COLUMBUS — COVID-19 restrictions are finally coming to an end, but that could mean a bigger headache at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for those who are not prepared.
The Ohio BMV is ending the extensions for vehicle registration on July 1, meaning that Ohioans with an expiration date of March 9, 2020, or after on a vehicle, driver’s license or ID need to visit the BMV for renewal.
Ohio BMV Registrar Charlie Norman said there are about 320,000 renewals across the state that are needed by Thursday’s extension deadline. With a flood of orders to process, he said there are ways to make a trip to the BMV an easy and successful one. Many Ohioans shouldn’t have to go to a BMV office at all to get things done.
“There are a number of things you can do online without ever coming into the office,” he said. “The biggest of which is your annual vehicle registration renewals, where you can get your stickers or your tags for your plates.”
For those who can’t get their work done online, Norman said the virtual queuing system can be a big help, allowing individuals to schedule an appointment and “wait” in line without actually being in the building until their appointment time.
Norman has been encouraged by what he has seen so far. He said the BMV has processed more than 15 million requests since reopening in May 2020. He hopes that easing the BMV process and keeping the office environment safe will encourage those hesitant about coming in.
“We’ve done those 15 million transactions in a safe manner with our customer’s health and safety in mind, and we’re going to continue doing that,” he said. “It’s very safe to come into the BMV, particularly if you use some of those tools available to mitigate your time spent in the office, or maybe avoid it altogether.”