In Ohio, if a person has had his or her driver’s license suspended, there are fees associated with getting it reinstated.Oftentimes, those with a suspended license have fallen on hard times, and finding the money to pay for this extra cost can be difficult. Because of this, many continue to drive anyways, letting their insurance lapse and putting themselves and others at risk.
To help Ohioans with suspended licenses become legally able to drive again, the Ohio House recently passed the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative, a Buckeye Pathway bill.
House Bill 336, a bipartisan piece of legislation joint-sponsored by Cleveland-area Representatives Dave Greenspan and John Barnes, would establish a temporary, six-month debt reduction and waiver program for Ohioans with suspended licenses.
This program steps up to help Ohioans who have met requirements but remain restricted from getting their license back because of the fees.
House Bill 336 would set up certain qualifications for individuals to apply for a fee reduction or waiver when reinstating their license. Under the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative, eligible applicants can receive a fee reduction only if their license has been suspended for at least 18 months and they have completed all court-ordered sanctions.
Additionally, a person can be issued a full fee waiver if he or she proves they are indigent.
Applicants would not be eligible if the offense that caused the license suspension involved alcohol, drugs, or a deadly weapon.
Not only will this initiative make our roadways safer by reducing the number of drivers without a valid license or automobile insurance, it will also ease the administrative burden on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
According to testimony on the bill, there are more than 8 million driver’s licenses issued in Ohio, with over 1 million of them suspended.
In the six-month period of this program, that backlog can be significantly reduced and hundreds of thousands of Ohioans can be helped back onto their feet.
Having a driver’s license in Ohio is a crucial part of the everyday. Without it, so many people can’t go to work, drop their kids off at school, or even make a quick stop at the grocery store.
It’s hard to expect individuals to thrive and provide for their families when they can’t afford to get their license reinstated and can’t drive to work.
With the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative, we can help Ohioans become legal drivers again and improve overall transportation safety.
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) represents the 91st District, which includes Clinton County.