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The Ohio State Highway Patrol does not provide shoulder patches to the general public.
Patch requests are provided only to law enforcement professionals representing a law enforcement agency in North America. Requests must be submitted on the agency's official department letterhead to:
Ohio State Highway Patrol,
Information Services Section
1970 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43223
Don't see an answer to your question? Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission of the Patrol Questions - mission, duties and responsibilities, schedule a trooper to speak
Licensing/Titling Questions - renewing your license, mature driving courses, titles for self-assembled or salvaged vehicles
Law Related Questions - laws online, transporting firearms, and road rage
Safety Belt Questions - laws and enforcement
Impaired Driving Questions - laws and enforcement
Equipment Questions - windshield wiper regulation, window tints, lift heights, neon undercarriage lights, motor vehicle inspections, license plate requirements, purchasing surplus equipment
Enforcement Questions - quotas, traffic enforcement, speed, citations, what to do if you've lost a citation
Financial Responsibility Questions - auto insurance and financial responsibility in Ohio, mature driving courses
Traffic Crashes, highway breakdowns Questions - how to obtain a crash report, highway breakdown tips
Disclaimer: These interpretations of the law may not be accurate due to ongoing updates to the Ohio Revised Code and Administrative Codes
What is the Mission of the Ohio State Highway Patrol?
"An internationally accredited agency whose mission is to protect life and property, promote traffic safety and provide professional public safety services with respect, compassion, and unbiased professionalism."
The Patrol provides:
Statewide police traffic services to keep our roadways safe;
Statewide emergency response services and support services to the public and the criminal justice community;
Investigation of criminal activities on state-owned and leased property throughout Ohio, and;
Security for the Governor and other dignitaries.
What types of employees are needed to fulfill Highway Patrol duties and responsibilities?
In addition to its troopers, the Ohio State Highway Patrol employs: Radio Dispatchers, Driver Examiners, Commercial Enforcement Officers, Motor Vehicle Inspectors, Load Limit Inspectors, Electronics Technicians, and civilian specialists. In addition, special Police Officers are maintained to provide security at the Expo Center, Capital Square, and state office buildings.
How do I schedule a trooper to speak at my school or civic event?
Troopers commonly deliver highway safety-related messages to school and civic groups. Contact your nearest State Highway Patrol Post to request a speaker for your event. Note: The Patrol attempts to fulfill all requests, but operational responsibilities may, from time to time, limit availability.
How do I become a trooper?
To become an Ohio trooper may begin by contacting a local Patrol post or the Patrol's Recruitment Office to submit an application. Information can also be sent through the Ohio Needs You! Web site. Prospective troopers are subjected to an extensive testing process before receiving final acceptance to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Once placed into an Academy Class, a cadet will undertake a seven-month training process which requires the individual to live at the Academy. Those successfully completing all steps and the training process will be appointed to the rank of trooper.
What are the requirements?
The pre-requirements for consideration are:
The processing requirements include successful completion of:
Is a college education required?
A college education is not required to be considered for a trooper position.
How will I be trained?
Prospective troopers receive 23 weeks of intensive training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy. The curriculum is divided into 14 major disciplines: Administration; Intro to Highway Patrol; Crash Investigation and Enforcement; Patrol Car Operations; Police Technique and Procedures; Investigation; Criminal Law, Evidence, and Procedure; Motor Vehicle Laws; Human Behavior; Firearms; Civil Disorders; Officer Safety; First Aid; and Human Diversity.
I am already a police officer. Do I still have to attend the Patrol Academy to become a trooper?
Yes, all Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers are required to successfully complete the Patrol's Academy training.
How do I apply?
Contact a local Patrol Post or the Patrol's Recruitment Office (614) 466-6019 (EXT-4) to obtain an application or sumbit your contact information online - Ohio Needs You! Web site
What are my chances for advancement?
There are many advancement opportunities within the Patrol. Every new trooper has the potential to rise through the ranks, all the way to the rank of Colonel. All troopers have the opportunity to participate in the promotional process, which is conducted through a written test and a series of assessment center exercises which simulate real-life scenarios. Afterwards, the candidate is evaluated on knowledge, skill, and his/her reflection of the Patrol's Core Values.
How do I become an Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary Officer?
Interested individuals should contact their nearest Patrol post to begin the Auxiliary application process.
What other job opportunities are available?
There are a wide variety of support positions within the Patrol. Included in these are: dispatchers, driver examiners, motor vehicle inspectors, load limit inspectors, motor carrier enforcement officers, and police officers. In addition, there are a number of civilian positions encompassing nearly every educational discipline.
To check current employment opportunities within the Patrol and other areas of state government, visit the State of Ohio Job Search Web Page.
What are the salary and benefits for a cadet in training and for a trooper upon graduation?
Can a waiver be obtained for the maximum age of 34 due to prior military service or law enforcement experience?
The Ohio Revised Code 5503.02 stipulates that applicants must enter academy training prior to their 35th birthday. There are no exceptions or waiver.
If a person is already a police officer in Ohio or another state, do you still have to complete training and graduate from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy to become a state trooper?
The answer is yes. Every applicant whether already a police officer or not and wishes to be an Ohio State Trooper must complete the training at the Ohio state Highway Patrol Academy as part of an academy Class. Lateral entries from other states are not accepted.
Does my military credit count toward my final exam score for entrance into the academy?
Prior military service is counted toward the Civil Service Examination which is administered to all cadet trainees prior to graduation from the academy. The entrance examination is a separate exam that does not recognize military service, or college, ECT.
How are assignments determined upon graduation?
By the last four weeks of training, cadet trainees will be aware of his/her post assignment as determined by the Division. Assignments are based on field post openings. Each member of the cadet class will be given the opportunity to select five assignments from a list of available openings throughout the state. Although they will not be guaranteed one of the five listed, the Division takes their requests into consideration along with any extenuating circumstances they may have.
When I am in the academy can I go home during the week, have visitors, and receive telephone calls?
Liberty may be granted after phase one of training. Liberty is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Cadets may also have friends visit in the main lobby of the academy and make telephone calls during liberty. Liberty is not guaranteed and is earned based upon class performance.
During all other times, you will not be permitted to make or receive telephone calls of a non-emergency nature. In emergency situations special permission to make telephone calls may be granted by the Academy Commandant.
Since the highway patrol academy is a live-in academy, when will my time off begin?
Your time off will begin at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday evening and will conclude at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. You may return to the academy on Sunday evening between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. or Monday morning between 6 a.m. and 7 am. You must sign “in” and “out” of the academy for liberty and time off throughout your training period.
Because of the intense training schedule all recruits will be confined to the academy complex from 7:30 a.m. Monday until Friday evening except for Wednesday night liberty. Free time will be available during this time period, and you must learn to use it wisely.
For those individuals who have set the goal of becoming a state trooper and who are not 21 years of age and have decided to further their education, what major should they select?
The Ohio State Highway Patrol encourages their officers to further their education beyond high school. It is not necessary criminal justice be selected as a major. Many officers elect to pursue a degree in a management field in anticipation of pursuing advancement within the Division. It may be beneficial to pursue a particular trade that may be of interest to you.
Enlistment into one of the Branches of the United States Military is also an option that may be considered. The training program that is experienced while attending the Ohio State Highway Patrol, although not exactly emulating military style “boot camps”, is a para-military academy teaching both core values and recognizing rank structure and protocol. Prior military experience can be beneficial in adjusting to the para-military atmosphere at the academy.
Upon completion of the academy, the newly appointed trooper may enroll in a college program through Columbus State Community College. This program will award 41 college quarter hours towards an associates degree in criminal justice on condition of further participation in completion of college classes through Columbus State. This opportunity will be explained further upon acceptance and entrance into the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.
It is also important to know that tuition reimbursement is available to all troopers who desire to further their education. The course of study must be through an institution that is authorized by the Ohio Board of regents or is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Prior approval must be received before the start of the course and the course work must be job-related or related to a higher-level position within the Division.
How does Ohio’s graduated driver’s license law work?
The teen driving law allows teen driver to get temporary licensing at age 15 1/2. During this temporary permit period, the teen driver law mandates 50 hours of actual driving experience with a licensed parent, guardian, or certified driving instructor.
Where do I obtain or renew my driver’s license?
Licensing is conducted through one of Ohio's Deputy Registrar locations. These are listed in your local Yellow Pages under "licensing services." In addition, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has county-by-county listing of all Deputy Registrar locations.
How do I get information about my driver’s license?
Information about your driver license, suspension, and reinstatement can be obtained by calling the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles' telephone information center at (614) 752-7500.
Where can I find more information?
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles maintains an excellent web site that provides a variety of information on driver licensing.
How do I obtain a title for a salvaged or self-assembled vehicle?
After obtaining a salvage title and purchasing a receipt for the inspection, contact one of the salvage locations listed below to schedule an inspection. Once the inspection is complete, you will be able to obtain a re-built salvage title.
How do I transfer a motor vehicle title in Ohio?
Complete information on titling can be found on the Title Information page on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Web site.
Where can I learn more about Ohio driver licensing?
What are the approved schools for the Mature Driving Course?
Can Ohio Laws be accessed via the Internet?
Yes, there is a search-based, electronic version of the Ohio Revised Code at Ohio Laws Online.
Is it legal for me to carry a concealed weapon in Ohio?
For information on the new CCW law, which went into effect on April 8, 2004, please visit the Ohio Attorney General's website.
Is there a law against Road Rage?
The term Road Rage was created in the popular media to describe emotion-based reckless, aggressive, and intimidating driving. There is no specific offense in Ohio Law entitled "Road Rage," but the actions which are labeled "Road Rage" are specific offenses. Among these are: menacing; reckless operation, impeding, and assault, to name a few.
What can I do to avoid becoming a victim of Road Rage?
There are several strategies you can use to minimize the potential dangers of Road Rage, including:
What is Ohio’s safety belt law?
No person shall operate an automobile on any street or highway unless that person is wearing all of the available elements of a properly adjusted occupant restraining device or occupy, as a passenger, a seating position on the front seat of an automobile being operated on any street or highway unless that person is wearing all of the available elements of a properly adjusted occupant restraining device. The only exceptions are employees of the United States postal service or of a newspaper home delivery service, during any period in which the person is engaged in the operation of an automobile to deliver mail or newspapers to addressees, or a person who has an affidavit signed by a physician licensed to practice in this state under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code or a chiropractor licensed to practice in this state under Chapter 4734. of the Revised Code that states that the person has a physical impairment that makes use of an occupant restraining device impossible or impractical.
What is Ohio’s child restraint law?
ORC 4511.81 (C)
• Regulated daycare vehicles are exempted
Why enforce safety belt violations?
Traffic crashes claim thousands of lives and cost BILLIONS of dollars each year. Safety belts are proven to reduce the severity of the vast majority of injuries. In Ohio during 1996, it is estimated that safety belts saved 321 lives, prevented 20,026 injuries, and saved $893 million in costs.
Isn’t wearing a safety belt a personal decision which affects only me?
The decision to wear a safety belt affects many people.
First, the consequences of not wearing a safety belt can greatly affect your family and loved ones. How would it affect YOU if a loved one was killed, disabled, or seriously injured as the result of not buckling up?
Second, it is your responsibility to maintain control of your vehicle. It is not uncommon for a car to continue moving after a crash, and safety belts are your best chance of remaining able to safely steer and/or stop your car before it strikes another person or vehicle.
Finally, the cost of not wearing a safety belt is borne by all who pay insurance premiums. A crash in which a safety belted driver might receive only bumps and bruises might result a costly hospital stay for the unbelted driver. That cost is spread across the insurance premiums of ALL drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency estimates Ohioans would save over $1 billion a year if another 10 percent of drivers would wear safety belts.
Won’t a safety belt trap me in my car if it catches on fire or goes into water?
These are rare situations. However, should this occur, your best chance of survival is remaining conscious so you can escape. If you sustain heavy injuries or are rendered unconscious, your chances of escape will depend upon whether or not someone is there (and able) to save you. Wearing your safety belt greatly reduces your chance of sustaining heavy injuries, and greatly increases your chances of escaping and surviving.
What is the legal blood-alcohol limit in Ohio?
Ohio Law states that no person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or both. The state of Ohio has set a per se level of 0.08 BAC (blood-alcohol content) as the presumptive level at which an adult is considered to be an impaired driver of a passenger car. However, being under the presumptive 0.08 BAC level does not mean you are not impaired and, depending upon roadside sobriety checks, you may be charged with OVI with a BAC which measures below 0.08.
In other words, the presumptive BAC level is the level at which you are automatically considered to be "legally" impaired -- it does not mean that you are not illegal if you are not at the 0.08 BAC level. As such, there is no absolute "legal limit" except "zero."
Other presumptive BAC levels in Ohio are:
What are the penalties for impaired driving in Ohio?
Administrative license suspension for a refusal of the BAC test will last from one to five years, depending on the number of prior refusals. For a failure, the administrative license suspension will last from 90 days to three years, depending on the number of prior drunk driving convictions.
Those convicted of the offense are subject to the mandatory penalties of time in jail, a court-imposed driver license suspension, and a minimum of $200 to a maximum of $10,000 fine. Penalties are based upon the number of previous DUI convictions over a five-year period.
To regain a suspended license, all OVI offenders must pay a $250 reinstatement fee and show proof of a policy for liability insurance or bond. Repeat offenders will be required to file proof of liability coverage and maintain that coverage for three years.
Third and fourth time impaired driving offenders are also subject to having their vehicle immobilized or forfeited. A vehicle owner who knowingly allows someone whose license is suspended to operate their vehicle may also be subject to these penalties.
Motorists who are convicted of vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide and are judged to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the offense will, in addition to other penalties, suffer permanent loss of driving privileges.
How many drinks can I consume before becoming impaired?
There is no reliable means to predict how many alcoholic beverages an individual can consume before becoming impaired.
In past years, various entities have published charts which outline the blood-alcohol content (BAC) you will attain if you weigh X pounds and consume X drinks. However, these charts only consider two variables -- number of drinks and body weight. Actually, there are many more variables which must be considered, so a generalized estimate as to level of intoxication or potential BAC would be very unreliable.
How do troopers test suspected impaired drivers?
When a trooper observes a suspected impaired driver, s/he will stop the car for observed traffic offenses and make personal contact with the driver. If the officer detects possible impairment once contacting the driver, divided-attention sobriety tests will be conducted. Among these are:
In addition, the trooper will observe how well the driver can understand and respond to questions and follow instructions.
If, after conducting these tests, the officer detects impairment, an arrest is made and the suspect is taken into custody for a formal BAC test.
Why do you hold sobriety checkpoints?
Sobriety checkpoints are designed to be a deterrent, not a trap.
The Supreme Court has ruled that before conducting a sobriety checkpoint, several criteria must be met. First, the location of the checkpoint must have a historically high rate of alcohol-related crashes. Second, the agency must follow specific guideline for notification that the checkpoint is to be conducted. Also, if traffic is too heavy to stop each car passing through the checkpoint, cars must be stopped according to a predetermined formula (ie: every other car, every fourth car, etc.).
What are the guidelines for using windshield wipers according to the new regulation?
Effective Jan. 1, 2010 - Under Ohio Revised Code 4513.03, all vehicles upon a street or highway must have headlights on while using windshield wipers. This is a secondary traffic offense, which means vehicles cannot be stopped solely for a violation of this statute. A citation for this offense is a minor misdemeanor. Fines will vary by court district.
What percent can windows be tinted on the vehicle?
According to Ohio Administrative Code 4501-41-03, on Ohio registered vehicles window tint must allow 50 percent light transmittance on the rear and side windows, and 70 percent transmittance on the windshield. In other words, the tint can not be darker than 50 percent on the side and back, and 30 percent on the windshield.
Light transmittance of 50 percent does not apply on the windows behind the driver if there are outside left and right side mirrors. Remember, auto glass is slightly tinted from the factory and will make the tint you apply to your windows darker than advertised by the tint manufacturer.
What is the maximum lift height? And how do you measure it?
Specifications for bumper heights are covered in section 4501-43-04 of the Ohio Administrative Code. Maximum bumper heights shall be determined by the weight category of Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The height is measured from the ground to the bottom of the bumper or frame rail
What colors and types (under body, in-car, etc.) of neon lights are legal?
Lights must not rotate, oscillate, or flash, but state law does not prohibit the use of colored neon lights under your car as long as they do not interfere or blind other drivers.
Ohio Revised Code, section 4513.17 prohibits flashing lights on motor vehicles with the exception of emergency vehicles, turn signals, and hazard flashers.
As long as the neon lights are less than 300 candle power they are not in violation of any State law. If the lights are more than 300 candle power they must be directed to strike the pavement the vehicle sets upon at a distance of no more than 75 feet. The lights can not exceed 500 candle power.
State law requires a white light to illuminate the rear license plate.
What is involved in a motor vehicle inspection?
A motor vehicle inspection is a very brief check. The inspector checks to assure all lights, signals, and safety equipment is installed and in working order. Some of these items include: Turn signals, stop lights, head lights, horn, safety belts, emergency brake, and mirrors. In addition, equipment violations such as missing bumpers, cracked windshields, and poor tires will result in failing an inspection.
Is a front license plate required on Ohio-registered cars?
Yes. Failure to display a front license plate on an Ohio-registered car is a registration violation.
How can I purchase surplus Ohio State Highway Patrol vehicles or equipment?
All surplus OSHP equipment, including automobiles, are released to the Department of Administrative Services, Division of State and Federal Surplus Property for re-sale. Call 614-466-6570 for information on becoming a bidder. Or, visit their Web site at www.ohio.gov/surplus.
Are troopers under a quota for writing traffic tickets?
No, troopers are under no quotas.
While troopers are best known for writing traffic citations, they are responsible for a great variety of activity. Troopers assist over a half-million people a year, conduct motor vehicle inspections, respond to and investigate traffic crashes, and investigate other criminal activity. In addition, they issue approximately 400,000 warnings a year. There is no minimum level of activity for any category of activity.
Is traffic enforcement just another way to raise revenue?
No. The mission of the Patrol is to reduce crashes, deaths, and injuries on the roadways of Ohio. Because of a policy of firm but fair enforcement, Ohio is consistently among the safest of the most populous states.
Ohio State Highway Patrol operations are funded primarily through license plates and driver license fees, so the Patrol receives no benefit from traffic fine money. While the state of Ohio receives some fine money, the majority is retained by the municipality and/or county in which the offense occurred.
Why don’t troopers concentrate on "serious" crimes instead of traffic offenses?
Crime-fighting is designed to protect citizens from threats to life, limb, and property. Traffic crashes, though largely preventable, claim twice as many lives each year as murders. In America in 1996, a person was murdered (on the average) every 27 minutes, while a life was lost in a traffic crash every 13 minutes. And while there was an aggravated assault every 31 seconds, there was also a crash-related injury every nine seconds.
Nobody expects to die in a traffic crash, but thousands do each year. Since traffic crashes can be (and are) prevented by fair and firm traffic enforcement, the enforcement of these laws has a significant effect upon society.
Why enforce speed?
Excessive speed is consistently a leading contributing factor in serious crashes. Since the Patrol's primary mission is to reduce crashes and the accompanying death and injuries, speed enforcement is imperative.
How do Ohio troopers measure speed?
Trooper can measure speed by "pacing" vehicles (following them and observing the speed), with measuring devices (such as radar and laser), and from the air.
Is airborne speed enforcement hearsay evidence?
No, Patrol pilots who witness the offenses are also troopers. As the ground unit stops the offender who was "clocked" from the air, the trooper/pilot oversees the stop to assure the proper vehicle(s) are contacted.
How fast can I go without getting a speeding ticket?
You may be issued a traffic citation for any speed over the speed limit.
What do I do if I lost my Ohio speeding citation?
In Ohio, citations are issued through specific court jurisdictions and you will need to contact the court in order to resolve the issue. Since you likely don't know the court because the citation is lost, you will have to contact the Patrol Post that issued the citation and have them provide you with contact information for the court. Please let us know where you were issued the citation, and hopefully we can direct you to the correct Post.
While on the road if dial *77 from my cell phone will I get the Ohio State Highway Patrol?
There is no application for law enforcement agencies in Ohio utilizing the *77 number on your cell phone.
The Ohio State Patrol has a toll free hotline at #677. Dialing this phone number on your cellular phone will connect you with the closest patrol post in the area in which you are traveling through, and will dispatch an Ohio State Trooper to render assistance.
In addition to the *77, there is also information about *65 providing the same feature, again there is no application in Ohio.
If you need assistance while you are traveling call #677.
Am I required to have automobile insurance when I drive?
Yes, in Ohio it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without insurance or other financial responsibility proof (FR Proof). It is also illegal for any motor vehicle owner to allow anyone else to drive the owner's vehicle without FR Proof.
Where can I find out more about Ohio’s financial responsibility laws?
The Ohio Department of Public Safety has a detailed summary of the law on their Web site.
What are the approved schools for the Mature Driving Course that my insurance company told me about?
How do I obtain a copy of a crash report?
If the crash was investigated by an officer of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a crash report can be obtained online or by completing and mailing the request form (along with the required fee). Request a crash report.
If the crash was investigated by a member of a county or local agency, contact that agency to determine the proper procedure.
What do I do in the event of a highway breakdown?
While on the road if I dial *77 from my cell phone will I get the Ohio State Highway Patrol?
There is no application for law enforcement agencies in Ohio utilizing the *77 number on your cell phone.
The Ohio State Patrol has a toll free hotline at 1-877-7PATROL. Dialing this phone number on your cellular phone will connect you with the closest patrol post in the area in which you are traveling through, and will dispatch an Ohio State Trooper to render assistance.
In addition to the *77, there is also information about *65 providing the same feature, again there is no application in Ohio.
If you need assistance while you are traveling call 1-877-7PATROL.
Does the Ohio State Highway Patrol conduct fundraising activities?
No, the Patrol does not conduct fundraising. However, the Ohio Troopers Coalition, a professional association, and Troopers for a Safer Ohio, a legislative lobbying and public education organization, do conduct fundraising. Members of the Patrol may belong to both affiliates, but aside from that, there is no other connection between these organizations and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
How do I file a complaint against a Highway Patrol employee?
You can initiate a claim against a Highway Patrol officer in one of three ways. First, you can call your nearest Patrol post (1-877-7 PATROL). If you would rather, you may call the Patrol's Administrative Investigation section, 614-466-6812, which is located at General Headquarters in Columbus. Finally, you may complete an Allegation of OSHP Employee Misconduct form, which you can download by clicking here.
How do I obtain a criminal background check in Ohio?
Criminal background checks are conducted either by county sheriff’s offices, or through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I). The phone number for BCI&I is (740) 845-2000. Or visit http://www.ag.state.oh.us/business/fingerprint/index.asp#bckgdchecks