Bankruptcy Discharge Reinstatement Fees

Bankruptcy Law

What Is A DMV Reinstatement Fee In Ohio

The Ohio Revised Code defines a reinstatement fees as “fees authorized under code sections  4507.16124507.454509.1014509.814511.1914511.951, or any other provision of the Revised Code, or under a schedule established by the bureau of motor vehicles, in order to reinstate a driver’s or commercial driver’s license or permit or nonresident operating privilege of an offender under a suspension.” In short a reinstatement fee is an amount of money charged by the Ohio DMV for an individual that is facing a license suspension. These fees must be paid or resolved prior to a person obtaining a driver’s license again.

Are Reinstatement Fees Dischargeable In Bankruptcy

One of the most commonly asked questions of a bankruptcy attorney is can reinstatement fees be discharged through a bankruptcy filing? The answer in Ohio is that reinstatement fees can be discharged per Revised Code section 4510(G). Reinstatement fees can be discharged for all suspension types including, but not limited to:

  • Insurance-Related Suspension
  • Alcohol/Drug-Related Suspension
  • Court Suspension
  • Child Suspensions
  • Driving Related/Points Suspensions
  • Judgement Lien Suspensions

It must be noted that the discharge of a reinstatement fee does not mean that a person can automatically obtain a license. The ability to acquire a license is based on the underlying suspension when determining if bankruptcy will accomplish more than eliminating the reinstatement fees. It the underlying suspension has run its course and the only thing preventing a person from securing a license is the reinstatement fee, a bankruptcy filing will allow a person to obtain the license. If the underlying suspension is a judgement lien, not related to an accident involving drugs or alcohol, the filing of the bankruptcy will discharge the underlying debt, eliminate the reinstatement fee and allow a person to secure a license. However, if a person is still serving a license suspension for a not dischargeable issue, the filing of the bankruptcy does not eliminate the suspension, it only discharges the reinstatement fees.

How To Discharge A Reinstatement Fee In Bankruptcy

In order to discharge a DMV reinstatement fee in a bankruptcy filing, the OHIO BMV must be listed as a creditor in the bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy attorney must ensure that the court provides notice of the filing to the DMV. The proper notice address is as follows:

Ohio BMV
Attn: Compliance Unit
P.O. Box 16583
Columbus, Ohio 43216

Though the official noticing address is listed above, since the protection afforded from a bankruptcy filing is immediate, it is generally acceptable for a person filing for bankruptcy protection to be able to deliver a notice of filing to any DMV office to secure the immediate release of the reinstatement fee. This means that if the only thing preventing a person from securing his/her license is the payment of the reinstatement fee, then the filing of the bankruptcy can often allow for the person to reacquire the license upon the filing of the case.