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ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Driver License - Frequently Asked Questions

ODPS | BMV | FAQs

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Is it legal to drive in the State of Ohio with a valid learner's permit issued from another state?

Yes, you may operate a vehicle in the state of Ohio with a valid learner's permit, as long as there is a valid licensed driver, the age of 21 or over, in the front passenger seat.

Why can't we accept documents for date of birth, Social Security number, and Ohio residency other than those listed on the acceptable document list?

We are restricted to the documents listed in the Ohio Administrative Code 4501.1-1-21, of the Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws.

Can the public keep their "old" license pictures?

No, the complete driver license or identification card must be returned to the Driver License Division.

Does the deputy have to conduct the vision screening with and without glasses?

Yes, this is to obtain visual levels without glasses.

Are exam stations authorized to take licenses of person(s) failing the vision test?

Yes, if the person has failed the vision screening at the agency and at the exam station.

Is it necessary for a co-signer to be present when an identification card is issued to a minor?

Yes.

What determines the expiration date on an identification card?

The same as for a driver license, birth date in fourth year after application or based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documents.

Why is the applicant for a driver license or identification card required to provide a Social Security number but it does not appear on the driver license or identification card?

The Social Security number is only required to determine if a driver license has been issued, but is not required to be on the identification card. Effective February 7, 2006, federal law prohibits the display of a person's social security number on the person's driver license or identification card, commercial driver license or temporary instruction permit.

Effective November 19, 2007, individuals who are renewing a current Ohio driver license, Ohio commercial driver license (CDL), or Ohio identification (ID) card will no longer be required to present a Social Security card at an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) license agency for verification at the time of renewal.

An Ohio driver license, Ohio CDL, or Ohio ID card, which is current, or has been expired for less than six months, is acceptable without further proof of the applicant's Social Security number if it has been previously verified in the BMV's records.

Can the holder of an identification card also hold a moped license?

No, you cannot have an identification card and moped license at the same time, just as you cannot have an identification card and driver license at the same time.

Is it necessary to ask the question concerning organ donation since the question is on the application?

Yes, section 4506.07(6) of the Ohio Revised Code requires this information on the application.

Are there any costs associated with becoming an organ donor?

There is no cost to the donor or estate for the organ donation.

Is there a cost for a driver license or identification card if I am a 100% disabled veteran?

No, there is no cost for a driver license or identification card to veterans who are 100% disabled (ORC. 4507.23 (J). You would need to provide a letter to your local Deputy Registrar from Veteran Affairs indicating you are 100% disabled.

How do I get a new driver license to show my new name since I have recently been married?

You will need to take your driver license, marriage certificate and current Social Security card into a Deputy Registrar office and purchase a new license with the name change. Click here for Duplicate /Replacement license fees. The new license can be issued only after the wedding has taken place.

I lost my driver license. How do I replace my lost license?

You must go into a Deputy Registrar agency and present one primary OR one secondary document to obtain a duplicate license.  If a change is required to one of the elements; full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, legal presence or residency, you will be required to provide proof of the change. If you are under the age of 18, you will need a parent or guardian to co-sign. The co-signer will need to show a driver license or identification card as proof of their identity.

See acceptable documents.

Can I pay my reinstatement fees and submit required documents for reinstatement at any Deputy Registrar Agency?

No. Not all Deputy Registrar Agencies will collect reinstatement fees and documents. However, all Deputy Registrar Agencies that do collect reinstatement fees will also collect documents when a reinstatement payment is made. Please call the Deputy Registrar Agency before visiting or go to Branch Office Locations to find out if your local Deputy Registrar Agency collects reinstatement fees.

Is there a service fee charged by the Deputy Registrar if I pay my reinstatement fees at a Deputy Registrar Agency?

Yes. A $10.00 service fee is charged by Deputy Registrars for collecting your reinstatement fees. There are 7 Regional Service Centers across the state that accept reinstatement payments with no service fee. Reinstatement fees may also be paid online, by telephone, or may be mailed to the BMV.

Do I need to provide identification at the Deputy Registrar Agency when paying reinstatement fees?

No. Identification is not required to pay reinstatement fees. However, identification is required for all other BMV transactions issued at a Deputy Registrar Agency.

Can I submit documents for reinstatement at a Deputy Registrar Agency without making a reinstatement payment?

No. In order for a Deputy Registrar Agency to collect documents for reinstatement, a customer must also submit a reinstatement payment. If submitting documents is your only remaining requirement to be reinstated, documents can be mailed directly to the BMV or taken to any of the 7 Regional Service Centers across the state. Deputy Registrars cannot accept documents when a payment is not required or no payment is being made.

How soon will my reinstatement payment and documents be processed?

Reinstatement payments will be applied immediately upon payment. Documents submitted will be processed within 7 business days. For inquiries regarding the status of your reinstatement, visit the BMV website at www.bmv.ohio.gov and click on the "BMV Online Services" header or call the BMV at 614-752-7600.

I was notified by my bank of a returned check written to you or a Deputy Registrar office. How do I resolve this matter?

Banks are instructed to send returned checks through a second time. If the check clears on the second attempt, the BMV does not receive any notice of a returned check.

However, if the returned check does not go through on the second attempt, and/or for another reason is sent to the BMV to process, you will be sent a letter requesting payment, including a $15.00 service charge, with a return envelope provided. The letter will reference a claim number, which needs to be included with your payment in order for you to receive proper credit for the transaction.

We understand that mistakes happen and afford you the opportunity to correct the situation. If you have further questions about a returned check, you may contact the BMV Tax Distribution Section at (614) 752-2084.

I lost part of my temporary permit or ID card. Can I just buy a new permit packet and have my written/driving test scores transferred to the new permit?

If test scores can be verified, you may purchase a replacement and the test scores will be transferred. If the test scores are not available, you must purchase a new permit and complete the entire testing process over again. The six-month holding requirement for applicants less than 18 years of age carries over from the first temporary permit.

Is the Ohio Class D written test available in any other languages besides English?

Yes, the class D written test is available in seven different languages and may be taken with the assistance of an interpreter. For more information on alternative language testing options, contact your local driver exam station.

My child recently completed driver's education in another state. Will her driver's education transfer to Ohio?

In most cases, driver's education completed in another state will transfer to Ohio, but it must meet Ohio's driver's education minimum hour requirements. To see if the out of state program fulfills Ohio's driver's education requirement, contact your local driver exam station.

I am a new resident in this state and I would like to transfer my license to Ohio. Unfortunately, my license was lost during the move. How do I transfer my license without getting a new license from my former state?

For those who do not have their actual out of state license, a certified copy of the applicant's driving record from his/her home state, or an official letter from his/her home state indicating the status of the license dated within the last 30 days will usually be accepted to begin the license transfer process [does not apply to commercial driver license (CDL) holders]. The applicant will still have to provide acceptable documents to establish identity, proof of legal presence in the United States and proof of Ohio residence address prior to license transfer.

My child is 13 years old, is it possible to operate a motorized scooter on a public street and what are the requirements?

The Ohio Revised Code defines a moped, or motorized bicycle, as any vehicle with two tandem wheels or one front and two rear wheels which is capable of being pedaled and is also equipped with a helper motor. The helper motor may not: have a piston displacement of more than 50 cubic centimeters; produce more than one brake horsepower; and propel the vehicle at a maximum speed greater than 20 mph on a level surface. A child can obtain a moped license at the age of 14, by purchasing a moped permit and successful completion of the required test.

The following provisions contained in Ohio Revised Code Sections 4511.52 & 4511.521 (rules governing operation of motorized bicycles) apply to motorized bicycles, mopeds and motorized scooters.

(A) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle upon a highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking, unless all of the following conditions are met: (1) The person is fourteen or fifteen years of age and holds a valid probationary motorized bicycle license issued after the person has passed the test provided for in this section, or the person is sixteen years of age or older and holds either a valid commercial driver's license issued under Chapter 4506 or a driver's license issued under Chapter 4507 of the Revised Code or a valid motorized bicycle license issued after the person has passed the test provided for in this section, except that if a person is sixteen years of age, has a valid probationary motorized bicycle license and desires a motorized bicycle license, the person is not required to comply with the testing requirements provided for in this section; (2) The motorized bicycle is equipped in accordance with the rules adopted under division (B) of this section and is in proper working order; (3) The person, if under eighteen years of age, is wearing a protective helmet on the person's head with the chin strap properly fastened and the motorized bicycle is equipped with a rear-view mirror; (4) The person operates the motorized bicycle when practicable within three feet of the right edge of the roadway obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles.

(B) The director of public safety, subject to sections 119.01 to 119.13 of the Revised Code, shall adopt and promulgate rules concerning protective helmets, the equipment of motorized bicycles, and the testing and qualifications of persons who do not hold a valid driver's or commercial driver's license. The test shall be as near as practicable to the examination required for a motorcycle operator's endorsement under section 4507.11 of the Revised Code. The test shall also require the operator to give an actual demonstration of the operator's ability to operate and control a motorized bicycle by driving one under the supervision of an examining officer.

(C) Every motorized bicycle license expires on the birthday of the applicant in the fourth year after the date it is issued, but in no event shall any motorized bicycle license be issued for a period longer than four years.

(D) No person operating a motorized bicycle shall carry another person upon the motorized bicycle.

(E) The protective helmet and rear-view mirror required by division (A) (3) of this section shall, on and after January 1, 1985, conform with rules adopted by the director under division (B) of this section.

(F) Each probationary motorized bicycle license or motorized bicycle license shall be laminated with a transparent plastic material.

(G) Whoever violates division (A), (D), or (E) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

I no longer live in Ohio and in order to keep my insurance rates down, I need proof of holding a license for more than three years, what can I do?

A verification letter can be sent to verify your driving history. Please contact the BMV at (614) 752-7600 and request a verification of your driving history.

I have completed the Motorcycle Safety course in another state, what are my requirements to obtain a motorcycle endorsement in Ohio.

You will be required to contact Motorcycle Ohio at 1-800-837-4337 to see if the requirements of that state meet Ohio's guidelines.

I am in the military, can I wait to renew my driver license when I return to Ohio?

There are provisions to allow an individual to renew via the postal service. A renewal packet can be sent for completion and a new license is then sent to the customer. If the individual wishes to wait until their return, the persons should still be active duty or separated not more than 6 months.

Each law enforcement jurisdiction makes the determination whether the expired Ohio driver license, motorcycle endorsement or commercial driver license will be accepted as valid when presented with a military identification card. If a driver license has not been renewed, upon expiration the Ohio BMV record will indicate "Expired." The Ohio BMV record does not have any special notations to indicate if a driver is active duty military or a dependent of an active duty military service member, therefore if stopped by a law enforcement agent, the record will read "Expired".

The Ohio Revised Code, 4507.03 states in part "...Every person on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, when furnished with a driver's permit and when operating an official motor vehicle in connection with such duty, is exempt from the license requirements..." "...This section does not prevent such a person or his spouse or dependent from making an application for renewal of a driver's license, motorcycle endorsement or commercial driver's license during the period of his active duty or service..."

I am new to this country and I wish to obtain a driver license, do I qualify?

An individual must present the appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documents to obtain a Non-renewable/Non-transferable driver license or identification card in Ohio. Please review the Non-renewable/Non-transferable driver license for further information.

I work for a law enforcement agency. How do I order BMV 2255 forms?

You may fax your request to (614) 752-7271. Please include the number of 2255 forms that you are requesting, your agency name and your agency's street address.

What is the procedure for reporting someone who should not drive because of age or because of a medical, physical or vision problem?

The Ohio Motor Vehicle laws allow the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to require an Ohio licensed driver to submit a medical statement and/or take a driver license examination upon receiving information giving "good cause to believe" that the driver is incompetent or otherwise incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. The Ohio Administrative Code states that "good cause" is considered to be a request for recertification received from a law enforcement agency, court, physician, hospital, or rehabilitation facility. To take action on a request received from a law enforcement agency or court we require that the agency or court has had personal observation of the subject's driving or personal contact with the driver. We cannot take action on the recertification request if it is based solely on the person's age or hearsay.

The Bureau will also take action on a written and signed request submitted by a relative, friend, neighbor, etc. However, we are required to first conduct an investigation to determine if there is sufficient cause to require a medical statement and/or driver license examination. Again, age cannot be the only basis for the request. The letter writer must provide us with enough information so that we can locate record of a valid Ohio driver license or temporary permit issued to the person. If we cannot find record of an Ohio license or temporary permit, no action can be taken.

Legally, we must inform the driver who is the subject of our investigation or recertification procedures of our source of information. Therefore, before an investigation or any other action is taken on request received from a family member, neighbor, friend, nurse or social service agency, we must receive permission to use the letter writer's name as our source of information. Information received from a physician is considered confidential. There is currently no law that requires a medical professional to report to the Bureau a patient who should not drive, nor is there any liability protection for the person that chooses to make a report. Any changes in our policies and procedures for reporting and recertifying unsafe drivers would necessitate the enactment of new laws by the Ohio Legislature.

If someone would like to submit a written request to the Bureau to have a driver recertified for driving privileges, you may send or fax the letter to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Attention: Driver License Special Case Section/Medical Unit. P.O. Box 16784, Columbus, Ohio 43216-6784, fax number (614) 752-7271, Attention Medical Unit. The letter should include a release allowing us to use the letter writer's name as our source of information. The Ohio laws that govern driver license re-examination and medical recertification of a driver do not involve vehicle registration privileges or license plates. Therefore, registration privileges will not be affected even if driving privileges are denied.

Ohio's motor vehicle laws currently do not provide for mandatory retesting of elderly drivers, as it is considered discriminatory. All drivers, regardless of age, are only required to pass a vision screening prior to being issued a renewal driver license.

What is a Hardship License and how do you apply for one?

In accordance with section 4507.071 of the Ohio Revised Code, a hardship license may be issued to a minor 14 or 15 years old at the discretion of the Registrar of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. To qualify for a hardship license the child and the household must meet certain criteria. The minor would have to be the-only licensed driver in the household; any other licensed drivers would be required to surrender their driver license. A hardship license may not be used for the child to drive themselves or siblings to and from school, work or social and school events. The license is valid only within a 10-mile radius of the home and is issued for obtaining groceries and other household necessities, to drive the disabled parent or guardian to medical appointments and medical emergencies. The parent or guardian must accompany the child at all times while driving. The family must live in an area where there is no public transportation or community services available to assist them. The parent or guardian must show proof that they can maintain financial responsibility insurance on the driver. The child must complete a driver education course and the graduated licensing requirements.

Persons who feel they meet this criteria and are interested in applying for a hardship license should forward a letter to Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 16784, Attention Driver License Special Case Division/Medical Unit, Columbus, Ohio, 43216-6784. The letter must explain the hardship and provide us with child's full name, date of birth, social security number and the names, dates of birth and social security numbers of any licensed drivers in the household. We must also receive a notarized statement advising that any other driver(s) in the home would be willing to surrender their driver licenses if a hardship license were to be issued. Before a hardship license is authorized, an investigation is conducted to assist us in determining whether the household qualifies.

How do I cancel the driver license of a deceased spouse or relative?

In order to have a spouse's or relative's Ohio driving record marked as deceased, a copy of the death certificate or a letter from the coroner's office must be provided. You can mail to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Attn: License Support Verification Unit, P.O. Box 16784, Columbus, Ohio 43216-6784 or fax to (614)752-7987.

Why do I need to show proof of residency in Ohio?

Effective October 8, 2009, Ohio Administrative Code 4501:1-1-21 was revised and now requires a person who signs an application for an Ohio TIPIC, driver license, commercial driver license, motorcycle operator license, or identification card to present, along with the application, proof of Ohio residence address.