Driver's License Suspensions in Ohio

What Offenses Can Result in a Driver’s License Suspension in Ohio?

In Ohio, there are several reasons why your driver’s license can be suspended. Some of the most common suspensions are

  1. An Offense Conviction: A court may impose a suspension during a sentencing for a drug offense, operating a vehicle impaired(OVI), a hit and skip, or a fleeing and eluding conviction.
  2. Non-Compliance Suspension: This suspension imposed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can occur if a person fails to show proof of insurance or a bond after a traffic offense. It can also be suspended after a random driver’s license check.
  3. If a driver accrues more than 12 points on her driver license within a two year span, the BMV can order a suspension. Remedial courses can be taken to reduce those points.
  4. Security Suspension: If a person is in an accident without insurance and causes more than $400.00 in damages, her driver license may be suspended if the accident is reported.
  5. Administrative License Suspension (ALS): If a person is arrested for an OVI and refuses a chemical test or tests over the legal alcohol or drug limit, the BMV will impose a suspension. That suspension can be challenged in the court within a certain amount of time.

Penalties for Driving Under Suspension in Ohio

If a person is driving a vehicle under a driving suspension, she will be charged with a “driving under a suspension”(DUS) criminal offense, a misdemeanor of the first-degree. The possible penalties include up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, a court can impose a class seven suspension of her driver license for up to one year added to the original suspension. The extent of the penalty depends on the suspension. The most serious penalty occurs with an OVI and a twelve point suspension. Again, work privileges may be granted during the pendency of the suspension. Generally, limited driving privileges will be permitted for driving to and from work.

How To Get Your Driver’s License Back After Suspension in Ohio

There are several steps a person can take to reinstate driver license privileges. Initially, you’ll need to wait out the suspension. That waiting period will depend on the type of suspension received. Next, you’ll need to successfully complete any required safety or alcohol classes. Finally, she will need to pay all outstanding fees, tickets, and citations.

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How Can You Check if Your License is Suspended?

To check if a driver license is suspended, go to the BMV website. Once there, look under the “suspensions and reinstatement” page. Enter a birthdate, last four digits of a social security number, a driver’s license number and a last name. Alternatively, a local BMV office will print out the status of a driver’s license.

The Difference Between Debt-Related Suspensions and Criminal Suspensions

A debt-related driver’s suspension is different from a criminal suspension. A debt related suspension occurs when a person has not paid money to a court or is behind in child support payments. A criminal suspension, however, occurs as part of a sentencing in a criminal case. The most common criminal suspension is for an OVI case. Other driver’s license suspensions can occur if a person does not show insurance at a traffic stop or an accident (noncompliance suspension), she does not show up for court or pay fines after a charge and conviction involving a driver- related misdemeanor (license forfeiture suspension), she does not pay damages or costs ordered by the court in an accident (judgment suspension), a person does not pay child support or is in arrears (child support suspension), or the person does not have insurance at the time of an accident, the damages are in excess of $400, and is reported to the BMV (security suspension).

How Much Does it Cost to Reinstate a Driver’s License in Ohio?

Reinstatement fees to get a person’s driver license back depends on the type of suspension that person is under. The amount can be as low as $15.00 to remove a bench warrant to up to $600 or more. Most drivers, other than CDL drivers, can receive a reduced reinstatement fee. This reduction is only available once in a person’s lifetime and there is no application. This reduction is unavailable for alcoholic, drugs, and deadly weapons convictions. She must also show that she has insurance. To see the reduction, the BMV will send you a letter after the suspension has been served. It will advise you as to the reduction and the balance. That balance can be put on a payment plan which can be established at any BMV location. If a person cannot pay anything and is indigent, she can apply to have the reinstatement fee waived.
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