This page explains how an international student can obtain a driver's license, car insurance and a car itself in Ohio.
In order to obtain a driver's license in Ohio, please follow the following steps:
If you have driver's license from your home country:
1. Call a license bureau that has an exam station such as:
a) Huber Heights Bureau (Phone: 236-1763)
b) Centerville Bureau (Phone: 435-5970)
c) Beavercreek Bureau (Phone: 426-8205)|
2. Tell them you want to convert your foreign license to an Ohio license.
3. Make an appointment for a road test and a written test. After passing the tests you will receive a state drivers license in addition to having your foreign license.
4. You must bring a Social Security Card, certified birth certificate (no copies) or a passport.
5. This must be done within 30 days after you move into Dayton.
If you have never had a license:
1. Go to any bureau listed above and buy a temporary permit for $4.50.
2. You must bring a Social Security Card and certified birth certificate (no copies) or your passport.
If you are a transfer student with an out-of-state driver's license:
1. Go to the nearest bureau between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. and take the written test only. You do not need to make an appointment to take the written test.
2. After passing the test you will have to surrender your previous state license.
3. You must bring your previous license and a Social Security Card with you.
Three Rules You Must Know Before Driving in the U.S.A.
1. You MUST have the liability insurance by law. For more information please visit Ohio Department of Insurance web site.
2. If you are transferring your license, you must do this within 30 days after moving to Dayton.
3. Know the American driving rules before you start to drive, especially Ohio rules, which may differ from other places you have visited in the U.S. For more information, visit the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Web Site.
Cars may be purchased from individual people or from a dealership (store). To view a list of used cars available in your area, you may visit a dealership in-person, visit the dealership's website, or use a third-party website such as AutoList.com that compiles a list of all cars for sale in the area.
There are two ways to obtain license plates for a new or used car you have just purchased:
1. Transfer current year registration from the car you no longer own or
2. Purchase a new set of plates.
If you bought your car somewhere other than Ohio:
1. The seller of the car must give you the car title which has been signed in front of a notary. A notary can be found at any license bureau.
2. Bring your car and title to a license bureau for inspection. They will check the car for the mileage number and serial number. This will cost very little.
3. Bring the inspection papers and out-of-state title to the title office of the county in which you live. You will then receive an Ohio state title.
4. Go to a local license bureau, and buy your license plates. You will need to show your title and driver's license in order to get license plates.
If you bought your car in Ohio:
1. Again, the seller must have the title signed in front of a notary, which you can find at any license bureau.
2. You have 30 days from the date that your title was notarized to register your car at the title office. Failure to do this will cost you $5.
3. Bring the signed and notarized title to the title office and get the title typed in your name.
4. Go to the license bureau and buy your plates. You will need your title and driver's license for this. (The cost of the title will be a 6% or 6-1/2% sales tax on the price of your car.) License plates and registration cost for a full year is approximately $38. Be sure to know when your plates will no longer be valid, and remember to renew your automobile registration at the specified time.
If you are unable to pay for the sales tax for your car title, or you want to drive your car now but have to wait for the title to be issued, or if you do not have the license plates to transfer, you can obtain a temporary tag for $3.50.
Go to an area license bureau. Bring both your title certificate and your previous year's registration card. If your title has been lost, stolen, or destroyed, you must obtain a duplicate from your county clerk before you will be able to register and obtain new plates or stickers.
You must obtain a duplicate title from the county clerk of courts.
Bring enough cash to pay the fees. The fee will vary depending on the city in which you live; however, an estimated cost would be $36.
When you change vehicles, you may, in most circumstances, transfer license plates from the old to the new vehicle. In all transfers, both the old and the new vehicles must be titled in the name of the same owner. Transfer of plates may be made only on vehicles in the same class passenger car to passenger car, motorcycle to motorcycle, truck to truck, trailer to trailer etc.
Frequently, students underestimate the actual cost of car ownership. An individual should expect the average cost to be over $2000 a year. When compared to an estimated annual bus fare of less than $400, car ownership is expensive. Before one decides to purchase a car, careful consideration should be given to expenses. If you intend to keep the car for more than two years, do not buy an old car with high mileage. In addition, costly, routine, maintenance charges exits. Your vehicle will need oil changes, tires, and unexpected repairs. The outline below provides a realistic guide for expected yearly automobile expenditures. You cannot buy a "dependable" car for less than $2000. Buyer Beware! Costly, unexpected maintenance or repair work may be required on used cars, which frequently causes major problems for the student owner. Car ownership is a responsibility! You can save money and headaches when you learn to use the bus, and rent a car for those special weekend vacation trips.
Ohio law requires every car owner to have liability insurance and financial responsibility insurance. Car owners may drive a car legally in Ohio after both types of insurances are purchased. Driving without this insurance coverage is a serious offense involving a large fine and possible jail sentence. To find out more information on policy rates, look in the yellow pages of the telephone book under "Insurance" or follow these links to Progressive, Prudential, Allstate, Safeauto, Farmers Insurance Services.
|Source of Expenses||First Year||Phone|
|WSU Parking Pass||$0 - $80||$0 - $80|
|Price of Car||$2,000 - $4,000||-|
|Ohio Sales Tax||$130 - $260||-|
|Fuel and Maintenance||$500||$500|
|Insurance (Mandatory)||$600 - $800||$600 - $800|
|Total:||$3,268 - $5,678||$1,218 - 1,418|
Another unwelcomed cost associated with driving a car occurs when a student disobeys or is unaware of the driving laws. When a driver is stopped by a police officer and receives a ticket for a driving offense, the driver is frequently required to appear in court. The driver must pay a minimum $30 court fee plus the fine for the offense. Warning: If a student disobeys the traffic laws, he or she will have to pay the consequences . The consequences may include expensive fines, loss of license, or possible jail sentence. Follow all driving laws, don't drive without your license and insurance coverage and never ever drink alcohol and drive!
In case of an accident, try to remain calm. Do not leave the scene. It is suggested that you keep a copy of this form with your insurance information and car registration. Immediately contact the police and your insurance company. You may need to file a traffic accident report within two days and the report form is available at the police station.