Ohio’s coronavirus grace period for expired driver’s licenses, plates ends July 1


COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio’s grace period for motorists whose driver’s licenses, license plates, and state IDs would have otherwise expired during the coronavirus crisis is scheduled to end Thursday.

As of Friday, about 320,000 Ohioans had not yet renewed driver’s licenses that would have expired between March 9, 2020, to April 1, 2021, according to Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles officials. Another 220,000 residents have yet to renew license plates that would have expired during that time.

State lawmakers created the grace period during the initial weeks of the coronavirus crisis, when BMV locations around the state were closed. Legislators later extended the grace period through July 1.

Ohioans only coming in now to renew driver’s licenses and state ID cards will pay the same renewal fees as usual, according to Ohio BMV spokeswoman Lindsey Bohrer. However, their new license will be backdated to the date their previous license or ID expired. For example, if someone is just now renewing a license with an expiration date of June 1, 2020, their new four-year license would expire June 1, 2024.

It costs $27.25 to renew an Ohio driver’s license and $10 to renew a state ID card, according to the Ohio BMV website. Registration/license plate renewal costs vary depending on the type of vehicle, how long the registration lasts, and other factors.

For people coming in to renew vehicle registrations that would have expired, they will have to pay the renewal fee they would have paid at the time of expiration, according to Bohrer. In other words, for a license plate that would have expired on June 1, 2020, the driver would pay the fee that would have been due at that time, as well as the renewal fee for 2021.

In all, there are about 13 million registered vehicles in Ohio, and the state BMV usually renews about 2.5 million driver’s licenses per year, said Ohio BMV Registrar Charlie Norman.

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