Big change coming to Ohio drivers' licenses July 2nd

BMV office will no longer hand out license renewal

NOTE:  This is an older report from February, 2018.  For our most up-to-date report on the Ohio license changes, including the most Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

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No one enjoys waiting in line at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a license renewal. The TV show "Seinfeld" even made a whole episode about how frustrating it can be.

But that trip to the Ohio BMW for a new driver's license, or license renewal, might get even more frustrating starting in July.

As of July 2, 2018, Ohio BMV deputy registrar offices are no longer be allowed to print a driver's license while you wait.

For added security reasons, it will become a two-step process:

  • You will first go to your local BMV to sign up for a renewal, take a quick eye test and have your (usually awful) photo taken.
  • But instead of getting the new license in 5 minutes, you will now be handed a temporary license card (actually a black and white piece of paper with your photo on it)
  • You will get your old license back with holes punched it, to show to a police officer if you get pulled over.
  • Your official Ohio driver's license will arrive by mail in two weeks.

Why the change?

Ohio's BMV says it is making this change for security reasons, to be compliant with new federal ID laws. This will allow the new licenses to be accepted by Transportation Security Administration agents for identification at all U.S. airports.

It also allows the state to do a further check than your local deputy registrar office can do, to make sure it's handing that license to the correct person -- not a terrorist or scam artist.

Drivers' licenses will continue to last for four (4) years, and the cost will remain the same.

GO HERE to learn more at the Ohio BMV website.

GO HERE for the most Frequently Asked Questions about the new licenses.

Bottom line: Read the BMV rules before you head to the office, so you don't get turned away for insufficient paperwork, and so you don't waste your money.

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