In just the State of Ohio, there are approximately 1.1 million drivers with a suspended license. Some of those 1.1 million drivers have multiple suspensions for multiple reasons. The total number of active suspensions is thought to be over 3 million. And these figures are from just last year!
There are numerous reasons a license suspension can occur, such as: failure to provide proof of insurance, failure to appear in court and/or pay fines, too many points on your license, court suspensions for traffic (OVI) or criminal (drugs) matters, child support, etc.
Because there are so many Ohioans that are on the roads driving with a suspended license, the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative was started to eliminate, or greatly reduce, the fees that are owed to the BMV. These reinstatement fees were often a hinderance to people trying to get their license valid. With suspension/reinstatement fees ranging from $15 to $650 per offense, this program is a welcome change to those still owing. Originally the BMV was going to stop the program on July 31st, but they have extended it to the end of the year.
So who is eligible? Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for the program. According to Legal Aid of Western Ohio, “[f]or individuals to be eligible for a reduction of reinstatement fees they must have completed all court-ordered sanctions related to their eligible offense other than the payment of the reinstatement fee, and at least 18 months must have passed since the end of their court-ordered suspension”. There are also eligibility requirements regarding the actual offense that was charged. Any offense involving deadly weapons, drugs, or alcohol are ineligible. CDL holders are also not eligible under the program.
To be granted a complete wavier of all reinstatement fees, you must satisfy the conditions above and provide proof of indigence by sending a screen shot of any SNAP case information from Job and Family Services showing (1) current status, (2) current month, (3) next review date, and (4) authorized representatives in the household.
To apply for the reduction of your fees, you can apply online at https://services.dps.ohio.gov/BMVOnlineServices, stop by your local BMV, or mail in an application (BMV form 2829) to the Columbus office.
To apply for a complete wavier of your fees, the application and supporting documents (SNAP information) need to be mailed to Columbus.
Even if you have some suspensions that qualify for the program and some that do not, you can still apply to have the eligible fees waived/reduced.