I Just Moved to Ohio. How Do I Get My Driver's License and Vehicle Registered?
When you’re making your way to the Buckeye State, there are a few tasks you need to complete. Once you establish residency in Ohio, you need to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license and vehicle registration. Here’s what you need to know to successfully complete both tasks.
When Are You Required to Transfer Your Out-of-State Driver’s License to Ohio?
When you move to a new state, you need to have your affairs in order as best as possible. In the Buckeye State, as a new resident, you still have 30 days to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license. Be advised, that you will be required to obtain an Ohio vehicle title and vehicle license plate for your vehicle if applicable.
How to Transfer An Out-of-State Driver’s License to Ohio
There are different steps you need to take to successfully transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to the state of Ohio.
Visit Your Local Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
There are different Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (OH BMV) locations in the state. Be sure you find a BMV office that provides services for driver’s license transfers and vision and knowledge testing. All OH BMV locations do not provide the same services.
Pass the Vision Screening
The vision screening in Ohio is required for you to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license. You must obtain a score of 20/40 or better to pass the vision screening. You are allowed to wear glasses or corrective lenses that have been prescribed by your optometrist.
Have Your Picture Taken
You will have your picture taken at the time you submit your application. There is no dress code to have your picture taken. However, it’s best to dress in casual attire because this picture will be your driver’s license picture for years.
Bring the Correct Documentation
Certain documents are required to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license at an Ohio BMV location. Make sure you have the original documents because copies are not allowed. You must have the following documents to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to Ohio:
Proof of full name
Proof of social security number
Proof of Ohio residency
Proof of citizenship or legal presence
Current out-of-state driver’s license
Payment for all applicable licenses and fees
Make sure you have the necessary documents and payments to avoid delays and possible penalties.
Receive Your Temporary Driver’s License
Once the Ohio BMV has received and accepted your application, required documents, and payment(s), you will receive your temporary Ohio driver’s license. Your temporary OH driver’s license will be a black and white paper copy of your permanent driver’s license. Your temporary driver’s license can be used as proof of your birthdate or identity. You will receive your permanent OH driver’s license in the mail within two weeks.
What If You’re From a Different Country?
If you have a foreign driver’s license, you are allowed to operate a motor vehicle in Ohio for one year without having to transfer your driver’s license. However, you plan on living in Ohio, you must establish residency within the state and transfer your out-of-state driver’s license and vehicle registration.
What Happens If You Don’t Transfer Everything Within the Deadline?
As a new resident of Ohio, you have 30 days to transfer your driver’s license. Be advised, the OH BMV will not give you a reminder when the 30-day period has expired. There are no immediate consequences for transferring your out-of-state driver’s license after the deadline. However, you may be stopped by law enforcement and receive a ticket for non-compliance.
Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to the state of Ohio. Now it’s time to learn how to register your vehicle in the same state.
Registering Your Vehicle In Ohio As a New Resident
In the state of Ohio, the OH BMV requires all vehicles in the state to obtain a valid registration in order to be able to legally operate on the Ohio roadways.
You are considered a new resident in the state of Ohio when you:
Start working in the state
Rent or buy a home in Ohio
Register to vote in Ohio
Enroll your children in an Ohio school
You have 30 days after you establish residency in Ohio to title and register your vehicle. Before you can register your vehicle with the state of Ohio, you must complete the following steps:
Obtain a valid OH driver’s license
Have a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection performed to verify legal ownership of the vehicle
Get a vehicle emissions test done (if required)
Apply for an Ohio vehicle title (Form BMV-3774) You must apply for an OH vehicle title at the county clerk’s title office and NOT the BMV.
If you purchased your vehicle from a private party, the seller of the vehicle must provide you with the vehicle’s title at the time of purchase. It is the responsibility of both the vehicle’s seller and buyer to ensure the vehicle title is filled out completely.
Once you have the vehicle’s title, you can visit the local OH deputy registrar’s agency and present:
Proof of ownership (Certificate or Title or Memorandum Certificate of Title) Vehicle titles must be notarized and contain the Ohio clerk of court’s seal. If one or more of the vehicle owner’s can’t be present, a power of attorney is required. (Form BMV 5736)
Provide either your valid Ohio driver’s license or photo ID, or proof of your social security number
If you are leasing your vehicle, you must submit a Power of Attorney for Ohio Vehicle Registration (Form BMV 5736)
Present proof of inspection documents:
New-to-state vehicles require a VIN inspection document
Certain OH counties may also require an emissions inspection
Pay all applicable OH taxes and fees
Keep in mind, proof of insurance is not always a requirement, but you could be randomly selected to prove you have a valid OH vehicle insurance policy before you are allowed to complete your vehicle registration.
Once you complete the above-listed steps, you can register your vehicle in your new home state of Ohio. Make sure you have an active OH vehicle insurance policy on the vehicle. A valid auto insurance policy is required before you can register your vehicle in this state.
Ohio BMV Locations
In the state of Ohio, there are different BMV locations you can visit to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license and out-of-state vehicle registration to the state of Ohio.
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles - Streetsboro Branch
9515 SR 14
Streetsboro, OH 44241
Monday (8 AM to 6:30 PM)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday (8 AM to 5 PM)
Saturday & Sunday (Closed)
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles - Powell Branch
256 W Olentangy St.
Powell, OH 43065
Monday - Friday (8 AM to 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM to 12 PM)
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles - Shaker Hts Branch
16945 Chagrin Blvd
Shaker Hts, OH 44120
Monday - Friday (8 AM to 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
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