COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Roughly two million Ohioans have paid more than $3 million in fees for a service that hasn’t been performed since July of last year.
Lawmakers say this is a case of government efficiency. The previous budget bill language was never updated to reflect new changes.
In Ohio when you renew your driver’s license, you can expect to pay $25.75. About 6 percent of that fee goes towards lamination fees. The BMV says the $1.50 lamination fee is to compensate local registrars for putting the card in plastic.
But since July 2018 that service is no longer used by deputy registrars.
In a statement, BMV registrar Charles Norman said
“On July 1, 2018, when the BMV moved to central issuance of Ohio’s more secure driver licenses and state identification cards, the deputy registrars no longer printed the licenses and cards; however, that labor associated with printing was replaced with additional document verification and scanning.”
Lawmakers approved a bill in December of last year that retained the lamination fee.
Lawmakers and the BMV says the language in the bill should have been updated.
State representative Brigid Kelly, serves on the finance committee board. She says lawmakers need to be more vigilant.
“The Ohio revised code is pretty extensive and I think this just shows us that we need to pay careful attention to what is going on so we can make sure we are good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars,” said Kelly.
The $1.50 fee will still be collected, but renamed to reflect the additional cost of scanning and document verification of birth certificates and social security cards.
Governor Mike DeWine is expected to address the lamination fee in his transportation budget on Friday.