Last updated April 19, 2020 by Chris Teague
New drivers in Ohio can take driver education courses at an in-person location, or through an online training program. The state's requirements include 24 hours of classroom training and at least eight hours of hands-on driving time with a trainer. Ohio provides a list of approved driver training programs on its website. The driver must also have completed 50 hours of driving, with at least ten of those hours taking place at night.
Getting a Learner's Permit in Ohio
When a teen reaches 15 years and six months old, they may go to any driver exam station and take the knowledge and vision screening to receive a temporary permit. Before taking the knowledge test, the teen must provide their full legal name, date of birth, and a social security number if they have one. The state's permit, known as the temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC), will take the place of any other state-issued identification.
Before the TIPIC can be issued, the driver must have completed an education course, either at an approved facility or online. The training must have included 24 hours of classroom (or online) instruction and eight hours of driving time. Additionally, the driver must have completed at least 50 hours of real-world driving time, with ten of those hours having been driven at night. If the driver fails the knowledge test, it can be retaken after a 24-hour "cooling off" period.
Getting a Driver's License in Ohio
Once the teen reaches 16 years old and has held their TIPIC for at least six months, they are eligible for a driver's license. Ohio issues a restricted license to new drivers that gradually loosens its limitations as the teen approaches 18 years old.
During the first twelve months of holding a license, the teen:
- Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
- May drive to and from work with documentation from the employer
- May drive to and from school and school-sponsored events or religious functions with documentation from the event organizer
- May not drive with more than one non-family member as a passenger unless a parent or guardian is present
- Must not get a traffic offense within the first six months of having a license. If a traffic offense occurs, the teen may have independent driving privileges downgraded to supervised driving for up to six months
Once the driver reaches 18, most restrictions are lifted, with the exception of a curfew between 1am and 5am. The driver must have a parent or guardian with them to drive at those times.
Our Top 5 Online Driver's Ed Schools in Ohio
- All Star Driver Education: All Star has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is the only educator that is actually located in Ohio. It has a five-star rating on Yelp and it offers a variety of online training courses for teens and others. Online courses start at $59.99 for a comprehensive program that can be completed at any time. It's worth noting that Ohio puts a 180-day time limit on completion of the program once it has begun.
- DriversEd.com: DriversEd.com has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and offers courses for several states, including Ohio. Their program includes the ability to take classes from nearly any device and free unlimited practice permit tests. There are videos and activities to help illustrate important points. The program starts at $79 for 24/7 online access.
- Costech Technologies: Despite the odd name, Costech offers several online drivers ed programs for Ohio teens. One of the most expensive options on our list, the course starts at $99 and comes with 24/7 access from nearly any mobile device. Costech's programs also offer the ability to logout and save progress, so the courses can be completed at any pace. One unique feature of the company's online courses for teens is that access to a live trainer is included in the price.
- First Time Driver: First Time Driver has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and offers a self-paced online course with the ability to save and pick back up at any point. Access is available 24/7 from any device, and the company says that you can start behind-the-wheel training after just two hours of online courses. It matches Costech's $99 price tag but does not have the same access to a live trainer.
- I Gotta Drive: I Gotta Drive has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and offers a trio of online courses with prices that range from $99 to $125. The most basic course includes the company's online training program, while the other two add on extras like unlimited practice tests and permit prep courses. Drivers can pay $10 for practice tests and $20 for permit practice courses as an add-on to the more basic courses.
Finding Affordable Options Under $50
At the time of this writing, the following companies offer coupons and bundles for state-approved online options at considerable discounts. With many brick and mortar schools closed or experiencing limited hours, these could be a good option for many who are looking to fulfill their 24 hours of instruction and save some money in the process.
Ohio Driver's Ed FAQ
Q: What is involved in the learner's permit knowledge test?
A: In Ohio, the knowledge assessment must be passed before the TIPIC is issued. The test is 40 multiple-choice questions that cover regulations and traffic signs. Applicants have to score 75 percent or higher to pass.
Q: What if I fail the test?
A: In Ohio, if you fail the knowledge test, you can take it again after 24 hours have passed. There's also no limit on the number of times you can take the assessment.
Q: Can I access the course on a mobile device?
A: Yes, several companies offer a mobile optimized course and Ohio views it no differently than if you took it on a desktop.
Q: How long does it take to complete the course?
A: In Ohio, all driver's ed courses have to feature 24 hours of instruction. You'd be pretty tired if you tried to take all 24 in a row, so you can take the course at your own pace.
Q:Do I have to take a course in a car?
A: Yes, in Ohio, in addition to taking the 24 hours of classroom instruction, all new drivers under the age of 18 have to spend eight hours behind the wheel with an instructor. Once you've completed your first two hours of classroom training, you'll receive a Certificate of Enrollment. That will allow you to begin your in-car instruction at any licensed Ohio driving school.