By law, new residents to the state of Ohio should have a new Ohio driver’s license within 30 days of relocating. When you are unpacking 1,000 boxes, getting your kids ready for school and trying not to get lost in your new town, this can fall low on the priority list. Here are some tips to make this easier for you:
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has a helpful guide for new residents that outlines the steps you need to take and the documents you will need for proof of residency, to obtain your Ohio license & auto registration and we encourage you to read it (it’s not crystal clear on some issues, but its a start).
Unlike many states, Ohio has not yet privatized this function of government (please, can we privatize this soon so it is run like a business not like an insane asylum?). Many times, it takes newcomers several visits to several different locations, each run by a different entity (some state, some county, some outside contractors) to obtain a new Ohio driver’s license and license plates and to transfer their auto title and registration. The best location to accomplish this all in one day whether you are in Cleveland or Akron is actually located in Parma, a southwestern suburb of Cleveland, at the intersection of Snow Road and Chevrolet Boulevard, where all the agencies you need are clustered together in a shopping strip. See it’s location here. NOTE: Be sure to check the hours and days that each office is open, as they are not synced (that would make too much sense!) and can force you to repeat a trip unless you plan ahead.
We suggest you obtain your driver’s license first, so you can use this new ID as proof of residence to get your title, registration and plates.
Other insider’s tips for making this a more painless experience:
- Download the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws and read it before you take the test. Don’t assume you can wing it just because you have driven for 30 years. Ohio has laws unique to our state that you must know in order to pass.
- When scheduling the written test (driving test waived for those with a valid license from another US state) allow 15-20 minutes for standing in line and 30-40 minutes for taking the test. If you arrive at the head of the line too close to the time that office closes for the day, they won’t let you start the test as they know you will not finish in time.
- Motorcycle licenses are a separate study booklet and a separate written test
- Bring every possible document you might need, even if you feel it is overkill. Here is a list of the acceptable documents.
- Your VIN inspection is only good for 30 days, so don’t delay the follow up steps or it will expire and not be acceptable at the next agency.
- If your vehicle still has a lien on it, allow up to 60 days for the lienholder to get a copy of your original title to the Ohio title bureau (see VIN info above, as this can impact this).
- If there is more than one name on a vehicle’s title (you and spouse for instance), BOTH of you have to be there in person to change titles & registration (prevents fraud in such things as divorces) or you have to have a two notarized Power of Attorneys, one for the registration and one for the title. Here are the details on how to obtain an Ohio registration.
Red Light Cameras – in November of 2014 the city of Cleveland residents overwhelming voted to outlaw red light & speed cameras if they were NOT accompanied by a human police officer who could pass judgement on the situation and determine if a fine were necessary, unlike their robotic counterparts that just spit $100 invoices out to commuters on a daily basis. The day after the election, the cameras were deactivated, but Cleveland police officers still do use mobile cameras to help them catch those who speed and run red lights. HA – the people have spoken and we won!
But, as of August 2012, it is against the law in the state of Ohio to text and drive (ticket can be as high as $150 (teens can loose driving privileges for 6 months on first offense). In addition, at least 7 communities in NE Ohio have laws that prohibit talking on a cellphone unless you are hands free (Bluetooth, earbud, etc.) including:
- North Olmsted
- North Royalton
- South Euclid
- Walton Hills
Executive Arrangements is a boutique relocation firm specializing in connecting job candidates and recent transplants with all the information they need about Cleveland, Akron and Canton to make educated decisions and feel acclimated. For more info on how EA can help your organization to attract and retain the best talent call us at 216.231.9311.