New Ohio Law aimed to give financial break could also benefit hit-skip drivers


COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new Ohio law is aiming to give a financial break to drivers with suspended licenses. However, it could also give a break to hit-skip drivers.

House Bill 336 was signed into law in 2018 and takes effect at the end of January.

The bill's intent was to provide amnesty to Ohio drivers whose licenses were suspended by providing a discount or waiver of their BMV fees after they had paid their court fines.

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License suspension and the cost of reinstatement have been identified by supporters of the bill as a major stumbling block for people with financial difficulty trying to get a job.

The program is open to those whose licenses were suspended for 25 specific reasons. Among them, those convicted of failure to stop for an accident, sometimes referred to as a "hit-skip."

"If there is an opportunity to make an amendment to this bill, we'd be glad to consider it. But, to be honest with you, no one in the 18 months from introduction to passage ever raised that issue," said State Representative Dave Greenspan (R) of Westlake.

Anyone can qualify for a reduction if they completed the court ordered sanctions related to the offense other than pay the reinstatement fee and at least 18 months have passed since the end of the court-ordered suspension. To qualify for a complete waiver of fees, you must provide proof of indigence.

The bill makes clear no driver whose crime involved alcohol, drugs or violence would be eligible for the financial break.

The program is set to end on July 31.