MOUNT VERNON — A recent bill signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich will soon allow individuals to take driver’s education classes online as an alternative to the traditional classroom setting. House Bill 487 was part of a Mid-Biennium Review which cleared the House and the Senate and makes provisions for this online option, according to 90th Ohio House District Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl, who was in favor of the bill.
“Not everyone is going to be able to take it online. But it’s more of a convenient thing for working families,” said Ruhl. “It can be hard for parents to get their children to these classes.”
Also voting in favor of HB 487 was Ohio District 19 Sen. Kris Jordan. “Different kids learn differently. I believe for many it might be adequate. But for some it would be better to take the in-class instruction.”
Ohio’s young drivers who obtain their learner’s permit are currently required to complete a 24-hour driver’s education course and eight hours of on-the-road driving with an instructor to be eligible to take a driver’s license test. They must also complete 50 hours of driving with a licensed adult with 10 of those hours coming at night.
The online driver training program will be regulated through the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services. “Any online company looking to offer the training in Ohio would have to submit their proposal for approval and licensing, and must meet all standards and regulations,” said Lindsey Bohrer, public information officer with ODPS.
Customers can register through the online company of their choice to complete the classroom portion and then register for their in-car driving portion to complete their training. Students will receive a certificate of enrollment from the online provider to be eligible for their in-car training.