No Driving Record Fee in Ohio

June 9, 2010

Auto insurance companies in Ohio can breathe a bit easier today. A judge struck down a proposed higher motor vehicle fee that was being charged to trucking companies and vehicle insurance companies, on the grounds that it violates the state constitution.

Last year, Ohio legislators raised the fee being charged for certified copies of driving records from $2 to $5, with the intent to use the funds to generate $10 million for homeland security and emergency medical services, but Franklin County common pleas judge Richard Frye ruled that the state constitution doesn’t allow for such a diversion of funds; they must go toward highway construction and safety.

Trucking companies and insurance agents, who banded together to file the lawsuit, and who pay the fees to verify licenses and driving records, see the ruling as a victory, though it will probably be appealed by state officials.

On June 18, Jude Frye will hear arguments on whether such fees collected over the last eleven months should be refunded.