Driver’s License Information

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle Reinstatement Fee Debt Reduction & Amnesty Program

Effective December 13th, 2020, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is implementing a driver’s license reinstatement fee debt reduction and amnesty program for individuals whose driver’s licenses have been suspended for specific violations. Visit the Suspensions & Reinstatements portion of the BMV website for information on how to apply, eligibility and FAQs.

The New Ohio License

In compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act, the BMV has introduced a new Ohio driver license and identification (DL-ID) card. As noted on the BMV website: “Beginning October 1, 2021, the federal government will no longer consider standard driver licenses and identification cards as sufficient forms of identification for air travel. TSA will require a federally compliant driver license, identification card or another acceptable form of identification (such as a US passport or military ID) to fly within the U.S.” **”Please note, the United States Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID full enforcement deadline from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023.”

Ohioans will still be able to choose between a REAL ID Complaint driver license/ID card or a Standard driver license/ID card. Please be aware that the Standard driver license/ID card does not meet national travel security requirements. The BMV website has a detailed list of acceptable documents that are required for obtaining the new REAL ID as well as answers to other frequently asked questions.  

Area License Bureaus

In the past, many items of business that needed to be conducted with the BMV required people to travel to the main BMV offices – the closest to our area were in either Columbus or Cincinnati.  Beginning a few years ago, all local Area License Bureaus (Deputy Registrar License Agencies) began allowing customers to conduct business locally with everything from getting a license to processing license reinstatement requirements such as submitting paperwork and paying fees. (Please be aware that there is a fee charged by the area license bureaus to do this work for you.) For your convenience, some of the local area bureaus are listed below.

Area License Bureaus Include

Centerville License Bureau
104 W Spring Valley Rd
Centerville, OH 45458

West Carrollton & Moraine License Bureau
5582 N. Springboro Pike
Moraine, OH 45449

Dayton License Bureau
1036 S. Smithville Rd – 937-252-6204
8389 N Main St – 937-454-5222
451 W. Third St – 937-496-3352

Your Driving Record

Many people who contact the Clerk’s Office are unaware of the status of their driver license.  We receive many questions related to how many points someone has, if their license is valid or what they need to do to reinstate or renew their license. If this is the case for you, there are several options for getting information about the status of your license. You can call the BMV at (844) OHIOBMV or send them an email. Perhaps most convenient would be to use the Online Services portion of their website. Through this link you can view your driving record, check reinstatement requirements on existing suspensions, pay reinstatement fees, renew plates, etc. You will need to have your personal information handy such as name, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number and driver license number.

Proof of Insurance and the Court’s Role

Ohio law requires all car owners to carry insurance (financial responsibility) on the vehicles they drive or allow others to drive (Ohio Revised Code section 4509.101). This insurance is mandatory. This proof is required for the car you were driving when stopped whether you own the car or not. When you are given a ticket, the Clerk’s Office is required to report the status of your insurance to the BMV. If you do not provide the required proof – either to the officer, the court, or later to the BMV when they try to reach you by mail at the address they have on file for you – the BMV will take away your driving privileges for a period of time as determined by your driving record history. You will also have to pay additional fees and have additional insurance requirements.  This is called a “non-compliance” suspension for failure to maintain insurance/financial responsibility. The BMV maintains a full list of financial responsibility violator penalties and requirements. If you have a ticket in this court please visit our section regarding how to show proof of insurance.

Your Driver License and the Court’s Role

Kettering Court sees many tickets related to the status of a person’s license.  People driving without a license or under a suspended license will often find themselves in front of a judge, facing the possibility of an additional suspension, added points on their license, court fees to pay and even the possibility of jail time. The court can impose optional or mandatory suspensions for certain violations. The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) lists different classes of suspensions which carry different periods of suspension time. In addition to reporting the status of your insurance to the BMV, the Clerk’s Office is also required by law to report any convictions, points and suspensions that may have been imposed by the judge or as a result of you waiving your right to see a judge and paying your ticket (if applicable). Many people have been caught in a cycle of suspensions and fees that can be very difficult to get out of. As such, it is important to be aware of the status of your license and only drive when you are legally allowed to do so.

In addition to suspension(s), the judges may also impose other restrictions on your license, such as a warrant block, vehicle registration block and license forfeiture, if you fail to make appearances or comply with other judicial orders. A warrant block prevents you from renewing your license and plates; a vehicle registration block prevents your ability to register your vehicle or transfer its registration (get tags); and a license forfeiture cancels your privilege to drive. All court-imposed actions may be lifted by a judge when you make the required appearance or provide the required information to the Court. Once restrictions are lifted, you will need to pay reinstatement fees directly to the BMV first before you can reinstate your license. These fees can be mailed to the BMV or paid on their website, however, if you want immediate action on your license, you can make a trip to one of the BMV’s area license bureaus as noted above.

Categories of Suspensions

According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 4510.01(H), a “suspension” is:  “the permanent or temporary withdrawal, by action of a court or the bureau of motor vehicles, of a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege for the period of the suspension or the permanent or temporary withdrawal of the privilege to obtain a license, permit, or privilege of that type for the period of the suspension.” There are two broad categories of suspensions: Court Suspensions and BMV Suspensions. Under these two categories, there are many specific types of suspensions that can be imposed.  Below is a brief overview of some of the most frequently seen suspensions in our court. (For a thorough overview of the multiple types of suspensions in the State of Ohio, visit the Suspensions & Reinstatements section of the BMV website.)

Court Suspensions

• Court-ordered suspension – As a result of a conviction on a violation. May possibly be eligible for driving privileges.
• License forfeiture suspension – As a result of failing to appear in court on a 1st – 4th degree misdemeanor charge. Not eligible for driving privileges. Will need to follow-up with the court where the suspension originated.
• Violator compact suspension – As a result of an unpaid ticket from an out of state court. Not eligible for driving privileges. Will need to follow-up with the court where the suspension originated.
• Court blocks – Although not a suspension, a judge can block your ability to renew/apply for a driver license or to register (get tags) a vehicle due to failure to pay or appear. Not eligible for driving privileges. Will need to follow-up with the court where the block originated.

BMV Suspensions

• Insurance-related suspensions – Non-compliance, judgment and security suspensions. May possibly be eligible for driving privileges on the non-compliance suspension only. See BMV for information on how to handle judgment and security suspensions.
• Alcohol-related suspensions – OVI, physical control and administrative license suspensions. May possibly be eligible for driving privileges.
• Other suspensions – 12-point suspensions, child support and medical suspensions. May possibly be eligible for driving privileges on 12-point suspension only. See BMV for information on how to handle child support and medical suspensions.

Driving Privileges

For information regarding the opportunity to request driving privileges on Court-ordered suspensions as well as Alcohol-related suspensions, you may visit the Driving Privileges link under our Traffic & Criminal division.

For information regarding the opportunity to request driving privileges on certain BMV suspensions, you may visit the BMV Suspensions  link under our Civil division.