LOGAN — Tuesday marked the first day that Bureau of Motor Vehicles across Ohio were able to reopen and long lines from several throughout the state were reported.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered that BMVs close on March 19 with five deputy registrar locations across the state remaining open. The closest BMV to Hocking County that remained open is located in Marietta. These five remained open for the sole purpose of issuing and renewing commercial driver licenses.
Although BMVs are reopening, some state officials are still encouraging the public to do as much as they can from home.
“We don’t want you to go in unless you have to,” stated Lt. Gov Jon Husted. “We know that there are certain circumstances where you may have lost a license and you need something like that to begin another phase of your life or something along those lines but don’t come in unless it is necessary.”
Husted reminded Ohioans that there are a lot of transactions with the BMV that can be done online through their website with the program known as Get in Line Online and the BMV’s online renewal site, oplates.com. The Get in Line Online service temporarily crashed on Tuesday but was back up a short time after.
“We want you to use the online services that are available,” remarked Husted. “There are services for online use for things like vehicle registration, vehicle plate replacement, scheduling a driving test, updating your address and paying license reinstatement fees.”
Those who have to renew their licenses and tags do not have to do so right away. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles website states that if a person’s license expired on or after March 9 then they have 90 days after Ohio’s state of emergency ends or December 1, whichever comes sooner. This rule is stated under House Bill 197.
Throughout the closure of the state’s BMVs, the Ohio State Highway Patrol was ordered not to give tickets to those who had a recently expired license and DeWine encouraged other law enforcement to do the same.
John Stran is a reporter for the Logan Daily News