Fee Reductions Available for Driver’s License Reinstatement

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By Danilo Powell-Lima

A new year is a good time to make a fresh start – and right now, there’s good news for Ohioans who want to reinstate their driver’s license and get back on the road. As of December 13, 2020, a new program from The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can help people who have had their license suspended obtain a reinstatement. The program, called the Reinstatement Fee Debt Reduction and Amnesty Program, allows eligible individuals to pay reduced reinstatement fees or receive a complete fee waiver, depending on their income.

The BMV automatically screens everyone with a suspended license for the program and sends an email or letter to those who meet eligibility criteria. Thus, there is no need to apply – but you must have a working email address or current mailing address on file with the BMV in order to be notified. To activate the program and reinstatement fee payment plan, you also must provide proof of insurance.

Program requirements are as follows:

  • A driver’s license or permit has been suspended for one or more eligible offenses
  • At least 18 months have passed since the end of the suspension period for at least one of the person’s eligible offenses
  • The driver owes reinstatement fees
  • The driver was not enrolled previously in the program

To qualify for a complete waiver, a driver must participate in one of the following programs and submit proper documentation:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Ohio Works First
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • The Us Department of Affairs pension Benefit Program

Drivers are eligible for a reduction in reinstatement fees even if they are not participants in the above programs.

Those receiving a reduction must pay 50% of the reinstatement fee owed. If reinstatement fees are owed for multiple offenses, the driver must pay either the lowest reinstatement fee owed or 10% of the total amount – whichever is greater. Any payment must be at least $25 per month.

This BMV program is being implemented in two phases:1) license suspensions that occurred prior to 9/15/2020, and 2) those that occurred on or after 9/15/2020. The program only applies to a driver’s license or permit suspension. It does not apply to a commercial driver’s license or permit.

Need to find out more? Call 1-844-644-6268, or find additional information at bmv.ohio.gov

Do you need legal help related to your license suspension? Legal Aid may be able to assist you. Visit lasclev.org/contact to learn more.