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Starting today, Ohio allows more options for certain driver’s license reinstatements after suspension.

Posted December 13, 2020
5:00 am

What is the Reinstatement Fee Debt Reduction and Amnesty Program?

The Reinstatement Fee Debt Reduction and Amnesty Program is a permanent program within the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) intended to assist people who cannot afford to pay all their pending reinstatement fees following a driver’s license suspension.

Beginning on December 13, 2020, the program provides for eligible individuals to have their driver’s licenses reinstated after suspension by paying reduced reinstatement fees or receiving a complete fee waiver, depending on whether the participant is indigent.

The program is separated into two phases: suspensions that occurred prior to September 15, 2020 and those that occur after that date.

The program only applies to a driver’s license or permit suspension, it does not apply to a commercial driver’s license or permit.

Who is eligible for the program?

The BMV will automatically enroll any person who is eligible for the program and inform that person through an email or regular mail, eliminating the need to apply. It will be important for those eligible for the program to have a working email address and current mailing address on file.

A person will be enrolled into the program when all of the following apply:

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

A person may have reinstatement fees reduced or waived through the program only once. Those who are eligible for the first phase are not eligible to participate in the second phase, regardless of whether the person actually participates in the first phase. A person must show valid proof of insurance.

Once you have received a reduction or complete waiver of reinstatement fees in either the first or second phase, you are no longer eligible for a reduction or waiver through the program in the future.

How do I know if I am eligible for a fee reduction or complete waiver?

A person is considered indigent and eligible for a complete waiver if they 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 Veterans Affairs pension Benefit Program

Individuals are eligible for a reduction in reinstatement fees if they are not indigent, meaning they are not participants in the low-income assistance programs.

The individual receiving a reduction must pay 50% of the reinstatement fee owed. If reinstatement fees are owed for multiple offenses, the person 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.

A participant may submit payments by regular mail, online, or in-person at the BMV or a deputy registrar office. All in-person payments must be accompanied by a $10 deputy registrar/BMV fee.

What offenses are eligible?

Eligible offenses include:
Unruly child (R.C. 2151.354); Delinquent child (R.C. 2152.19); Juvenile traffic offender (R.C. 2152.21); Theft of gasoline (R.C. 2913.02); Incompetence by examination (R.C. 4507.20); Operating vehicle without proof of insurance (R.C. 4509.101); Failure to pay security deposit, or failure to request a hearing after receiving notice regarding a motor vehicle accident (R.C. 4509.17); Default on a payment that was required by written agreement after a motor vehicle accident (R.C. 4509.24); Nonpayment of a judgment (R.C. 4509.40); Repeat traffic offender (R.C. 4510.037); Violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to a statutory violation that imposes a suspension (R.C. 4510.05); Suspension under the federal Assimilative Crimes Act (R.C. 4510.06); Reckless operation (R.C. 4510.15); Failure to appear or failure to pay a fine related to specific vehicle-related violations (R.C. 4510.22); Incompetency adjudication (R.C. 4510.23); Commission of specific motor vehicle offenses by a minor (R.C. 4510.31); Habitual absence from school (R.C. 4510.32); Wrongful entrustment of a motor vehicle (R.C. 4511.203); Use of an electronic wireless communication device by a minor while driving (R.C. 4511.205); Street racing (R.C. 4511.251); Failure to stop for a school bus (R.C. 4511.75); Failure to stop after an accident (R.C. 4549.02); Failure to stop after a nonpublic road accident (R.C. 4549.021); and Trafficking in cigarettes or tobacco products with intent to avoid tax, when a motor vehicle was used in the offense (R.C. 5743.99).

Eligible offenses, however, cannot involve alcohol, illegal drugs, a deadly weapon, or any combination.

How do I find out more?

Questions? Call 1-844-644-6268. Additional information is also available on the BMV’s website.

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