Driving in the USA

Please note: each US state sets its own driving laws. Be careful when asking your friends in different states for advice about driving as what they tell you may be correct in their state, but may not be correct for you in Ohio. Don’t believe us? Check out these simple maps which show some (although not all) of the differences.

It is illegal for an international student or language assistant to drive in Ohio with a foreign driver’s license.  As a student, you are a resident in Ohio, not a tourist. If you plan to drive, you must obtain a driver’s license from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (OBMV). 

The International Student Association (ISA) has created a leaflet  (.pdf) about getting a US driver’s license.
To secure an Ohio license, please follow these steps: 

Step 1: Visit the Wooster License Bureau

Location: 200 Vanover Street, Suite 3, Wooster
Phone: 330-287-5640
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Bring the following documents with you:

  • Proof of address (letter from Residence Life, bank statement, mail card, etc.)
  • Valid Passport
  • US Visa
  • Print out of form I-94
  • Form I-20 (or Form DS-2019)
  • Social Security Card (or ITIN)

Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your passport. As a student at The College of Wooster, you may consider yourself a resident of Ohio. Also request an application form and a free copy of the “Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws” to help you prepare for the written exam.

Step 2: Visit the Exam Center

Location: 340 South Market St. 
Phone: 330-264-7342. 
There, you will take a written exam and be subjected to a vision examination.

Step 3: Temporary License

After you pass the written exam, you will be issued a temporary license. This license allows you to drive with a person who has a valid Ohio driver’s license.

Step 4: Take the Driving Exam

When you feel comfortable driving, call the Exam Center (330-264-7342) to schedule an appointment to take the driving exam. You must supply your own car.

Step 5: Driver’s License

After you pass the driving exam, you will be given a “receipt” to take back to the Wooster License Bureau on Vancouver Street, where you will be issued your driver’s license.

Automobile Insurance

Automobile insurance is required by law when you buy or rent an automobile. It is important to understand the terms involved when you purchase (or waive) auto insurance. A quick decision to waive a minimal $20 insurance fee could tragically result in liability for several thousands of dollars.

Material on this website is general and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or replace professional legal advice, and you should not rely on it solely when making decisions about your immigration status or reporting requirements.