (based on your age), you’ll get your probationary driver’s license, which has similar restrictions to the temporary permit. These restrictions end once you turn 18.
It might feel like all you’re doing is paperwork, but here’s one last task. Contact your
car insurance
provider to see if they offer discounts for young drivers. You might be able to get a
driver training discount
or a good student discount, both of which can help lower your monthly insurance costs.
MORE: How to get cheap car insurance for young drivers
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