LISBON - Local drivers attempting to get their driver's licenses valid are invited to attend a Bureau of Motor Vehicles Workshop on Oct. 23 at the Columbiana County Municipal Court.
Even those who have been unable to restore their licenses in the past due to large reinstatement fees are encouraged to try again due to new regulations.
Judges Carol Robb and Mark Frost noted in a press release this workshop will be a little different than previous BMV workshops because of the implementation of a new law which allows properly insured drivers to be restored to full driving privileges even if they owe large amounts in reinstatement fees.
Judge Robb explained that, "A law passed last year has finally been implemented which allows drivers to enter into a $50 per month payment plan and to immediately be restored to full privileges.
"Of course," Robb added, "the driver has to be properly insured and there are certain types of suspensions that can't be lifted, but many drivers will be able to legally drive away from this workshop with full privileges restored."
Judge Frost added that previously, the judges could only grant limited privileges, and the driver had to pay costs of $96 to open the court case.
"This new procedure saves the applicant considerable time and money over our old methods," Frost said, "and results in restoration of full privileges, rather than just limited privileges for work or school. But it still provides safeguards by providing for immediate re-suspension of the license if a payment is missed or if insurance is canceled."
Robb pointed out that even in cases where the driver doesn't qualify for a payment plan, such as court ordered suspensions, the BMV representative can give the driver a list of steps that may result in at least a limited restoration of privileges.
Both judges emphasized that persons wanting to set up a payment plan should bring a bank check or money order payable to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles for $50 to get the plan started. Although subsequent payments can be made at any Deputy Registrar's office, or even online, the BMV representatives at the workshop cannot accept cash or credit cards.
The judges emphasize that this program is not designed to put bad drivers on the road.
"This program is for otherwise good drivers to clear up bureaucratic or insurance problems they have gotten themselves into, and not to increase the risks of motoring for the general public," Frost said
He said with tough times he has noticed an increase in the number of people taking a chance in driving uninsured, leading to a larger number of driving under suspension cases before the Municipal Court.
The workshop will run from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. As in the past, the judges expect the available time slots to fill quickly, and therefore they encourage drivers who want an appointment to call the court during normal business hours at 424-5326.