Backers tout program helping drivers get licenses reinstated

Posted at 8:49 AM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-14 08:49:26-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Backers of a pilot program waiving or reducing reinstatement fees for Ohioans with suspended driver's licenses are touting the trial's results in hopes of making the program permanent.

The Ohio Poverty Law Center and Southeastern Ohio Legal Services plan to discuss the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative Wednesday.

The program began as a six-month pilot in January but was later extended to the end of this year. It's part of a national effort to rethink the use of bail, bond, court costs and fees, which critics say disproportionately impact the poorest defendants.

Eligible offenders must be at least 18 months beyond their suspensions and have completed all court-ordered sanctions besides paying the reinstatement fees. Their offenses can't have been drug-, alcohol- or deadly weapon-related.

An estimated 410,000 Ohioans are eligible.