Editorial: Sneaky license fees a disgrace for state of Ohio


A recent editorial by the Youngstown Vindicator:

Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, formerly of Liberty, is among those representing plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit that suggests government and King Bureaucracy truly do exist only to serve themselves.

In this case, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is being accused of charging 3,423,315 Buckeye State residents lamination fees long after the BMV stopped laminating driver’s licenses onsite.

“Despite the fact that the procedures changed as of July 2, 2018, the legislation authorizing the collection of the lamination fee did not change until July 3, 2019, and deputy registrars continued to collect the $1.50 lamination fee per Ohio credential issues even though they were no longer performing the services for which the lamination fee was meant to compensate them,” the lawsuit says, according to a report by WCMH-Columbus.

While $1.50 here and there might not seem worth a fight, $5,134,972.50 certainly is. That is how much the lawsuit says Ohio BMV collected during the lapse. (And no, Dann is not suggesting plaintiffs be sent $1.50 each. He told WCMH his office is proposing Ohio residents be given a credit toward their next BMV visit or renewal.)

Meanwhile, Ohio isn’t planning to let that $1.50 per person slip through its fingers, as it simply has changed the name of the fee and will continue to charge it. Now, it is a “document authentication fee.”

In other words, it sure seems like lawmakers and bureaucrats don’t care whether there’s a good reason to skim a little more money from Ohioans, they just believe what’s yours is theirs, and will play whatever shell game is necessary to take it.

— Youngstown Vindicator, August 22, 2022