Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Seal of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
|Headquarters||Charles D. Shipley Building|
1970 West Broad Street
|Parent department||Ohio Department of Public Safety|
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (abbreviated BMV) is an agency of the Ohio Department of Public Safety that registers motor vehicles and issues license plates and driver's licenses in the U.S. state of Ohio. It is headquartered in the state capital, Columbus, and operates deputy registrar's offices and driver exam stations throughout the state. The agency is administered by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. As of 2018[update], there are 7,944,315 valid Ohio driver's licenses and 861,043 Ohio identification cards in the state.
In 1906, the state attempted to take over auto registration under the Ward Automobile Law, but litigation delayed the program until the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law. The Ohio Secretary of State's Automobile Division, precursor to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, was established in 1907. The Ward Law went into effect on June 11, 1908, but the Automobile Division did not begin issuing plates for another 30 days due to a manufacturing defect. The first state vehicle registration was issued to Cincinnati resident Thomas B. Paxton, Jr., for his Franklin automobile. Locally issued and owner-provided license plates were phased out by 1909 for automobiles, but local plates continued to be used for motorcycles until 1914.
In 1925, the Automobile Division was renamed the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and the Registrar of Motor Vehicles was retitled the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. In 1933, the Bureau was transferred to the newly created Ohio Department of Highways. In 1935, the Commissioner title was reverted to Registrar. On May 19, 1953, Amended House Bill 243 created the Ohio Department of Highway Safety and transferred the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and State Highway Patrol to the new department, effective October 2, 1953. Deputy registrars were political appointees until November 28, 1988, when a private request for proposal process took effect.
The division allows for special license plates to be purchased by individuals which indicate if either the driver or passenger of a particular vehicle has a communication disability, to decrease the chance of negative interactions with police.
- "2018 Facts & Figures" (PDF). Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. January 28, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- Tanner, Eric N. "Ohio License Plates - Prestate City/County". allaboutlicenseplates.com. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- Raiche, Steve. "Old Ohio License Plates". LeatherLicensePlates.com. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- "ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles History". Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- Taylor, Eric Robert (January 20, 2013). "Ohio Archive". PorcelainPlates.net. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
- Ohio BMV Chronological History 1908-2010 (PDF). Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 24, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
- Ohio State Highway Patrol History, 1933‐1993 (PDF). Ohio State Highway Patrol. 1993. p. 39.
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