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Columbus Bar Association Executive Director Jill Snitcher McQuain Visits the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

On November 7, 2013, Columbus Bar Association (CBA) Executive Director Jill Snitcher McQuain met with Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Registrar Mike Rankin and CBA members to learn more about recent BMV law changes.

While at the BMV, Director McQuain met with various sections of the BMV, including the Medical Impaired Drivers Unit. There are approximately 113,761 active medical impaired restrictions on Ohio drivers. The unit receives and reviews on average more than 10,000 medical impaired referrals annually. These can involve persons suffering from certain chronic addictions to cognitive impairments that can affect driving skills.

One change that was discussed at length was HB337, more specifically, the BMV reinstatement fee payment plan. In July, the BMV began offering reinstatement fee installment plans to those who qualify. Individuals whose driver’s license have been suspended, but have met all of their reinstatement requirements, with the exception of paying the reinstatement fees, may apply. The plan will allow eligible drivers to renew, become valid, or permitted to retest for their driver’s license.

In order to qualify for an installment plan, individuals must owe at least $150 in reinstatement fees, have met all other reinstatement requirements, show current proof of insurance, and pay a minimum payment of at least $50 every 30 days. Individuals may obtain an application online, at any Deputy Registrar, Regional Reinstatement office, or through the mail. Once approved, the individual’s license status will change to an expired, valid or eligible to test status. Once the applicant obtains a valid license, it will remain valid as long as the payment of at least $50 every 30 days continues to be made and no additional suspensions are placed on the record. To date, more than 7,000 have taken advantage of this program.

“The Registrar was such a gracious host. We talked at length about everything from the importance of customer service to the legal implications of various driving and license related issues. I was in awe at the volume and breadth of what the BMV handles,” explained Snitcher McQuain.

Other discussion items included:
  • first time no-insurance violators may now file an SR-22 insurance bond and immediately reinstate their driving privileges upon payment of the $150 reinstatement fee (no more 120-day suspension or need to apply to the court for limited work driving privileges);
  • third time no-insurance offenders may now apply to the court for limited driving privileges after a 30-day hard suspension (previously drivers faced a two-year hard suspension with no driving privileges); and
  • persons under a non-payment of child support suspension may now apply to the court of record to gain limited driving privileges.
Director McQuain also visited with the BMV Telecommunications staff and observed a superior level of service being delivered by those employees. The Ohio BMV call center answers approximately 1.5 million calls per year, with each of the 70 BMV call center operators answering between 85-150 calls per day.

The Registrar reported that the Ohio BMV in 2012 received a 97.2% customer satisfaction rating in part because of the successful BMV-wide efforts of staff to treat people the way we would want to be treated and, to better help people who want to help themselves.

“Our staff has learned that treating our customers the way we would want to be treated rounds off many of the rough edges.” Rankin said.

“Mike and I share the same commitment to customer service, and it was evident throughout the entire office. His staff was professional and dedicated, and seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs. We discussed how important it is to hirethe right people - most skills can be taught; but personality is an inherent trait, and employer’s need to use their sixth sense to know whether applicants possess the right characteristics to fit in with the employer’s leadership style ,” said Director McQuain.

Rankin went on to note that more Ohio lawyers should be taking an extra two minutes with their clients needing any kind of legal help by getting them signed up for the Next of Kin notification registry. If an Ohio ID or driver license holder has a serious health emergency or accident and are not able to communicate, police or health care providers can contact the person’s designated Next of Kin. This helps doctors to provide better medical treatment, can save lives, and allow loved ones to be together if death is imminent. Nearly 500,000 Ohioans have signed up for the Next of Kin registry out of the nearly 8.9 million who can do so. It is privacy protected and can be completed online or at a Deputy Registrar.

For more information on the BMV or the BMV reinstatement fee installment plan, FAQs or the application, please call (614) 752-7600 or visit www.ohiobmv.gov.