The Ohio House today approved House Bill 336, legislation sponsored by State Representatives Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) and John Barnes (D-Cleveland), to help decrease the high number of Ohioans with suspended driver’s licenses.
The short-term program is intended to help indigent Ohioans who are unable to afford the reinstatement fee or fines that they have accrued throughout their license suspension. According to bill sponsors, many of these individuals continue to drive, risking further financial repercussion for either themselves or other drivers on the road.
“It is our goal to create a reasonable, practical, and measured attempt to make sure that Ohioans are legal to drive with a valid driver’s license and insurance while driving through our neighborhoods and on our interstates,” said Greenspan.
The “Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative” would establish a temporary six-month debt reduction and waiver program for individuals who had their licenses suspended for a variety of reasons, with the exception of offenses involving alcohol, drugs or a deadly weapon.
The program would set up certain eligibility requirements for a fee reduction or waiver, including the following: that the individual’s suspension has been in effect for at least 18 months, the individual is indigent, and the individual has completed all court-ordered sanctions other than paying the reinstatement fee.
House Bill 336 seeks to help Ohioans who may not have the extra funds to pay the fees and are trying to get back on their feet. The bill would incentivize individuals to legally reinstate their license, keep their insurance coverage, and prevent them from continuing to drive on a suspended license.
House Bill 336 is a Buckeye Pathway bill that received bipartisan approval in today’s House floor vote. The legislation now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.