ohio driver information
This handy guide is chock-full of motorist laws to help you drive safely. You'll also find relevant stats and licensing info in case you're a first-time driver or just moved in to the Buckeye State.
Ohio driving stats and info
Number of licensed drivers: 7,937,000
Registered vehicles: 11,022,000
Licensing and registration authority: Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)
Ohio driving records and the point system
At-fault accidents, traffic tickets, and driving infractions can add penalty points to your driving record. Depending on the severity of the incident, penalties range from 2 to 6 points. Speeding between 11 and 29 mph over the limit could net you 2 points, while a DUI conviction adds 6 points.
If you get 12 or more points in 2 years, your drivers license will likely be suspended. Points on your driving record can impact your car insurance premiums because your driving record is a rating factor.
You can check out the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws (PDF, slides 48-49) for a complete list of penalties and driving points per incident.
As in all states, it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher. Drivers convicted of a DUI can expect to lose their licenses for at least 90 days and at most 3 years.
Reporting car accidents in Ohio
If you're in an accident in Ohio, call 911 to report it.
If a police officer doesn't come to the scene, you can file a BMV 3303 Crash Report form (PDF) within 6 months of the accident if there was more than $400 in damage and the other driver didn't have car insurance.
Moving to Ohio
According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, new Ohio residents include anyone who:
- Enrolls their kids in an Ohio school
- Signs an apartment lease for an Ohio residence
- Starts a new job in Ohio, or
- Becomes an Ohio voter
New residents are required to get an Ohio drivers license as soon as possible.
In order to become an official Ohio driver, you'll need to:
- Take a written exam based on Ohio's rules of the road
- Pass a vision test
- Possibly take a driving test (this may be waived if you already have a valid license from your former state without any driving restrictions)
- Have some proof of identity (current drivers license, passport, etc.)
- Provide proof that you're now an Ohio resident
Ohio car theft
Data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau revealed the 10 most stolen cars in Ohio for 2011:
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1994 Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
- 1996 Honda Accord
- 19996 Oldsmobile Cutlass/Supreme/Ciera
- 1999 Ford Pickup (full size)
- 1994 Buick Century
- 1998 Ford Taurus
- 1998 Honda Civic
- 2005 Chevrolet Impala
- 1996 Chevrolet Pickup (small size)
The Cleveland metropolitan area reported the most thefts in the state with 6,603. It had the 57th-highest theft rate in the nation.
Young drivers in Ohio
- Required classroom instruction hours: 24
- Required training: 8 hours behind the wheel
- Minimum permit age: 15 years and 6 months old
- Minimum holding period: 6 months
- Minimum intermediate license age: 16 years old
- Parent/guardian practice hours: 50 hours, 10 night hours
- Nighttime restrictions: 1:00 a.m.–5 a.m.
- Passenger restrictions: if under the age of 17, only one person other than a family member allowed in the car, unless the young driver's parent, guardian, or legal custodian is present
- Minimum age restrictions lifted: 17 years old
Ohio car insurance
Find out about legal requirements and the Esurance perks available in Ohio.
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
The state of Ohio has a website for all your licensing and vehicle registration needs.
List of Ohio traffic laws and fines
The Governors Highway Safety Association compiled a quick list of driver laws and the fines associated with them.