How to get a Driver’s License in the State of Ohio

As a first-year college student, I get to experience most of the on-campus benefits since I live in a dorm. However, I have realized that having a car in the United States would be beneficial for me since I can have a means of transportation to go literally any where and one of the biggest benefit is that you can drive yourself to a co-op or internship. With that being said, there are some steps you need to prepare and achieve before you can have your own car here, and that would be getting a driver license. Please note that temporary residents driver licenses are non-renewable/non-transferable and not to exceed four years or the date indicated on your document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS)

There are 2 main tests you need to pass in order to be considered a legal driver:

DMV Genie App
  • First is the knowledge test (permit test). You will need to study for this test, for me, I have the Ohio Driver Manual, which consists of almost all the road signs and driving laws in Ohio. I got it from UC International Office in Edwards 1 and it took me about 2 weeks to know most of it. I spent like 15 minutes a day and I use an app called: “DMV Genie.” It is for free and you can find it on Appstore or Google Play. Use the free version they offer and keep practicing everyday until you feel comfortable taking the test. Also quick note, the app has the Ohio Driver Manual in there so you can use that if you can’t find a physical one. Once you are ready, you can go to a Driver’s License Exam Station to take the test, there are many of them in Cincinnati, however, there are only 2 that offer you the opportunity to take the knowledge test and here is their addresses:

+ 11177 Reading Rd., Suite 201-202 Cincinnati (Sharonville),+Sharonville,+OH+45241/@39.2730011,-84.4143241,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x8840518bd79da7db:0x3618387e2d451738!8m2!3d39.2730011!4d-84.4121354

+ Seven Hills Plaza 10940 Hamilton Ave. , Cincinnati (Seven Hills),-84.5635933,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x88404bd541b0bc9f:0xc1813062cc99abc3!8m2!3d39.276484!4d-84.5614046

  • You must answer 75% of the test correctly and here are the documents you need to bring with you:
  1. A valid, unexpired passport
  2. A U.S. Visa
  3. Proof of Ohio Address ( your most recent Bank Statement works!)
  4. I-94
  5. I-20
  6. Some money to pay the registration fee

  • After you pass the knowledge test, if you are under 18, you will be required to take a driving class with a driving instructor. If you are not, then you can just practice driving with a person of 21 years or older. You will have 1 year to practice driving before taking the test. Please note that it is recommended that you have at least 50 hours of driving experience and 10 hours must be night driving.
  • The second test is the driving test, it consists of 2 parts:

+ Maneuverability test : It imitate a parking situation and you need to get the car to park without knocking anything over.

+ Road skill test: Once you pass the maneuverability test, you can then proceed to take the road skills test. You will be driving in a normal traffic with a staff who grades your driving performance.

  • That is generally what you will need to do in order to get your driver license in Ohio. For more information regarding documents and fees, please visit

Good luck on your driving test and I hope you find this helpful!

2 thoughts on “How to get a Driver’s License in the State of Ohio

  1. Thanks for explaining that those under 18 have to take a driving class with an instructor before getting their license. My daughter recently graduated from high school and wants to get her license so she can get a job and become more independent. I’m glad I read your article so we can start the process of looking for a driving school for her soon!


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