GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis Municipal Court Judge Eric Mulford is bringing back the “Get Legal” driver’s license reinstatement clinic, previously operated in the mid-1990s by former municipal judge Bill Medley, for Gallia County residents who need assistance reinstating a suspended or revoked Ohio drivers’ license.
Mulford said that the clinic will take place at the municipal court clerk’s office in the Gallipolis Justice Center on Thursday, Sept. 27 p.m. until 6 p.m.
The original “Get Legal” program was prompted by a 1991 change in state law that increased the penalties for driving under suspension. The 2018 program was prompted by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles closing the regional reinstatement offices earlier this year, including the Jackson office, which many local residents depended on for assistance in reinstating a suspended or revoked license.
“Since that happened, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of people appearing before the court without a valid driver’s license,” Mulford said. “Some people have no idea how to even begin the process of reinstating their license. Everyone can go to the BMV website to see their reinstatement requirements, but I think sometimes people get frustrated with the process and just give up.”
Mulford said that once a person’s driver’s license is suspended, many have difficulty understanding the steps that must be taken to reinstate the license so that they may legally drive again. The clerk of courts staff will meet with citizens who need help understanding the reinstatement process and outline what must be accomplished to “get legal.” The clerks will also explain the eligibility requirements for limited driving privileges and payment plans for those persons who are not immediately eligible for full reinstatement.
A representative of the BMV will be on hand to assist the public as well. In order to expedite the processing of any paperwork that must be sent by the court to the BMV, those wanting to participate in the clinic should call the municipal court clerk’s office at (740) 446-9400 no later than Friday, Sept. 21 to pre-register for assistance.
Because the “Get Legal” program will result in the court being open after normal business hours to accommodate anyone who may work during the daytime, the court will close at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28.
For more information regarding the reinstatement process, go to the BMV website at www.bmv.ohio.gov/suspensions-reinstatements.aspx.