2018 Could Offer New Start For Some Ohio Drivers
HB 336 offers help for certain Ohioans with suspended licenses
January 04, 2018
[ Robert R. Cupp Home | Robert R. Cupp Press ]

COLUMBUS—State Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima) announces that the Ohio House approved House Bill 336 to help reduce the high number of Ohioans with suspended driver’s licenses. The bill now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

When a person’s driver’s license or permit is suspended because of a violation of a traffic or other law, the person must pay a reinstatement fee in addition to any fine, court costs or other penalty the court may impose. The reinstatement fee is an administrative charge relating to administering the license suspension system. For many, the reinstatement fee is the financial barrier that keeps them from getting their license reinstated although they have paid the fine, court costs, and complied with all other court-ordered sanctions resulting from the violation.

In an effort to reduce the number of people with a suspended license due to this last additional financial hurdle, H.B 336, which passed the House in mid-December, 2017, would establish a temporary six-month fee reduction or waiver program for individuals who have meet all of the other obligations from the violation which resulted in their license suspension.

With safety in mind, however, persons whose offenses involved alcohol, drugs of abuse, or a deadly weapon would not qualify for the fee reduction or waiver. Nor would the program apply to commercial driver’s licenses and permits.

Other eligibility requirements for this special program include the following: the person’s suspension has been in effect for at least 18 months, the person has completed all other court-ordered sanctions, and the person is indigent.

If the bill is enacted into law, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles would be responsible for establishing and administering the program within 90 days of its effective date, as well as providing public awareness information about the temporary program. Active driver’s license suspensions statewide currently total 3.2 million. Some individuals have more than one suspension and owe more than one reinstatement fee.

“Benefits to the public from the program include reducing the number of suspensions and reducing some of the administrative backlog the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is currently experiencing keeping track of the large number of license suspensions. Benefits would also include an incentive for more individuals to have their legal driving privileges reinstated, keep auto liability insurance coverage, and remove an employment barrier resulting from the lack of ability to drive to work,” Cupp said.

House Bill 336 received nearly unanimous bipartisan approval in House. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. The bill must also be signed by the Governor before the program could commence.


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