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Ohio and Michigan Licensing Expirations and REAL ID Compliance Extended

Kristina L. M. Wildman
4/6/20

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5/12/2020 Update (Michigan): On April 13, 2020, Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-47 regarding the expiration of driver’s licenses and registration in the state of Michigan. On May 8, 2020, Governor Whitmer rescinded the order and replaced it with Executive Order 2020-78. The new order further extends the validity of state issued personal identification cards, operator’s or chauffeur’s licenses, and vehicle registrations. If the items expired on or after February 1, 2020, or are set to expire on or before June 30, 2020, the new order extends the time for renewal until July 31, 2020. 

   The new order maintains that all individuals must attempt to complete license and registration renewal online, if available. It is important to note that Michigan will not allow online renewal several reasons, including the renewal of a commercial or temporary license or a renew of a driver’s license if it was renewed the last time online or by mail. 

   The order also maintains that late fees will not be assessed so long as the renewal is complete by July 31, 2020. Similar to the Ohio order, it also states that the extension does not apply to any license that was revoked or suspended for traffic offenses. 

   The new order also adds provisions stating automobile insurers may not take adverse actions against their insured customers based on the expiration of customer’s license or registration as a result of the declared emergency. Therefore, an automobile insurer may not cancel, void, rescind or refuse a new policy or claim because of an expired driver’s license or registration, so long as the expiration of such driver’s license or registration is subject to the order. The automobile insurer also may not increase the insurance premium for a new policy or the renewal of an existing policy on the basis of a customer’s expired driver’s license or registration subject to this order.

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4/24/2020 UPDATE (Michigan): On April 13, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-47 regarding the expiration of drivers’ licenses and registrations in the state of Michigan. The order extends the validity of state issued personal identification cards, operator’s or chauffeur’s licenses, and vehicle registrations. If the items expired on or after February 1, 2020, or are set to expire on or before May 31, 2020, the order extends the time for renewal until June 30, 2020.   

   The order states that all individuals must attempt to complete license and registration renewal online, if available. It is important to note that Michigan will not allow online renewal for several reasons, including the renewal of a commercial or temporary license or a renewal of a driver’s license if it was renewed the last time online or by mail.  

   The order also states that late fees will not be assessed so long as the renewal is completed by June 30, 2020. Similar to the Ohio order, it also states that the extension does not apply to any license that was revoked or suspended for traffic offenses.

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OH driver license    On March 9, 2020, Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine issued Executive Order 2020-01D declaring a state of emergency for the State of Ohio due to the COVID-19 (a.k.a. coronavirus) pandemic. In the days that followed, Governor DeWine began ordering the closure of business and state offices, including most of the state’s BMV offices. 

   On March 27, 2020, Governor DeWine signed Ohio House Bill 197 that provides relief to any Ohioan whose license expired on or after March 9, 2020, the date the state emergency was declared. The licenses as defined by the bill include not only driver’s licenses, but also other permits, certificates, commissions, registrations and “similar authority that is issued or conferred by a state agency.” 

   If your license, as defined by the legislation, expired on or after March 9, 2020, the bill provides an extension of time in which to renew your license. The license shall be considered valid until 90 days after the emergency ends but not later than December 1, 2020. The extension of license validity does not apply to any license that was revoked, suspended or otherwise subject to discipline or limitation. 

   It is important to note the extension as it applies to concealed handgun licenses differs from that of other defined licenses. The legislation provides an extension for concealed handgun licenses to the earlier of 90 days past their expiration date or December 1, 2020. Without further legislation, the concealed handgun license will expire 90 days after the license’s stated expiration date rather than 90 days after the end of the emergency. 

   On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act into federal law. Section 16006 of the CARES Act extends the deadline for the states to satisfy the REAL ID requirements from the REAL ID Act of 2005. As you may recall, the REAL ID Act required states to comply with the act and provide a more sophisticated driver’s license and state identification card to residents. Prior to the extension, the deadline for Ohio was October 1, 2020. Once the deadline expires, a United States citizen will not be able to fly, even domestically, or enter federal facilities without a REAL ID compliant license or identification card. The CARES Act now extends the deadline to obtain a REAL ID compliant license or identification card until September 30, 2021. 

   Should you have any questions regarding the changes to licensing laws, please contact Ms. Wildman.

 

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Disclaimers:

At the date of publication the above information was correct.  It is quite possible the information above has changed as COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. 

The article in this publication has been prepared by Eastman & Smith Ltd. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney/client relationship.