To address this issue, the General Assembly created the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative, a six-month pilot program that began January 31, 2019 and ended July 31, 2019. This pilot program allowed reinstatement fees to be waived or reduced for certain offenses.
The Amnesty Initiative permitted the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to waive eligible driver’s license reinstatement fees for low-income individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits if the applicant had completed all other court-ordered sanctions. Applicants not receiving SNAP benefits could have their fees reduced if they completed all court ordered sanctions associated with the underlying offense related to the suspension and at least 18 months passed since their suspension. During the six-month pilot program, 76,669 individuals took advantage of the initiative and collectively saved more than $63 million.
This report shows how the Amnesty Initiative helped Ohioans obtain their driver’s licenses and how the program benefited individual families and the state of Ohio.
In the current General Assembly, House Bill 285 would make the Amnesty Initiative permanent and expand eligibility for full fee waivers.