Kathy Wiesman, Columbus Bar Association, and
Mike Rankin, Ohio Department of Public Safety
has a new way to help notify family members more quickly whenever
there's an accident or other emergency involving a loved one.
Effective September 8, the state launched one of
the nation's first statewide registries for next-of-kin information,
and residents may start providing the names of people who should
be contacted. The information will be entered into a secure database
accessible only by law enforcement in case of a serious injury.
registry is voluntary. Anyone with an Ohio driver license or state
identification card may submit their emergency contact information
either at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office or online by clicking
or going to www.ohiobmv.com.
Another effective method of providing next-of-kin
contact is to have “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) numbers
programmed into your cell phone. Many newer phones have this option
already set up for you to provide contact numbers. In older phones,
enter the work “ICE” as the name of a new contact and
then provide numbers. Law enforcement and emergency personnel are
familiar with this system and, if necessary, will look for the ICE
entry on your phone.
Additional information and new law developments from the Ohio BMV
are provided below by Mike Rankin, Registrar in charge of the Ohio
Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Ohio Department of Public Safety:
This fall, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is implementing
new measures required by law to reduce the possibility for fraudulent
motor vehicle registrations (VR). Those vehicle owners who have
previously provided the BMV with a valid social security number;
driver license (DL) or state ID number should not see any change
in the process. Those who are registering vehicles for the first
time in Ohio; or who have not previously provided the BMV with the
aforementioned required numbers; or, third persons using the BMV
Power of Attorney (POA) forms to register vehicles for others must
provide the vehicle owner’s social security number/tax identification
number, DL or state ID number (see ORC 4503.10). Those who need
to learn the new procedures can view
them online. Those granted authority under the POA
must show a valid photo ID identifying who they are.
The elimination of the rule requiring all persons renewing their
Ohio driver’s licenses or state ID to present their social
security card (where those persons have already been verified in
the system). Prior to eliminating social security numbers on DL/state
ID renewals, approximately 3,000 renewal applicants customers were
being turned away each business day.
Starting this fall, all Ohio drivers may, through the BMV Web site
or at any of our 215 Deputy Registrar offices around the state,
designate up to two persons as their next of kin (NOK) in the BMV
database. This is so NOKs may be quickly contacted by police should
the licensed driver be incapacitated in an injury accident. Ohio
is but a handful of states offering this vital lifesaving service.
Ohio BMV’s primary responsibilities are the licensing of nearly
eight million drivers and the registering of more than 12.1 million
motor vehicles in the state. The BMV also works closely with the
automotive industry in Ohio. The BMV is responsible for licensing
motor vehicle salespersons, new, used and salvage car and truck
dealers, and motor vehicle leasing dealers. In addition, our expert
team of investigators works statewide with federal and local authorities
to successfully prosecute incidents of identity theft; title, registration
and ID fraud; odometer fraud, and a host of other offenses detected
by the public and while enforcing Ohio’s motor vehicle laws.
The BMV also manages the suspension of approximately 650,000 licensed
drivers each year and the reinstatement of driving privileges to
those drivers who are eligible and pay their reinstatement fees.
Rankin is a 29 year practicing attorney with a practice emphasis
in business, public and utility law. He is the former Chief Deputy
Clerk for Franklin Co. Municipal Court; CBA “People’s
Law School” coordinator; and, co-founder of Mid Ohio Amber
Alert. He is married and the father of two adult children.