Ohio Driving Laws for Children Under 18

By Luanne Kelchner
VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Photodisc/Getty Images

Teenage drivers in Ohio must follow the states graduated driver law to obtain a license to operate a motor vehicle. The laws require an increased amount of adult supervision before issuing a state license. The state restricts the hours a driver under age 18 can drive as well as the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle. The graduated driver law seeks to decrease the risk to all drivers on Ohio’s roads by increasing adult supervision for teen drivers.

Temporary Permit

Teenagers must be a minimum of 15 and 1/2 to qualify for a temporary permit and pass a written examination in the state of Ohio. Teen drivers under age 16 with a temporary permit may only operate a motor vehicle with a parent, legal guardian or certified driving instructor who is licensed to drive and is a minimum of 21 years old. Teens at least 16 years old may operate a motor vehicle with any licensed driver in the car that is at least 21 years old. Teens must carry the temporary permit with them at all times when operating a motor vehicle on the roads in Ohio.

Probationary License

Teenagers who have held a temporary permit for at least six months and are a minimum of 16 years old qualify for a probationary license. Teen drivers must have 24 hours of classroom training, 50 hours of driving practice of which 10 must be at night and 8 hours of instruction in a vehicle with a driving instructor. Parents or guardians must certify and document the teen’s driving practice time. The driver’s license applicant must pass a driving and maneuverability test before the state will issue a probationary license.

Passenger Restrictions

Teenagers under age 17 with a probationary license may only carry one passenger in the vehicle who is not a family member unless there is an adult licensed driver in the car.

Driving Hours

The probationary license restricts the hours a teen is allowed to operate a vehicle. Teen drivers age 16 may not operate a vehicle between midnight and 6 a.m. and drivers age 17 to 18 cannot operate the vehicle between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The exceptions to the hour restrictions are for school, work or in an emergency and a parent or legal guardian licensed to drive must accompany the teenage driver.