In Ohio, you can lose your license for many reasons, after which you will be required to fulfill certain requirements before reinstating your license is possible. This process is not always easy and requires you to be vigilant in completing the required tasks and paperwork, which is why you should always fight the suspension of your license fully before it occurs.
Still, this is not always possible, and you may lose your license anyways. Your driver’s license can be suspended in Ohio for the following reasons:
- Accumulating 12 points or more on your driving record within 2 years
- Failing to have car insurance in case of an accident
- An OVI conviction
- Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test administered by police
- Any drug-related convictions
The Process of Reinstating your License After a Criminal Conviction or Other Suspension
After you have had your license suspended due to a criminal conviction or administrative reason, you must complete a specific process in order to reinstate your driver’s license. The following requirements must be complete before a judge will consider your request:
Complete the duration of your suspension. Before your license can be reinstated, the full duration of the suspension must have passed. There is generally no way to lift the suspension early without an appeal. If you need your license reinstated early, you should discuss your appeal options with an experienced traffic attorney. Generally, suspensions will last six months for traffic violations related to points on your license, a year for refusing a BAC test, and at least 90 days for failing a BAC test or a criminal conviction. The exact duration will depend on the exact circumstances surrounding violation you are accused of and can be minimized with the help of a lawyer.
Satisfy all court requirements and pay all related fines. You can’t get a license suspension lifted until you satisfy all relevant court requirements. This means you must serve any jail time, complete your probation, pay all fines, and fulfill any other requirements, such as drug and alcohol treatment or community service.
Complete remedial driving courses and retake and pass the driving knowledge and skills tests. For most license suspensions, you will be required to take a remedial driving course and then re-pass the driving exams. This includes both the theoretical knowledge test and the practical skills test.
File and maintain SR22 car insurance for three to five years. If your violation included a lack of insurance, you will be ordered to prepay your insurance using a bond for three to five years.
Pay your reinstatement fees. Finally, you must pay the appropriate reinstatement fees to the court, either by mail, in person at the local BMV office, or online.
The amount you owe will depend on the reason that your license was suspended and is divided as follows:
- $475 for an OVI conviction or a refusal to take a BAC test
- $100 for insurance law violations
- $40 for an accumulation of 12 or more points
- $25 for other suspensions, including minor traffic violations, failing to appear in court, and failing to pay child support
After all this has been completed, your driver’s license should be processed and reinstated, allowing you to drive without restrictions again.
Obtaining a Restricted Driver’s License
Sometimes, however, you can’t wait months for your suspension to end before driving again. Maybe you need your car to get to work, to take care of your children, or to attend drug and alcohol treatment. When you need to drive for vocational, educational, medical, or occupational reasons, you can apply to be issued a hardship license in the meantime that provides you with limited driving privileges.
If your license was suspended for a BAC test refusal or a non-moving-violation drug conviction, you may apply for a limited license right away. You can apply for a restricted driver’s license after waiting 15 days after your first OVI conviction (or 30-180 days for subsequent convictions).
At this point, you can file a petition with the court explaining why you need the restricted permit and attesting to how you will ensure that you drive safely. An experienced traffic attorney will be able to help you create a petition best equipped to have success.
It’s important to note that many judges will require you to pay certain fees, use yellow restriction plates, and install a costly ignition interlock before restricted driving permissions will be allowed. In addition, not everyone is eligible for a hardship license. If you have had a lapse in car insurance coverage, more than three OVI convictions or BAC test refusals, another license suspension for points within five years, or any major traffic violation for which you were charged six points during the last five years, you are ineligible for a restricted driver’s license.