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Grants/Federal Programs

State-funded Grant Opportunities

Drive to Succeed Scholarship Program Overview and Guidelines:

  • Grants available to local governmental agencies, such as police departments, sheriffs’ offices, health departments, public school districts and others

  • Applying agency must be in an area with a population of 5,000 or more

  • First round of grants announced in March 2023

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ohio Traffic Safety Office is to save lives and reduce injuries on Ohio’s roads through leadership and partnering efforts with others interested in traffic safety, utilizing the most innovative and efficient methods possible of managing state and federal resources.

Grant Program Goal

OTSO aims to expand access to teen driver training to low-income populations by providing funding for localized scholarship programs.

Grant Program Details

The Ohio Traffic Safety Office’s (OTSO) goal is to promote traffic safety messaging, research, and programing in Ohio, in an effort to decrease traffic fatalities in Ohio road users. Recent OTSO research has, for the first time in Ohio, provided data that indicates a correlation between youth who complete driver training and obtain their license before they turn 18 and their crash outcomes within the first year of licensure. With the knowledge that driver training plays a crucial role in creating safer new drivers, OTSO is focused on helping more young drivers obtain driver training by making it more accessible.

Ohio law only requires driver training for all new drivers if they are 16 or 17 years old at time of licensure. Anyone aged 18 or older can obtain their license without any form of training, if they pass their licensing test on the first attempt. If an adult fails the licensing test, they must complete a four-hour course (which can be done online) and either 24 hours driving experience with a licensed driver over age 21, or 4 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. Ohio BMV records indicated only 24% of first-time drivers over the age of 18 end up taking this abbreviated driver training.

Meanwhile, Ohio law requires 16- and 17-year-olds take 24 hours of classroom instruction (which can be done online) as well as complete 8 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a licensed instructor. These drivers must also complete 50 hours of in-car experience (10 hours at night) with a parent or guardian and must hold their temporary instruction permit for 6 months prior to obtaining their license. The lengthy instruction and required in-car experience provide youth with the knowledge and skills they need to be safe drivers once they are licensed.

Ohio Driver Training Requirements


16- or 17- year-old New Drivers

New Drivers 18+, if pass test on 1st attempt

New Drivers 18+, if failed test

Classroom Instruction (can be online)

24 hours


4 hours

Behind-the- Wheel Hours (instructor led)

8 hours


4 (unless driver chooses in-car)

In Car Hours (not instructor led)



24 (unless driver chooses behind-the- wheel instruction)

Length of Permit

6 months


None, but must wait 7 days to retake test


In addition to the traffic safety benefit from obtaining driver training, enabling youth to get their license has potential economic and crime-prevention benefits. With many businesses struggling to hire entry-level and part-time positions, enabling 16- and 17-year-olds to get their license gives kids the chance to take one of these jobs, if transportation to the job was previously a barrier. Additionally, some communities have focused on providing driver training as a means to prevent unlicensed youthful drivers and the potential criminal violations that stem from being caught driving without a license- or even fleeing law enforcement because the driver isn’t licensed.

Teen driver training courses generally cost between $300-600, or even more. This cost can prove to be a huge barrier to obtaining training for youth from low-income families. Given the many benefits of earlier licensure for youthful drivers, OTSO strives for more equity in access to driver training.

OTSO is supporting this mission by establishing a grant program to provide local jurisdictions funding to establish teen driver training scholarship programs. Local governmental agencies, such as police departments, sheriffs’ offices, health departments, etc. may apply for funding to establish community-based scholarships. Funding local jurisdictions allows for programs which can address the specific localized needs and resources of the community, while establishing relationships between local law enforcement and the populations they serve.

Competitive Grant Funding Priorities

Competitive grants will be directed toward those local jurisdictions that will have the greatest need, as determined by factors set forth by OTSO. This will include local poverty level, population, and/or the fatal crash rate.

To be eligible to receive funds under this grant program, the proposing agency must meet the following criteria:

  • Local unit of government or council of government (e.g., county, city, township, village, police department or sheriff’s office, health department, etc.); and
  • Serve a population of 5,000 or more

Funding Information

OTSO will use the following criteria to determine each grant proposal’s funding eligibility: (1) met the submission deadline; (2) met the minimum proposal requirements, and 3) proposal’s ability to impact program goals.

OTSO will award grants based on: (1) the amount of funding available to OTSO; (2) the total number of proposals submitted to OTSO; and (3) the need of the community, which may be determined by the poverty level, population, and/or fatal crash rates in the community. Funding amounts will depend entirely on these factors, yet are expected to be no less than $5,000 and no more than $45,000 per agency.

OTSO reserves the right to limit the number of grants awarded and the awarded amounts at any time based on available funding and ability to impact statewide goals.

Grant Period and Project Commencement

This grant period will be for two years, with exact dates established based on execution of a Memorandum of Agreement. Grantees must submit reports to the Ohio Traffic Safety Office in the manner and frequency at which OTSO requires (but no more than quarterly.)

Funding Mechanism

Grantees will be awarded all funding up front, at the beginning of the grant period. Grantees will then have 2 years to spend down the money, for grant purposes. Any unspent funds at the end of the grant period must be returned to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), unless otherwise directed by DPS at its sole discretion.

Funding Restrictions

Funding may only be used to reimburse driver training schools for the actual cost of novice teen driver training for eligible students. Eligible students are defined as those with an articulable financial need or barrier (such as below the poverty level) and who have not previously had teen driver training. Students may not be directly reimbursed for driver training costs. Reimbursement should be made to the driver training school upon completion of the training, unless an agreement has been made for pre-payment and how non-completion will be handled.

Administration of the grant may not be conducted under any other existing traffic safety grant through OTSO, as this is not a federally allowable expense. Personnel who also conduct federal OTSO grant activities may conduct activities for this grant, they just may not do so with federal funding.

Proposal Requirements

Grant Proposal Contents

Grant proposals must be submitted on the provided application form by the agency which will receive the funding and administer the grant. Successful grant proposals must answer all of the questions on the application form.

  • Criteria by which students will qualify for scholarships (see below for more information)
  • How eligible students will be identified and notified of opportunity
  • Requirements of students and families regarding driver training attendance and reimbursement for non-attendance
  • Identification of driver training school(s) to be used and costs associated per student
  • How the grantee will handle students who may not complete training (such an agreement with the driver training schools to transfer tuition fee to another student)
  • Identification of any local partners and participating schools.
  • Identification of program administrator within the applying agency

More information can be found below in the Recommendations section.

Grant Proposal Deadline

Drive to Succeed Grant Proposals must be submitted by email to trafficsafety@dps.ohio.gov no later than 5:00 pm EST on January 27, 2023.

Data Collection

A vital part of this program is to ensure that teen drivers are benefitting from increased access to driver training classes, resulting in fewer crashes and driving violations. Therefore, to help us in tracking the effectiveness of the program, we will ask grantees to provide the following information on a semi-annual basis:

  • Legal names of all scholarship recipients (as it appears on a driver’s license)
  • Their dates of birth
  • Their full legal addresses
  • Their driver’s license/permit number
  • The dates that they begin and end driver training

This tracking information should be submitted using an Excel spreadsheet, which will be provided to grantees.

With this information, OTSO will be able to monitor driving records of the scholarship recipients and compare their safety performance with the performance of young Ohio drivers who do not enroll in driver training.

Additionally, as part of the agreement, grantees must facilitate the completion of a brief survey by scholarship recipients upon the completion of their driver training. OTSO will provide the survey. This survey will ask the recipient, among other things:

  • How instrumental the scholarship was in allowing the student to attend driver training and successfully attain licensure
  • The extent to which a driver’s license has helped the student with school or job commitments, family responsibilities, charitable activities, etc.

This survey will help OTSO assess the extent to which the scholarship has resulted in a real-life, positive impact for the youth drivers who receive them.

Grantees may be required to provide other feedback regarding the grant program processes and outcomes, as requested by OTSO.

Bidder’s Conference

An information session, known as a Bidder’s Conference, will be held virtually on Wednesday, January 4th at 1 pm. For more information on the grant program and to have any questions answered, please email trafficsafety@dps.ohio.gov to register to attend.


Working with Driver Training Schools – Your agency should identify one or more Driver Training schools with whom you will send students to for training. This may be a combination of an online school and an in-person school to provide the behind-the-wheel training. Applying agencies are strongly encouraged to establish an agreement with the driver training school to address issues of cost, payment parameters, attendance, uncompleted training, timelines, etc.

Criteria Suggestions: Criteria must be established as to how students will be identified and selected to receive funding for the training. Criteria must first establish how students will be identified as eligible (meeting poverty-level requirements listed above.) Additional criteria should be in line with the needs of the local community, but may include a minimum GPA, school absence minimums, teacher recommendations, essay submission, participation in other agency- sponsored programs (i.e. seminars or education). Criteria should be used to encourage and ensure program attendance and completion, but should not be so restrictive so as to exclude most eligible students.

Cost-Sharing: Agencies may find it helpful to require students to pay a small non-refundable portion of the fee, in order to help ensure their attendance. The fee may range from $25 to no more than $50.

Uncompleted training: Every effort should be made to ensure all students complete the full training course. Payments should be made to driver training schools upon completion of training. However, in the event the driver training school requires payment upfront, agencies must establish an agreement with the driver training schools that addresses tuition paid for students who do not complete training, such as transferring the tuition to another student.

Community Involvement: Applicants are encouraged to develop broad-based support and commitment by local officials, constituent groups, community-oriented groups, schools, and businesses. Local Safe Communities Coalitions may be interested and able to help coordinate Drive to Succeed grant activities (but not under their federal grant).

Federal Programs

FFY 2023 Grants

Grant Solicitation Package

Summer Holiday Enforcement Program Grant Solicitation Package

Terms and Conditions

Awards List

FFY2023 Safe Communities Grant Program Changes

  • Maximum funding amounts increased.
  • Five Traffic Safety Strategies
    • Impaired Driving/Drugged Driving
    • Seat Belt Usage/”Click It or Ticket” initiatives
    • Distracted Driving
    • Motorcycle Awareness
    • Youthful Driver (15 ½ - 24)
  • Each Safe Communities program is required to conduct at least one interactive, evidence-based youthful driver (ages 15 ½ - 24) event to address seat belts, impaired driving, distracted driving, speed, and other risky driving behaviors. Examples of a youthful driver event include, but are not limited to Think Fast, Arrive Alive, Cinema Drive, partnering with SADD and/or FCCLA, or another youth focused event (high-school/college sporting events) that addresses traffic crash (fatal or serious injury) problem identification. OTSO recommends scheduling the event during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Prom, Homecoming, or Distracted Driving Month.

Statistics for Proposal

Proposal Guidelines Presentations

FFY 2022 Grants

Grant Solicitation Package

Terms and Conditions

Grants Updates

Statistics for Proposal

Proposal Guidelines Presentations

FFY 2021 Grants

Grant Solicitation Package

Terms and Conditions

Statistics for Proposal

Proposal Guidelines Presentations

Provisions, Limits & Guidance

Sub-Grantee Provisions

Fiscal Monitoring PowerPoint

Executive Order - Ethics Requirements

Executive Order - Purchase of Food

Moving Ahead for Progress Presentations (Sept. 2013)

Forms & Reporting

Request to Purchase (OTS 0013)

Education Request (OTS 0014)

Travel Request (OTS 0015)

National Mobilizations Reporting Form

Fatal Data Review Report

Personnel Activity Report

Mileage Log

Conference Reporting

Additional Downloads

2021 County Restraint Usage Rates

Countermeasures That Work

Logo Credit Line

Sample Grant Announcement - General

Sample Grant Announcement - Law Enforcement

OVI Task Force Memorandum of Understanding

OVI Task Force Sub-Contract