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Getting back on the road

Clinic will help people with certain types of suspended driver’s license

For those who have lost their driver’s license, getting it restored can be expensive and complicated. To help out, Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS) is partnering up with several agencies in Lawrence County to help out.

The group is dedicated to helping people with low income and limited assets with legal help.

On July 24, volunteer lawyers from SEOLS will be offering free help during the Ironton Municipal Court Driver’s license reinstatement clinic.

Ann Roche, a SEOLS staff attorney, said an alarming number of people in Ohio are in need of a service like this.

There are 3.3 million Ohioans with suspended licenses. Only North Dakota has more people with suspended driver’s licenses.

And it can be hard for the average person to navigate through all the bureaucracies to get their license back.

“It can be a nightmare,” Roche said. “And it can cost a lot.”

She said the lack of transportation in rural areas is a poverty issue and the bigger barriers is money and confusion and that is why they are having the clinic.

“Our goal is help to people move forward and remove barriers that we can,” she said, adding there are a number of reasons that people might get their driver’s license suspended but the most common is not having insurance.

“We are there to give them specific, tailored advice on how to go about dealing with all their current suspensions and try to get as many of them lifted as we can that day,” she said. “And we will help them connect with the other agencies as they may need.”

Also on hand will be representatives from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Job and Family Services and child support to answer questions about getting people’s driver’s license reinstated.

The clinic is from 9- 11:30 a.m. at the municipal court on the third floor of the Ironton City Center, 310 S. Third St., Ironton.

The clinic can only help a limited number of people, so pre-registration is required and people can all SEOLS at 614-827-0537 to set that up.

The clinic is part of Ohio BMV amnesty program that runs until July 31 and deals only with specific types of suspensions and does not apply to commercial driver’s license or permit suspensions.

To be eligible for a reduction of fees, all eligible court-ordered sanctions except payment of reinstatement fees must be completed and it has been at least 18 months since the end of the suspension period.

For fees to be waived, all eligible court-ordered sanctions except payment of reinstatement fees must be completed, must have proof of indigency by providing a screen shot of your SNAP case status information from Job and Family Services.

According to their website, the BMV “any offenses involving alcohol, drugs or deadly weapons or associated with an offense of this nature do not qualify for the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative.”

For more information about the amnesty program and specific requirements, go to https://bmv.ohio.gov/susp-fees-amnesty.aspx