There are many times that I receive calls from clients who are having issues with their local BMV. Whether it’s getting a new license after a suspension period is over or trying to figure out what they need to do to get a valid license, the problems and complaints about the BMV are very common.

But that doesn’t have to be the case…

A little preparation – both knowledge of what the problem is and preparing for the trip to the BMV is the key to success. Let’s look at the how we can figure out what the problem is.

For Ohio license holders the quickest and easiest way to nail down the issue is to access the Ohio BMV’s website at Under ‘Online Services’ you can access a real-time status of your license and it will list not only the last three years driving history but will also show the reinstatement requirements if you’re suspended. This can be an invaluable resource. In addition to the information obtained, you can also resolve many of the issues right on their site.

For example, if you are coming out of an OVI suspension you will have to pay a $475 reinstatement fee and show current proof of insurance. It’s possible to go to a regional service center (the one in Cincinnati is located at 10948 Hamilton Ave.) but you don’t have to. You can go to the BMV’s website and log in using your driver’s license number, last four digits of your SSN, and date of birth. With that information entered, you’ll be able to pay your reinstatement fee right on line and you can email proof of insurance (be sure to reference your BMV case number in the email) to [email protected]. What used to take the better part of a day at the BMV can now be accomplished in a few clicks.

In addition to reinstatement matters, you can also handle more mundane issues like renewing vehicle registrations and even ordering vanity license plates. The Ohio BMV calls this service OPLATES. It allows you to save the trip to your local BMV to renew registrations, but be advised – you have to plan ahead since your new registration stickers will be mailed to you.

You can even check all of the vehicles registered to you at once by simply entering the license plate and last four digits of your SSN. When I did this while writing this blog, all three cars I have registered in my name popped up along with the dates that their registrations expire – thankfully they’re all valid and not due for renewal for a few more months.

What used to only be able to be accomplished with a trip to the BMV is now possible to accomplish with a few clicks of the mouse. Whether you have a suspended license, a DUI/OVI charge that you have to reinstate from, or are simply renewing your plates the Ohio BMV’s website is a great resource and shouldn’t be overlooked.