When the COVID crisis first hit over a year ago, state lawmakers passed a plan that suspended all license renewals at the Ohio Bureau of Motors Vehicles until the end of the year. ‘health emergency.
With the lifting of restrictions by Governor Mike DeWine and the cancellation of the state of emergency, the license renewal deadline returns.
Ohio BMV Registrar Charlie Norman said in an interview with WHIO-TV that the temporary delay in renewals has helped, but there is now a backlog of renewals.
“If your vehicle registration or driver’s license expired after March 9, you have until July 1 to come in and renew it,” Norman said.
The state estimates 350,000 people will need to complete some sort of renewal by July 1, and the rush to pass the deadline is already showing up at BMV offices in the form of longer-than-usual lines.
At a BMV office in Columbus, a few miles east of the Ohio Statehouse, about 15 people lined up in front of the office.
At least one person took a look at the queue and said they would come back when they had time to wait.
Norman encouraged people to check out the BMV website at BMV.ohio.gov to see what documents are required when they go to renew their license. Additionally, people can check wait times at various BMV offices.
Two electronic functions in offices can reduce the inconvenience, according to Norman.
One is the registration feature on the BMV website called “Get In Line Online” which allows a person to make an appointment for a certain period of time by registering in advance on their site.
Another feature allows a person in the office to use their phone to scan a QR code on a sign outside the office, they can sign up to be notified when it’s their turn to enter the office .
Until the notification arrives, the person can wait in their car or at a nearby cafe.
License plate renewals can also be managed entirely online.
Norman urged people to act sooner rather than later: “If you know you have to come, don’t wait until July 1, plan ahead now.
See what the wait times are now so you can pick an office that maybe has a shorter wait time.
And then take advantage of these tools to spend less time in the office, ”said Norman.
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