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License Suspension for Failure to Reinstate in Columbus

If you have been charged with driving under suspension or failure to reinstate your license, call the Columbus traffic defense lawyers at LHA: (614) 500-3836.

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.

A license suspension can be a hardship, but luckily, it does not last forever. Unfortunately, your driving permissions are not immediately returned to you simply because the suspension has passed. If your license has been suspended for any reason, whether a DUI, drug conviction, or simply unpaid parking tickets, you cannot drive again after the suspension is over until you have fulfilled all license reinstatement requirements.

If you are caught driving on a suspended license in Columbus, even if the official term of suspension has passed, you can be arrested for a misdemeanor. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can have serious long-term consequences and even make it more difficult to get your license officially reinstated.

Consequences of a Columbus Failure to Reinstate License Conviction

If you are convicted for failure to reinstate your license, you will face misdemeanor charges. A first and second offense will be considered an unclassified misdemeanor offense. This is punishable by up to 500 hours of community service and a fine of up to $1,000.

The third offense and all subsequent offenses are taken more seriously. Instead of an unclassified misdemeanor arrest, you will be arrested for a first degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 as well, but also up to 180 days in jail. This misdemeanor is generally treated quite harshly, as it is a third offense, so the courts are often unsympathetic.

How to Get Your License Reinstated

Getting your license properly reinstated is vital before getting back behind the wheel. You should ideally send in proof of fulfillment of all the license reinstatement requirements 20 days before the suspension is up in order to ensure that there are no delays.

Depending on the reason for your license suspension, you may have a variety of requirements to complete before you are eligible. These commonly include defensive driving or remedial driving courses, alcohol or drug treatment, community service, payment of restitution, and proof of insurance or a liability bond. In addition, you will always have to pay the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) reinstatement fees.

Reinstatement Fees

The exact fee required to reinstate your license depends on the reason for the original suspension. Some of the most common BMV reinstatement fees are as follows:

  • $475 for an OVI conviction, chemical test refusal, or physical control suspension
  • $100 for non-compliance reinstatement (or $300 for a second offense or $600 for a third offense)
  • $25 for lack of car insurance or nonpayment of child support
  • $15 for an outstanding warrant

You must send the BMV payment via mail by a check or money order payable to the “Ohio State Treasurer” or online by electronic check. If you cannot afford the reinstatement fees, you can apply for a payment plan through the BMV if you owe at least $150. This will allow you to reinstate your license immediately after presenting proof of financial responsibility. The reinstatement will remain valid for as long as your payments are current. Reinstatement fees can also be discharged in bankruptcy, so long as the fees are listed in the schedule of debts.

How a Columbus Traffic Lawyer Can Help

It may seem like no big deal to drive after your suspension is lifted before your driver’s license has been officially reinstated, but the courts would not agree. These charges can have a serious impact on your life for years to come, even it is your first offense. If assigned many hours of court-mandated community service, you will have an even more difficult time getting back to normal life. A Columbus traffic lawyer can help you negotiate with the prosecution and get the best outcome possible for your case.

If you’ve been charged with driving after a suspension and failing to reinstate your license, the Columbus traffic lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help you minimize the impact of these charges.

Charged with Ohio License Suspension for Failure to Reinstate? Contact us.

If you have been charged with driving under suspension or failure to reinstate your license, you’re probably wondering what your options are. Contact the Columbus driving under suspension lawyers at LHA today. The team at Luftman, Heck & Associates has years of experience handling these types of cases and wfor our clients. Call a Columbus criminal defense lawyer today for a free consultation. To contact us, call us at (614) 500-3836 or email us via

For help or additional information how to reinstate your license in Ohio, visit our page.

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