Situated in the Midwestern region, Ohio is also the birthplace of at least 7 Presidents of the United States. Felt inspired and is that why you want to move to the Buckeye State? Irrespective of your reason, a fact that remains the same is that relocating to a new place comes with a list of formalities and procedures that need to be taken care of and completed.

One of these is getting your driver license updated along with updating your vehicle registration. Fortunately, the process of getting these done in Ohio isn’t so complicated at all. To get you going on the process, here’s a comprehensive step by step guide to help you be prepared and keep all your documents organised well in time. Dive right in and get your driver license and vehicle registration updated in no time!

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving From Another State

It is good to know that unlike other states that have a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the state of Ohio has its Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). So, if you come across that phrase, do not get confused. They are just two names for the same department. When you’re moving from another state to the Buckeye State, you will have to get yourself a new license if you’re planning to drive around the state. Unlike a few other states, Ohio requires the new residents to get a driver’s license at the earliest. So, keep this task on your priority list and act on it as soon as possible.

Good to know: The Buckeye State considers you a new resident as soon as you buy a home, get a job or get your kids enrolled in a state school. Technically, you will have no time to waste and would want to get all your paperwork in place right away!

As of now at least, there aren’t any online or over the phone alternatives available for you to get a new driver’s license in Ohio. You will have to visit the nearest Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in-person and apply for your new license. Though some of the Ohio BMV locations let you book an appointment in advance online, not all may offer this service. It is better that you inquire about the same in your location or just set aside sufficient time to get the process done.

You don’t need to worry, as we have prepared a comprehensive guide to keep you prepared about how the process of getting a new license or getting your address updated would be like. At the same time, you can know about what all documentation you will be needing for the same. So, dive right in!

1. Register Your Vehicle In Ohio

30 days. Yes, that is the time period that you have to register your vehicle as soon as you move to the Buckeye State. You can locate the nearest Ohio BMV location in the county where you live and get your vehicle registered in-person. But before you apply for the registration, these are the list of things that you will be needed to complete:

  • Obtain an Ohio driver’s license.
  • You may need to complete a vehicle emissions test, if mandated by your county.
  • Verify your legal ownership of the car, along with an inspection of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) at the Deputy Registrar’s office.
  • Apply for an Ohio vehicle title, which you will have to get done at the county title office.
    (Note: For this step, you will need the out-of-state inspection form which will be given after your VIN inspection, and also the original title certificate from your previous state of residence).

Once all these steps are done, applying for your vehicle registration would be next on your list. And the documents that you will require for the same are as follows:

  • Your vehicle’s present proof of ownership (Original Title or Memorandum of Title).
    (Note: You will also need to submit an authorized Power of Attorney for Ohio Vehicle Registration (Form BMV 573) if your vehicle is leased or if there is more than one owner of the vehicle).
  • Proof of your full legal name.
  • Proof of Ohio residency.
  • Your Ohio driver’s license or current out of state driver’s license.
  • Social Security Card/Number.
  • Your VIN inspection document and your emissions inspection document (only if it is required in your county).

Do you need proof of insurance to register a car in Ohio?

Yes, you may. In the Buckeye State, you may be randomly selected to provide proof of Ohio auto insurance to complete your vehicle registration.

Registration fee: With regards to the fees for registering your vehicle in Ohio, it may vary depending on the type of registration that you need. You can visit the official Ohio DMV website to get a better idea as more than one fee may apply to the type of registration you choose.

2. Apply For A Change Of Address

After you have registered your vehicle, the next step is to apply for a change of address on your driver’s license. You have only 30 days to get yourself a new license after you move into Ohio from another state. As mentioned before, you will have to go to the Ohio DMV office in-person to apply for your new driver’s license. Make sure to carry all the required documents given below:

  • Proof of Identification (full legal name and date of birth).
  • Social security number proof.
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States. (US Passport, Birth Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship are some of the accepted documents among others).
  • Proof of Ohio residency. (Your Current Bank Statement, Utility Bill, or Pay Stub from new Ohio address, etc).
    (Note: For a REAL ID-compliant license, 2 residency proof documents would be needed, whereas only 1 proof of residence would be needed for a standard, non-compliant license).

While a driver’s test may not be necessary for a change of address (provided you still hold a current valid, out of state license), passing a vision test and a written test is a must. The fee charged for getting a new Ohio driver’s license varies depending on your age. But you will roughly be paying between $19.25 to $24.50 and your license would be valid for a period of 4 years.

Can you update your Ohio DMV change of address online?

No, if you’re moving from another state to Ohio. However, if you’re moving within Ohio, then you can update your change in address online through the official state website.

Can you drive with a foreign driver’s license in Ohio?

Yes, for a maximum period of 1 year, provided you are a bona fide tourist visiting the United States. After the given period or if your license expires before (whichever comes first), you will have to apply for a new driver’s licence in Ohio.

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving Within Ohio

Unfortunately, there are no perks of moving within Ohio in this regard, considering you only have 10 days to update your Ohio DMV change of address forms or vehicle registration. So ideally, plan a date even before you move to your new place so that you don’t miss out on that tiny window of opportunity which makes you race against time.

Fortunately though, the process for getting a driver’s license is not very tedious as you only need to update your change in address and then you will have all your documents in place. To add to your respite, you have 3 ways of getting this done – you can either do it online, via mail or in-person. So, you can choose what suits you the best!

Make sure you have these documents ready, as you will need them to change your address on your Ohio driver’s license:

  • Proof of Ohio Residency
  • Date of birth proof
  • A written statement or a completed Form BMV 5756
  • Ohio driver’s license number
  • Old and new address proof

1. Online

Have a lot on your plate and want to utilise technology to get it done faster? The easiest way of updating your change in address for your driver’s license is through the official Ohio BMV website.

To get the address on your driver’s license updated:

You need to fill the Change of Address form available on the state website and pay the standard fee for replacing your driver’s license in Ohio which is around $24.50.

Keep the following details handy when you’re doing the process online:

  • Your current driver’s license number
  • Your Social Security number (specifically the last four digits).

To update your registration:

You have to follow the same steps and require the same documents when you want to change the address on your vehicle registration in Ohio as well.

2. Via Mail

Another convenient way of getting your address updated on your Ohio driver’s license is through mail, if you prefer so. You just need to fill a change of address form (Form BMV 5756) or you can write a request for address change and include the following details:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Ohio driver’s license or ID Card number
  • Previous and new address

You then have to mail your form or written request to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Deputy Registrar Services, P.O. Box 16520, Columbus, OH 43216.

3. In-Person

Even though it is not compulsory to get a new license when you’re moving within the state of Ohio, you can still get the corrected license with your updated address. One of the ways of doing so is visiting the Ohio Deputy Registrar’s office in person and filling the change of address form (Form BMV 5756). You will also have to submit proof for your updated Ohio residence address.

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When You’re Moving Out of Ohio

You do not have to worry about notifying the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles when you’re moving out of the Buckeye State. That box is already ticked off your list. Even if your car is registered to Ohio, you have no obligation at all to inform the Ohio DMV. As soon as you update your vehicle to your new state of residence, and your vehicle Title gets updated as per the procedures of the new state, your Ohio driver’s license will automatically be cancelled. And you don’t even need to return your Ohio License Plate, you can use them as you like it!

See also: List of best Out of State Moving Companies

Is It Illegal To Not Change Your Address When You Move?

In Ohio, definitely. You need to get your address updated at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, as it is not only important but also is a legal requirement in the Buckeye State. Irrespective of whether you choose to be a long term resident of Ohio or are just temporarily renting a place here, you need to update your address at Ohio DMV to avoid any unnecessary confusion or legal action in the future.


Your driver’s license can be used as an important document for many other purposes as well. So, it’s better that you have everything organized and up to date. Whether you’re moving within the state of Ohio, or are planning to move to the Buckeye State from elsewhere, getting your driver’s license and vehicle registered with an updated address isn’t a very complicated process. Make some time to get it done at the earliest and then get relieved of unnecessary stress later.

Also Read: Moving To Ohio – Relocation Guide