COLUMBUS — Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted last week announced the closed driver examination office in Eaton will soon reopen under a new pilot 3rd Party Driver Examination program.
Preble County’s exam station has been closed since June 2020.
In a press conference last week, it was explained the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is currently working to partner with outside businesses to expand driver examination testing locations throughout Ohio, eliminating long drive times for those who need to take a driver examination test. Currently, if a new driver with a temporary permit is ready to get their driver’s license, they are required to test at one of the other BMV Driver Examination stations located throughout Ohio.
On July 1, the BMV is launching a pilot program with the Preble County Clerk of Courts to contract as a third-party location for driver’s license skills tests. The pilot program is expected to expand to seven other locations around the state over the summer, with additional expansions planned for the future.
“I am excited to announce that the Drivers Exam Station in Preble County will be re-opening soon,” PC Clerk of Courts Brionne Reynolds announced on Facebook on Thursday, June 23. “Over the past year I have been working with State Representative Rodney Creech to bring this essential service back to our county. In partnership with the Ohio BMV, Preble County has been selected as the only public office to take part in the Third Party Examnier Program. More details on hours, fees and how to schedule your appointment will be coming soon.”
Rep. Creech also made the announcement via Facebook. “Over my years while serving in office I have been able to build key relationships and trust. Re-opening the Preble County Drivers Exam Station is a great example of that and what we can do when we all work together,” Creech posted on Friday, June 24. “I might have been the one to get everyone to the table but none of this would have happened without our Clerk of Courts Brionne Reynolds. She literally carried the water on this project and when I approached her about doing this she jumped on it! A huge thank you to Gov. DeWine, Director Stickrath, Registrar Charlie Norman, Deputy Director Ben Kimmel and the others that helped us along the way. After 15 months of work, we got it done!”
It was also announced that Ohioans will soon be able to renew their driver’s license online, adding to an extensive list of services through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) that can now be completed at the newly upgraded BMV.Ohio.Gov, rather than in-person.
The projects significantly lower the number of reasons Ohioans have to visit a BMV site, according to state officials.
“Our administration is dedicated to improving and enhancing the overall customer experience for Ohioans needing to visit the BMV by providing access to innovative options that better meet their needs,” said Governor DeWine. “In just a few days, Ohioans will be able to renew their driver’s license online, which marks another major milestone in our mission to offer more online services to citizens when they are interacting with the state.”
“Since 2021, more than 2 million visits to the BMV have been avoided because of innovative online solutions led through this administration,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “With every service that becomes available on the website, InnovateOhio is chipping away at any reason why Ohioans might have to go into the BMV. We have moved services online, so you never have to stand in line.”
Starting June 27, Ohioans will have the opportunity to renew their driver’s license or identification card easily and conveniently online. InnovateOhio advocated for the initiative through a provision in the state transportation budget – making the change legal – then worked with the Ohio BMV to build the system.
To renew a driver’s license or identification card, Ohioans will be able to visit BMV.Ohio.Gov and click on the “DL/ID Renewal” link. From there, customers will log in through the state’s OH|ID system, a program built through the InnovateOhio Platform that offers a secure way for Ohioans and businesses to interact with multiple state agencies and access a variety of programs and services with a single user account.
Once logged in through OH|ID, the application will begin, prompting the user to answer a series of questions. The user will need to upload a current driver’s license or ID, or a photograph, and one document from BMV’s acceptable document list. Once approved, the credential will be mailed to the individual.
Additionally, beginning July 11, customers will be able to transfer a title when engaging in a person-to-person sale of a vehicle by using a new online title process. After a sale is completed and the buyer is in possession of the original paper title (completed, signed and notarized from the seller), the person can utilize the Ohio Title Portal, securely log-in and apply to “Add Title” under their name. Once the title transaction has been reviewed and approved by a County Clerk of Courts Title Office, the customer will receive notice that the title has successfully been transferred to them and issued as an electronic title.
The process for driver examinations has also been updated to provide convenience to customers by minimizing the number of trips to the BMV, and along with the 3rd Party Driver Examination stations, there will also be the option of an online knowledge test.
New drivers will be able to take the driving knowledge test online, saving customers multiple trips to the BMV. In order to receive a temporary permit, all new drivers are required to complete a knowledge test, demonstrating their understanding of Ohio traffic laws. On July 11, this will be available online.
According to state officials, the options announced today add to the growing list of services Ohioans can now complete online instead of visiting their local BMV, including the ability to order a reprint of a lost or stolen driver’s license and the availability of BMV Express Self-Service Kiosks, which allow Ohioans to renew their vehicle registrations and retrieve their sticker immediately at conveniently located kiosks around Ohio.
If an individual does need to visit the BMV, the “Get In Line, Online” service allows customers to advance in the queue without physically waiting in the office. After checking in online, customers have until close of business that day to arrive at the deputy registrar location, check in at a self-service kiosk, and claim their spot in line.