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Cleveland Municipal Court License Reinstatement Fee Hotline is Huge Success: Over 2,000 calls--700 in the First Hour!!!

Mar 19, 2019
Contact:  Ed Ferenc, Public Information Officer                                  

Cleveland Municipal Court
216 664 6787 / 216 789 2597

(Cleveland) –“We never did this before, so we really didn’t know what to expect,” said Judge Emanuella Groves on the overwhelming success in launching a community engagement effort to help Clevelanders with suspended drivers licenses get their Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) Reinstatement fees either waived or at least reduced. 

After months of planning and cooperation from judges, prosecutors, public defenders, attorneys and court staff from the judicial and clerk divisions, the phones started ringing at 9:00 a.m. Friday, March 15 and continued until 6:00 p.m.  

When it was all over, a total of 2,345 calls were answered.

“The response clearly exceeded our expectations and better yet, we were prepared to manage it,” said Judge Groves, noting that the longest wait time was 10 minutes and that occurred in the first hour.

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Answering calls along with Judge Groves that day were: Administrative and Presiding Judge Michelle D. Earley, Judges Michael Nelson Sr. , Ann Clare Oakar, Suzan Sweeney and Jazmin Torres-Lugo, along with Cleveland Municipal Court Chief Magistrate Greg Clifford and Darlene Jones, Regional Representative from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The BMV Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative went into effect January 31, creating a six-month program for driver license reinstatement fee reduction and waiver for offenders whose driver licenses have been suspended for specific violations.

The program is designed for drivers with licenses suspended for specific non-alcohol, drug or weapons-related offenses. In order to be eligible for reinstatement fee reduction, applicants must have completed all court-ordered sanctions and at least 18 months must have passed since the suspension ended.  In order to get all reinstatement fees dropped, there must be proof of indigence.   The initiative only applies to a driver license or permit suspension and it does not apply to a commercial driver license or commercial permit suspension.

It’s estimated over 400,000 Ohio drivers will qualify for the program with almost 40,000 of them in Cleveland. 

The Court is planning events in the community from now to the end of July to inform the public about the program.    The BMV Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Application can be obtained at or by going to the local Deputy Registrar.  The form can also be mailed to you by calling 614-752-7500 during regular business hours.

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