CHILD SUPPORT Ohio: Pay up or lose your license

Three agencies are involved in the program.
COLUMBUS -- Parents can lose their driver's licenses if they do not keep up with their child-support payments.
In a program coordinated by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, licenses of parents who have not kept up with child-support orders will be subject to suspension.
The program gives child-support enforcement agencies an additional tool to encourage payments, state officials said.
In December 2001, ODJFS began providing information to the BMV regarding potential license suspension. As of Friday, a total of 929 licenses have been suspended, according to spokeswoman Julie Stebbins. She was not sure how many have been reinstated.
Five of those whose licenses were suspended are from Trumbull County, Stebbins said. Their names are confidential. None of the suspensions were for people in Columbiana or Mahoning counties.
Procedure: Once the local child-support agency determines a parent is in default, a notice is mailed to the parent that he or she is subject to license suspension.
If the individual fails to comply, the county agency can request a license suspension, and that information is forwarded electronically to the BMV.
When the BMV receives notification from the county, a notice of suspension is sent to the driver. The driver's license is invalid immediately upon suspension by the BMV. All inquiries regarding the amount of child support owed by the driver should be addressed to the child-support agency that administered his or her case. The BMV has access only to case numbers and locations.
Suspended drivers can make arrangements through their county child-support agencies to have their licenses reinstated.
Also, if the suspended driver makes a complete payment, or payment arrangements, the license may be reinstated. ODJFS must notify the BMV before a clearance letter is sent to the suspended driver. There is a $25 reinstatement fee through the BMV.

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