Ohio residents need to drive to get to work. In fact, 83% of working Ohioans drive themselves to work. Only 8% carpool. Only 2% use public transportation.
Driving is important.
Over 3 million people in Ohio have suspended licenses. There are over 30 ways to lose your license. Thirty-nine percent of suspension are for not having insurance. Sixteen percent are for not paying misdemeanor fines.
The rest of suspensions were for something not related to driving. Nineteen percent are for child support. Nineteen percent are related to drugs.
When the government suspends your license, it cannot be reinstated without payment of a fee. These range from $15 to $650 per suspensions, and can stack up to thousands of dollars. Most people can’t afford them.
We want people to work.
So, for the first six months of this year, Ohio held a Drivers License Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative. That means that people who can’t afford their fees could get them reduced. Some got them waived completely.
It worked! 76,669 people saved over $63 million!
Those who had fees waived completely averaged $1,270 per person. Those who got a reduction saved $789 per person, and the state collected $3.6 million in remaining fees. Those people got their licenses back!
The program has been extended until the end of the year. You can apply free online at https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/susp-fees-amnesty.aspx .
Mike Daugherty is Judge of the Clinton County Municipal Court.