Drivers under 18 can drive alone once they earn a probationary license.

A probationary license lasts until a driver turns 18, and it restricts certain activities known to be dangerous for new drivers.

For example, an Ohio driver with a probationary license has different restrictions on driving at night or how many passengers may ride with them. The restrictions are based upon the length of time a driver holds their probationary license.

For the first year after a teen receives their probationary license:

  • Passengers - they may have no more than one non-family member as a passenger. All riders in the vehicle must wear a seat belt.
  • Nighttime restrictions - They may not drive between midnight and six a.m.
  • Cellular devices - No cell phone use is permitted unless for emergency purposes, which they must pull off the road to do so.

After the first year and before the teen turns 18 years of age:

  • Passengers - no more passengers than the number of originally installed safety belts. All passengers and driver must wear a safety belt.
  • Nighttime restrictions - They may not drive between the hours of one a.m. and five a.m.
  • Cellular devices - No cell phone use is permitted unless for emergency purposes, which they must pull off the road to do so.