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Ohio BMV Offices Seeing Long Lines With Pandemic Extensions Set To Expire

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles License Agency at Alum Creek in Columbus.
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Long lines have been forming at some local Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices as Ohio drivers who delayed their driver's license and plate renewals due to the pandemic are now faced with looming deadlines.

On July 1, the extensions on license and vehicle registration deadlines that were passed by the Ohio legislature in 2020 will end. About 400,000 drivers took an extension.

The upcoming deadline is partly to blame, Ohio BMV Registrar Charlie Norman said.

“The COVID extension deadlines are coming to an end, so July 1st the extensions on license and vehicle registration deadlines that were passed by the legislature are coming to an end and in addition to that the million transactions we’re doing per month,” he said.

Like many other organizations, local BMV offices have also had trouble getting enough employees back to handle the increased volume.

Norman is encouraging people to use the online BMV service.

The BMV now offers online services to renew a vehicle registration, view a driving record, become an organ donor, and more.

“What we’ve tried to do is to give people options, so we’ve tried to increase online services but also give people some tools they can use to avoid spending time in the office,” Norman said.

Since the deputy registrar licensing agencies opened last May 26, they’ve done over 15 million face-to-face transactions over the counter and about 500,000 drivers’ skills tests.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.