Ohio Youth Driving Laws

By Tracy Hodge
teen friends smiling image by maxie from Fotolia.com

Ohio has youth driving laws designed to protect motorists and teen drivers. Legislation revising certain restrictions on the operation of vehicles by license holders under 18 years of age, was signed into Ohio law on January 4, 2007, and went into effect on April 6, 2007.


Ohio has a curfew for teen drivers. Probationary drivers 16 years of age are prohibited from driving between midnight and 6:00 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent with a valid driver's license. Probationary drivers who are 16, cannot drive with more than one person in the vehicle, who is not a member of their own family. According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, the risk of accidents rises among teens who have multiple passengers in the vehicle. Drivers holding a probationary license and are 17 years old, are prohibited from driving between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent. Exceptions are made for emergencies, work, and travel to and from school activities. All permit holders under the age of 18, are prohibited from driving between midnight and 6:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed parent.

Graduated Licensing Law

Ohio has a graduated licensing law, which delays issuance of an operator's license to teens. This law is designed to provide teenage drivers with proper driving skills while restricting driving at night. The graduated licensing process begins with teens obtaining a learner's permit, which requires the teen to pass tests in knowledge and vision. Teens with a learner's permit drive with an adult 21 years of age or older and the minimum age for holding a learner's permit is 16. Teen drivers hold this license for at least six months and there is zero tolerance for alcohol use while driving. The blood alcohol content (BAC) level for driver's with a learner's permit is zero. The next stage in the graduated licensing law process is a probationary license. Once teen drivers complete the learner's permit requirements, they are required to pass a road test and have a licensed adult to ride with them during late night hours. Full driving privileges in Ohio are offered at age 18, with the completion of the learner's and probationary licensing periods.


Proper documentation is required for all teens wishing to obtain a driver's license. According to the Ohio Department Of Public Safety, Bureau Of Motor Vehicles the documents must be submitted at the time of application and include a birth certificate, state issued learner's permit,social security card, passport or United States Citizenship And Immigration Service documents. Secondary documents include health insurance cards, certified copy of school transcripts,student I.D. card or medical records.