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Drivers License Reinstatement Failure in Ohio

If your driver’s license or driving privileges have been suspended, Ohio Revised Code 4510.21 lays out that you are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle after the suspension unless you have complied with all license reinstatement requirements. These reinstatement requirements may be imposed by the court that convicted you or the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Typically reinstatement fees are assessed by the BMV and fees are paid to the BMV.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles may not reinstate a license until one of the following occur:

  • You have paid all reinstatement fees
  • Your reinstatement fees are discharged in bankruptcy, provided that the fees are listed in the schedule of debts
  • A court orders a reinstatement fee payment plan or extension of payment period
  • You enter into a reinstatement fee payment plan with the BMV

If you are granted a reinstatement payment plan by a court, be sure that you are aware of which code section applies to your situation. A court may grant you driving privileges under Ohio Revised Code 4510.10 which only allows you to drive for work and family needs, while driving privileges under Ohio Revised Code 4510.021 allows you to drive for work, school, medical purposes, to take a driver’s license exam, or to attend court-mandated treatment.

You can apply directly to the BMV for a Reinstatement Fee Installment Plan as well. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You owe at least $150 in reinstatement fees
  • You have met all other reinstatement requirements besides paying for the fines
  • You do not have a pending license suspension
  • You can show proof of financial responsibility
  • You are not currently on a court-ordered reinstatement fee payment plan

The major difference between a court-ordered plan and a BMV plan is that your driver’s license status will be “valid,” “expired,” or “eligible to test” as long as you remain current with your payments and you do not receive an additional suspension. Under a court-ordered plan, your driver’s license status is listed as failure to reinstate with limited driving privileges.

Degree Jail/C.S.* Fines Class 7
Impound Plates
1st or 2nd Offense
Within 3 Years
0-500 hours C.S. $0-1000 No No No No
3rd Offense
Or More in 3 Years
M-1 0-180 days $0-1000 No No No No

* C.S. denotes community service. If not specified, it refers to jail time.

Our Columbus Criminal Defense Team Can Help You. Contact us.

If you have been charged with driving under suspension, you’re probably wondering what your options are. The team at Luftman, Heck & Associates has years of experience handling these types of cases and winning optimal outcomes for our clients. Call a Columbus criminal defense lawyer today for a free consultation. To contact us, call us at or email us via

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


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