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  • Ohio Driver’s License Classifications (A Complete 2023 Guide)

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Looking to get an Ohio driver’s license?

Don’t know what class of driver’s license you should get?

You’ve come to the right place. 

Today, we’ll be explaining the Ohio driver’s license classifications to you. Not only that, but we’ll also tell you how to get the most common license types. 

This way, you’ll know exactly what license you need to get and how to get it. 

So buckle up and let’s go!

What are the Driver’s License Classifications in Ohio?

There are 5 driver’s licenses classes in Ohio. These are:

  • Class A (Commercial)

A Class A commercial license permits the holder to operate any combination of vehicles with a combined gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) equal to or more than 26,001 pounds. The GVWR of the towed vehicle or trailer must be more than 10,000 pounds.  

  • Class B (Commercial)

A Class B commercial license permits the holder to operate any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, or any vehicle towing a trailer with a GVWR equal to or fewer than 10,000 pounds. 

  • Class C (Commercial)

A Class C commercial license permits the holder to operate any single or combination vehicle that does not fall under the above categories, is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (driver included) or carry hazardous materials, and any school bus with a GVWR of under 26,001 pounds that carries 16 or fewer passengers (driver included). 

  • Class D

Also referred to as a regular driver’s license, a Class D license permits the holder to operate common cars, as well as trucks that are not commercial vehicles. 

  • Class MC

A Class MC license permits the holder to drive motorcycles or motor scooters on public highways.

How to Get A Regular Driver’s License in Ohio

To apply for a regular driver’s license in Ohio, you must be at least 18 years old. However, at age 15 and a half, you can already begin the process by securing a Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card (TIPIC). 

With the TIPIC, you can drive under the supervision of a licensed adult.

Below are the steps on how to obtain a TIPIC:

  • Visit a driver exam station near you. 
  • Submit the required documents. 
  • Pass the knowledge test.
  • Pass the vision test. 
  • Have your picture taken for your permit. 
  • Purchase your TIPIC at a deputy registrar license agency no later than 60 days after passing the tests. 
  • Bring the required documents. You must be accompanied by your parents or guardian.
  • Pay the TIPIC fee.   

The instruction permit validity is one year. Applicants under 18 years of age need to hold the permit for at least six months. 

Before you turn 18, you can also apply for a Probationary Driver’s License if you have held your permit for at least six months. It allows you to drive unsupervised except between midnight and 6 AM. 

Below are the steps on how to obtain a Probationary Driver’s License:

  • Hold your instruction permit for at least six months. 
  • Complete a teen driver’s ed program from an approved provider. 
  • Complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which must be done at night. Your parent or guardian must have the driving log notarized.
  • Schedule a road test online or by calling (614) 752 7600.
  • Bring your TIPIC, notarized 50-hour driving practice affidavit, and the driver’s ed completion certificate on your scheduled road test date. 
  • Pass the driving and skills test.
  • Surrender your TIPIC to a deputy registrar license agency. 
  • Bring the required documents. Your parent or guardian must come with you to the agency during your visit. 
  • Receive your temporary license via mail.

Your Probationary Driver’s License will expire 20 days after your 21st birthday. 

You will need to renew between the expiration date and your 21st birthday. When you renew, you will receive an unrestricted driver’s license.     

For adults aged 18 and over who have not been issued a license, you will need to apply for a TIPIC, then schedule a road test. Once you pass your driving and skills test, you have to apply for a driver’s license at a deputy registrar license agency and surrender your TIPIC before it expires. You will then be issued a temporary driver’s license.

You will receive your permanent Ohio driver’s license in the mail within seven to 10 days. 

How to Get A Commercial Driver’s License in Ohio

To be eligible to apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid non-commercial Ohio license. 

You must present your current license before undergoing the required tests applicable to the CDL class you are applying for (Class A, B, or C). 

After successfully passing the exam, you must visit a deputy registrar’s office, present your license and other required documents. You will receive a TIPIC, which will allow you to operate a commercial vehicle but only when you are accompanied by a person who holds a valid CDL. This instruction permit will be valid for six months.  

Then, you may proceed to take a skills test by visiting a deputy registrar agency and paying the following fees:

  • Pre-trip inspection portion – $10 state, $20 third party
  • Off-road maneuvering – $10 state, $20 third party
  • Road portion – $30 state, $45 third party

Ohio Driver’s License Classifications FAQs

How long is an Ohio driver’s license valid for?

Your Ohio driver’s license is valid for four years unless you received it before your 21st birthday. In such a case, it will first expire when you turn 21. 

What are the best online driver’s ed schools in Ohio?

There are 2 that stand out:

DriversEd is America’s number one online driving school for several reasons. For one, its coursework is highly interactive – it is fun and engaging but also effectively teaches students important driving skills and techniques. It brings to life driving scenarios through 3D animations!

Ohio Driver's License Classifications DriversEd

Its course fees typically cost about $100, but during promotions, you can get the best deal as low as around $50. Despite its low price, though, it offers one of the best quality education you can get without leaving home. Its rich images, interactive games, and educational videos will not only help you get your Ohio license but also keep you entertained while you study.  

Aceable, on the other hand, is considered a rookie in the online driver education industry. However, just because it is a significantly younger provider than most of its competitors doesn’t mean it’s not as competitive. It is a fast-growing online driving school that provides not only high-quality coursework but also excellent customer services. 

Ohio Driver's License Classifications Aceable

Aceable is also known for its mobile-first platform, which makes it ideal for students who plan to study for their written tests on their mobile devices rather than on desktop computers. Unlike other providers whose courses aren’t 100% compatible with smartphones, with Aceable, you can access your materials via its official mobile app, making it possible for you to learn on the go. 

How do I renew my Ohio driver’s license?

You will need to go to your local BMV deputy registrar’s office less than 90 days before it expires. Bring your birth certificate or passport, social security card or W-2 form, and proof of address. 

You may renew your license more than 90 days before the date of expiry, however, it will have a validity of three years. 


Just because you hold an Ohio driver’s license doesn’t mean you are authorized to operate just any vehicle for any purpose. 

First, you must understand the Ohio driver’s license classifications. Then, you must identify which license type you need. 

After you’ve done that, you can then get to obtaining that license. 

Good luck!

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