State goes to vertical licenses

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 4, 2002

Under-age driver licenses now have a different look.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Under-age driver licenses now have a different look.

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On Friday, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles started issuing drivers under 21 years old vertical license. The license contains the same information as does the normal horizontal-lying license.

The BMV hopes that by issuing the new license it will curb the number of minors who attempt to purchase alcohol. BMV Deputy Registrar Linda Herrell at the Ironton office of the BMV said her office has issued about 25 of the new licenses. She said the new license style will help those who check ages at bars quickly identify who is under 21 and who’s not.

The BMV has also stiffened up penalties for parents who do not pay their child support. Parents now could lose their driver licenses if they do not keep up with their child support payments.

In a program coordinated by the BMV and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services ODJFS, licenses of parents who are not current or have not kept up with child support orders will be subject to suspension.

The program provides the county child support enforcement agency with an additional tool to encourage child support payments. In December 2001, ODJFS began providing information to the BMV regarding potential license suspension. As of Jan. 14, a total of 260 licenses have been suspended. Eleven of the 260 have been reinstated.

Once the local child support enforcement agency determines that a parent is in default, a notice is mailed to the parent that he/she is subject to license suspension.

If the individual fails to comply, the county agency can decide to request a license suspension and that information is forwarded electronically to the BMV.

When the BMV receives notification from the county, a notice of suspension is sent to the driver. The driver’s license is invalid immediately upon suspension by the BMV. All inquiries regarding the amount of child support owed by a driver should be addressed to the CSEA that administered his or her case. The BMV only has access to case numbers and where the case originated.

Suspended drivers can make arrangements through their county CSEAs, which administer the order to pay the child support, and have their licenses reinstated.

Also, if the suspended driver makes a complete payment, or payment arrangements, the license may be reinstated. ODJFS must notify the BMV before a clearance letter is sent to the suspended driver. There is a $25 reinstatement fee through the BMV.