BMV To Offer New Reinstatement Fee Payment Plan - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

BMV To Offer New Reinstatement Fee Payment Plan

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The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has unveiled a new plan to help people with high reinstatement fees get back on the road.

BMV Officials say more than 400,000 people are eligible to apply for a new payment plan that will kick off in July.

On Monday, there were a number of people waiting at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Reinstatement Office who needed to pay anywhere from $3,500 to thousands of dollars just to get behind the wheel and back on the road.

James Jones had a large fee to pay. He says old Ohio tickets kept him from getting his license in Indiana after he had passed all the tests. 

"I had a ticket from 2001," Jones said. The unpaid fines escalated into a suspended license and eventually an arrest warrant.

BMV Officials say there are more than 45 ways someone can lose their license in Ohio, some of which have nothing to do with a person's actions behind the wheel.

In order to have their license reinstated, offenders have to pay the fees against them.

"Those suspensions range in reinstatement fees from $35 to $650," says the Chief of the Suspension Section Dianna McConnaughey.

The suspension fees are preventing many from their only mode of transportation.

"How can you get to work if you can't drive? How can you pay your reinstatement fee if you can't get to work?" Jones said. 

Driver Jamelia Mauzy took out a loan to pay off a $3,000 reinstatement fee for her boyfriend, "It's a vicious cycle. Once you get caught up in that, it's hard to get out."

Some drivers say it's very easy to get deeper in debt. "I mean a lot of them -- there's just too many fines to pay so they just drive illegally anyway," says one man who says his friend owes more than $4,000.

Now, the BMV is offering a way out of that downward spiral. 

On July 1, people who owe at least $150 can apply for a reinstatement fee installment plan. 

"Fifty dollars a month can put you back on the road with proof of insurance," BMV Administrator of the Suspensions and License Section Tim Fisher shares. 

It is an option for people who are non-violent drivers with no outstanding court orders. 
"When you taking $3,000 from your kids mouth, that's a lot at one time," Mauzy says. 

With this new payment plan, many families will no longer have to make that difficult choice. 

Right now, BMV leaders say the Franklin County Court offers a payment plan but drivers only get limited privileges and no physical license.

The new installment plan officially goes into effect July 15.

Applications will be available online or at the Deputy Registrar's Office on July 1. The first $50 payment towards reinstatement fees must be paid with the application. The license will remain valid as long as no other suspensions are placed on the driver's record and the $50 payments are made every 30 days.

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