The Ohio BMV is telling affected customers to renew early to avoid long lines. The deadline is July 1st.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gone is the grace period! In exactly 2 weeks, expired drivers licenses and tags will no longer be valid. Expired tags and licenses have been allowed by the Ohio BMV since last year, after an emergency law was extended at the height of COVID… but those days are numbered.
Back in November, Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill that allowed an extension to renew driver’s licenses, plates, temp tags, ID cards, and get an E-check. That extension ends July 1st.
The BMV warns, the longer you wait to renew, the longer the lines will be.
“Probably about 400,000 individuals still have not renewed their license or registration. They’ve taken advantage of that deadline, so those 400,000 folks will have to come in, on top of our normal close to one million customers each month, so we’re gonna see a very busy July, busy June,” says Charlie Norman, Ohio Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
In March 2020, COVID closed BMVs statewide, prompting DeWine to sign House Bill 404. The bill is an extension of an already existing portion of the law, which gives people a grace period to renew licenses. The 2021 extension has a July 1st deadline, and only applies to licenses that expire between March 9th 2020 and April 1st 2021.
Driving with expired tags or license is typically against Ohio law, and the state typically doesn’t offer a grace period. Also, licenses expired longer than 6 months are typically subject to reapplication, and the driver must take the test all over again.
“It’s probably one of the most generous in the country. I’m not aware of too many more states, if any, who have an extension through July,” says Norman.
Until the July 1st deadline passes, licenses that fall within the guidelines are still considered valid.