Having your driver license suspended is incredibly inconvenient, and no longer being able to drive can feel as if you’ve lost a lot of your independence. Fortunately, depending on the reason why your license was suspended, you will be able to get your license reinstated once you’ve served your suspension.

The requirements to reinstate your license will vary depending on the nature of your suspension. These requirements range from simply paying outstanding fines to serving several years of suspension. In this guide, we will walk through everything you need to know about getting your license reinstated, the best ways to approach your license reinstatement, and how to get you back on the road once your suspension has been served.

How Do I Check If My License Is Suspended?

Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you’re likely aware of the fact that your license has been suspended, otherwise you wouldn’t be wondering how to get your license reinstated in the first place. However; if you’re unsure if your license is suspended, the best place to find out is on the Ohio BMV website. To check the status of your license, simply enter your birth date, your Ohio driver’s license number, your first and last name, and the last four digits of your social security number. Once submitted these items, you will find your driving record, which will show you the details of the your suspension if your license indeed is suspended.

The record on the Ohio BMV website will show your case number, the reason for your suspension, when the suspension period began, and the outstanding reinstatement fee owed. When your license was initially suspended, you also should have received a letter in the mail from the BMV with all the details of your suspension. If you do not agree with the reasons for the suspension, this letter will have included what you can do to contest the suspension of your Ohio driver’s license. If you never received notice of your suspension, you should contact the BMV to make sure they have your correct mailing address.

Reasons For Ohio License Suspension

There are a variety of different traffic violations can lead to a license suspension, and based on the severity of the offense, the time of the suspension will vary. Some of the most common license suspensions include:

  • Failure to pay child support
  • Traffic Violations
  • OVI Convictions
  • Failure to pay court debt
  • Outstanding Warrants
  • Unpaid Out-of-State tickets.

Other types of suspensions are ordered by a judge based on information from the BMV. In some cases, your car may be impounded to prevent you from driving without your driver’s license and registration.

12 Point Suspension

Another kind of suspension not listed above is known as a 12 point suspension. When you’ve been found guilty of a moving violation in the state of Ohio, you will receive points on your license. Depending on your offense, you can receive anywhere from 2 to 6 points. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles records the number of points you receive within 2 years, and this 2-year period begins when once you commit your first offense, though points will eventually fall off your driving record after this 2-year period.

If before the end of this 2-year period you accrue 12 points, you will receive a mandatory 12 point suspension. Once you hit the 12 Point mark and your license has been suspended, you must take the following steps to reinstate your driver’s license.

First, you must take the remedial driving course offered by the State of Ohio, then retake the Ohio driver’s license exam. You will need to file an SR-22 form, also known as a financial responsibility bond, with your insurance. There is an upfront fee to submit this form and it will likely follow with an increase in your insurance rate. Lastly, you will pay a $40 reinstatement fee to the BMV.

How To Reinstate a Suspended License in Ohio

After determining the reasoning for your driver’s license suspension on the Ohio BMV website and serving the length of the suspension, you will be eligible to reinstate your license either in person or online. If you do not agree with the reason for your suspension, you can request a hearing to appeal it.

You must request this hearing within the first 30 days of your suspension period. After your request is made, you will be given a time and place for your hearing. You may appear in court or have an attorney represent you.

More commonly, you will need to do your time and wait out your suspension period before reinstating your license. Unfortunately, there is usually no shortcut to lessen your suspension time. If you are unsure how to approach your situation, contacting an attorney may help.

Reinstatement Depends On Your Type of Suspension

In most cases, you will still need to serve your suspension time before getting your license reinstated. However, different convictions have different requirements. Not only must you have your fines paid and time served, but you may also need to retake driving courses and renew your insurance.

You won’t want to keep going back and forth with the BMV on the requirements. Make sure you have met all of their needs before reapplying for your driver’s license.

How To Reinstate a Suspended License In Person

Although there are many factors that come into play when reinstating your suspended driver’s license, there is a general process for all license suspensions. Once you have waited out the designated suspension period, and have taken all required training, you can go in person to the BMV to pay your license reinstatement fees.

These reinstatement fees can be up to $600 depending on the offense committed. Before paying the reinstatement fees, ask if you qualify to reapply for your driver’s license. If your fees are higher than $150, you can enroll in a payment plan as long as you qualify.

How To Reinstate a Suspended License Online

The State of Ohio no longer requires the reinstatement fees to be paid in person, and you can now pay the license reinstatement fee online as well. To submit the BMV payment, you must submit your birth date, Ohio driver’s license number, first and last name, and the last four digits of your social security number on the Ohio License/ID Verification page.

If neither of the above options appeals to you, you can also submit your driver’s license reinstatement via mail. Send the necessary documents and a check or money order payable to the “Ohio State Treasurer” to:

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attn: RE Fee
P.O. Box 16520
Columbus OH 43216-6520

Lastly, you may also pay your fees over the phone, but note that paying your driver’s license reinstatement fees over the phone will only allow you to pay in the form of an electronic check. After payment is received, it may take around seven business days to process payment.

Costs & Fees For Ohio Drivers License Reinstatement

To get your license back, the costs and fees associated with your driver’s license suspension must be paid. Depending on the type of suspension received, the fees mostly vary from $12.50 to $475. The price of these fees is determined by the severity and frequency of the offense. Third-time offenders may have to pay as much as $600!

Minor offenses, such as failure to appear in court, minor traffic violations, or failure to pay for child support will likely only be $25 to $40 in fees. On the other hand, major traffic offenses such as DUIs/OVIs, will likely cost you around $475.

What if I can’t afford the costs & fines for reinstatement?

If you can’t afford the reinstatement fee, the BMV may work with you to create a payment plan. If your license suspension fee is over $150, you can be eligible to pay it back in installments over the course of several months.

Although not guaranteed, there is an opportunity to have the debt lowered or even waived. Certain offenses, such as drug, alcohol, or weapon charges will not be eligible for Ohio BMV’s driver’s license reinstatement fee reduction program. Minor traffic violations are likely to be eligible for this program.

Navigating the Fees

When you have had your license suspended you are subject to fees and sometimes, they’re not manageable to pay at the moment. If you’re not willing or able to cover fees, you might qualify for assistance to cover them. The BMV has a program to lower or eliminate the fee needed before getting your driver’s license reinstated.

The program began on January 13, 2020 in an effort to help those in need of financial help get back to their normal lives. Suspended drivers are automatically notified of eligibility for the program via email once their suspension has started. The Drivers License Renewal Fee Debt Reduction & Amnesty Program has helped many drivers get back on the road and back to their old ways of living sooner.

Driving Privileges For a Suspended License

Depending on the area you live in, public transportation or ride services may not be an option while your license is suspended. If the court permits you, you may be able to have driving privileges for these few reasons:

  • Medical, occupational, vocational, or educational purposes
  • Retaking the Driver’s License/Commercial License exam
  • Attending court-ordered treatment or proceedings
  • Taking a minor to school or childcare
  • Caretaker of another adult

The court may determine other situations as appropriate if a petition is filed within the county the offense was committed. Typically, these terms come with a restricted distance and require a licensed parent, guardian, or custodian in the passenger seat.

What Happens If I Get Pulled Over With a Suspended License?

If you get pulled over while driving with a suspended license, the consequences are dire. If cited, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This charge can result in an extension of your license suspension period and a maximum of 6 months of jail time.

On top of these consequences, you can be required to pay up to $1000 in fines. Other consequences may include completing community service or immobilizing devices placed on the car.

How long is an OVI suspension in Ohio?

When you are stopped by an officer and are suspected of driving under the influence, you may proceed in one of two ways but the consequences remain the same. At the time of the stop, you may consent to take the blood alcohol content test or refuse. Either way, you will immediately lose your driving privileges and driver’s license.

Ohio placed a new law in 2017 that determines the specific length of time a driver’s license is suspended after an OVI. First-time offenders will find themselves suspended for between one and three years. The more OVI offenses, the longer the sentence will be.

Frequently Asked Questions About License Reinstatement

We know that this information can be confusing, so we wanted to include some frequently asked questions on how to get your license back. Keep these tips in mind so if this happens to you, you can be prepared!

Can you get your tags renewed with a suspended license in Ohio?

Every one to two years around your birthday, it becomes that time of year to re-register your car at the BMV. Unfortunately, you cannot get your tags renewed when your license is suspended. In order to register your car, there has to be a valid license associated with the vehicle.

You are still able to buy a car, but it will not be road-ready until you are! If you must take a car home from a dealership, they typically will give you a temporary tag until the vehicle can be registered.

Can I appeal a driver’s license suspension in Ohio?

If you want to appeal your license suspension sentencing, you must do as soon as possible. You can file your appeal as soon as 5 days after the conviction but no later than 30 days. If you were given a court-ordered suspension, then you must appeal through the court system. Likewise, if the BMV ordered your suspension, you must appeal through them.

In some cases, it may not be possible to lift your suspension fully, but you may be able to get limited driving privileges. It would be wise to contact an attorney to understand your options based on your situation.

Can you go to jail in Ohio for driving under a suspension?

In short, yes. If you are found driving under a suspended license you can face severe consequences. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, meaning you are subject to up to 6 months of jail time! Once you’re out of jail, your suspension can be extended up to a year.

How can I get around if my license is suspended?

It can feel very isolating to be stuck at home when you can’t drive yourself anywhere. Luckily, there are a few options you can use depending on your location. If you’re not able to get conditional reinstatement back, public transportation, ride-sharing services, using a bike or walking might be your only options.

If you are not able to rely on friends and family for rides, technology has made it much easier to find alternatives. Ridesharing services can be ordered ahead of time and you are able to see your cost upfront. You can also find bus and train schedules online so you can plan what time to leave your house on time.

What does non-compliance suspension mean in Ohio?

If you fail to show proof of insurance at a traffic stop or after an accident, a non-compliance suspension is given to the driver. Don’t fret, this suspension can be removed if proof of coverage at the time of the traffic stop or accident is provided to the BMV.

In the State of Ohio, it is mandatory to have a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for property damage and another $25,000 in injury/death coverage per person involved. If you fail to produce proof of insurance at the time of the incident, you will be instructed to then purchase insurance, pay your fee, and make sure you keep it in your car! Only then will your suspension be lifted.

Do I have to retake the driving test after suspension in Ohio?

If you are under the age of 18, much like when you were first learning to drive, it is mandatory to take a driver’s license examination after suspension. This is paired with participating in a driver improvement program and the associated fees involved.

Too Many Points on Your License? Have to take a Remedial Course? Want to keep your License?

Enroll in our Online Remedial Driving Course Now!

Too Many Points on Your License? Have to take a Remedial Course? Want to keep your License?

Enroll in our Online Remedial Driving Course Now!