The state of Ohio offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.
License fee exemption
Service-connected veterans who are considered 100% disabled are eligible for a free driver license or photo identification card at no charge in the state of Ohio. In order to be eligible for the exemption the vehicle owner must be disabled as a result of former military service, or be an active or retired member of the Ohio National Guard, or be a member of the United States Armed Forces Reserve, as well as an Ohio resident at the time the exemption is claimed.
Driver’s license testing exemptions
Members of the military who are renewing their Ohio driver license that expired more than six months ago are exempt from the driving and knowledge tests, although not from the vision screening, as long as the following conditions have been met:
Present an active duty military LES (Leave and Earnings Statement)
Offer honorable discharge papers that show no mental or physical disabilities are present
Held an Ohio driver license when they started active duty and currently have an expired out-of-state license or are within six months of discharge date
Present a DD-214 form no later than six months after date of discharge
Volunteers in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA, U.S. Department of State Foreign Service or the dependent or spouse of military members may renew their license, as long as the following conditions are met:
Evidence is presented that no physical or mental disabilities that would affect driving are present
Previous holders of an Ohio state driver license before service start date
Apply no later than six months after their spouse or guardian was honorably discharged from the U.S. Military
Military honor plates
Ohio offers a wide variety of distinguished military honor license plates to honor the sacrifice and accomplishment of those who serve in the military. These plates are commemorating the different military branches, service medals, and specific campaigns. Eligibility for some of these plates requires certain criteria be met, including proof of current or past military service (honorable discharge), proof of having participated in a specific campaign, or discharge papers or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs documentation of the award received.
Available military plate designs:
- Air National Guard
- Expeditionary Medal with Service Star
- Army National Guard
- Bronze Star Medal
- Combat Action Badge
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Combat Infantryman Badge
- Congressional Medal of Honor
- Disabled Veteran
- Expeditionary Medal
- Former Prisoner of War
- GWOT Afghanistan Medal
- GWOT Expeditionary Medal
- GWOT Iraqi Medal
- GWOT Services Medal
- Honorably Discharged Veteran
- Korea Service Medal with Service Star
- Korea Veteran During Conflict
- National Defense Service Medal with Service Star
- National Defense
- National Guard
- Pearl Harbor
- Persian Gulf Veteran
- Purple Heart
- Silver Star Medal
- Southwest Asian Service Medal with Service Star
- U.S. Armed Forces Active Duty
- U.S. Armed Forces Reserves
- U.S. Armed Forces Retired
- U.S. Paratrooper
- Veteran Motorcycle
- Vietnam Service Medal with Service Star
- Vietnam Veteran During Conflict
- Vietnam Veteran
- Women Veterans U.S. Armed Forces
- Women Veterans U.S. Armed Forces Retired
- World War I Veteran
- World War II Veteran
There are no additional fees or charges for any of these military or veteran special license plates.
Disability plates or placards
Disabled military personnel are eligible to apply for disability placards when they have suffered a service-connected disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk. A prescription from a health care provider must be included with the application, with details including the duration of the disability, name of the person with disability, provider signature and date. There is no fee for this placard.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
The Military Skills Test Waiver program in Ohio and almost every other state is the result of collaboration between the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in order to make the process of getting a CDL easier for veterans. Military personnel with applicable experience can download and print the waiver here. Applicants must still complete the written CDL test.
This legislation provides authority for states to issue a CDL to active military members, including the Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary, even if they are not Ohio residents, as long as their temporary or permanent base is in Ohio.
Active or veteran military personnel who wish to find out more about veteran and military driver laws and benefits in Ohio can consult the state’s motor vehicle division website here.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Ohio and was authored by Valerie Johnston.