DUI & The International Driver’s License
In Ohio, there is no such thing as an international driver’s license for United States citizens. If you are using an “international driver’s license” in place of a state-issued license, you should stop immediately. It is illegal, and if caught, you will face criminal charges. If your Ohio State driver’s license has been revoked due to a DUI (now called OVI), you cannot drive here on any other license. If you have a valid license from somewhere else, you may be able to drive in other jurisdictions. Check with local counsel.
If, however, you are a new arrival to the United States you may use a valid license from your home country for up to one year from the date of your arrival in the U.S. Your I-20 or DS-2019 must have been issued for a duration of time that exceeds one year in order to obtain an Ohio Drivers License. (source) Be sure that your home country has reciprocal driving privileges with the United States before attempting to drive on your home country driver’s license in Ohio. You can contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (614) 752-7500.
An international driver’s license, which is not a valid document, should not be confused with an International Driving Permit (IDP), which functions as an official translation of a U.S. driver’s license into 10 foreign languages. IDPs are not intended to replace valid U.S. state licenses and should only be used as a supplement to a valid license. An IDP is honored in more than 150 countries outside the U.S., but it must be accompanied by a valid driver’s license at all times. It has no value on its own and is not a substitute for a driver’s license. Valid IDPs can be purchased only from the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the National Automobile Club (NAC), formerly the American Automobile Touring Alliance. These organizations are allowed only to sell permits to drivers older than 18 who possess valid drivers’ licenses issued by a U.S. state or territory. AAA and the NAC charge $15 for each International Driving Permit.
More detailed information about getting an Ohio driver’s license and license plates can be found in the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws. (also available in Español and Somali). You can also find information for new Ohio residents who hold a valid driver’s license from another state and want to get an Ohio driver’s license in the Digest.
Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671. Immediate help is available by filling out this CONTACT form. For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense. You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.