4503.102 Centralized system of motor vehicle registration renewal by mail or by electronic means.

(A) The registrar of motor vehicles shall adopt rules to establish a centralized system of motor vehicle registration renewal by mail or by electronic means. Any person owning a motor vehicle that was registered in the person's name during the preceding registration year shall renew the registration of the motor vehicle not more than ninety days prior to the expiration date of the registration either by mail or by electronic means through the centralized system of registration established under this section, or in person at any office of the registrar or at a deputy registrar's office.

(B)

(1) No less than forty-five days prior to the expiration date of any motor vehicle registration, the registrar shall mail a renewal notice to the person in whose name the motor vehicle is registered. The renewal notice shall clearly state that the registration of the motor vehicle may be renewed by mail or electronic means through the centralized system of registration or in person at any office of the registrar or at a deputy registrar's office and shall be preprinted with information including, but not limited to, the owner's name and residence address as shown in the records of the bureau of motor vehicles, a brief description of the motor vehicle to be registered, notice of the license taxes and fees due on the motor vehicle, the toll-free telephone number of the registrar as required under division (D)(1) of section 4503.031 of the Revised Code, a statement that payment for a renewal may be made by financial transaction device using the toll-free telephone number, and any additional information the registrar may require by rule. The renewal notice shall not include the social security number of either the owner of the motor vehicle or the person in whose name the motor vehicle is registered. The renewal notice shall be sent by regular mail to the owner's last known address as shown in the records of the bureau of motor vehicles.

(2) If the application for renewal of the registration of a motor vehicle is prohibited from being accepted by the registrar or a deputy registrar by division (D) of section 2935.27, division (A) of section 2937.221, division (A) of section 4503.13, division (B) of section 4510.22, or division (B)(1) of section 4521.10 of the Revised Code, the registrar is not required to send a renewal notice to the vehicle owner or vehicle lessee.

(C) The owner of the motor vehicle shall verify the information contained in the notice, sign it either manually or by electronic means, and return it, either by mail or electronic means, or the owner may take it in person to any office of the registrar or of a deputy registrar . The owner shall include with the notice a financial transaction device number when renewing in person or by electronic means but not by mail, check, or money order in the amount of the registration taxes and fees payable on the motor vehicle and a service fee of three dollars and fifty cents , plus postage as indicated on the notice if the registration is renewed or fulfilled by mail, and an inspection certificate for the motor vehicle as provided in section 3704.14 of the Revised Code. For purposes of the centralized system of motor vehicle registration, the registrar shall accept payments via the toll-free telephone number established under division (D)(1) of section 4503.031 of the Revised Code for renewals made by mail. If the motor vehicle owner chooses to renew the motor vehicle registration by electronic means, the owner shall proceed in accordance with the rules the registrar adopts.

(D) If all registration and transfer fees for the motor vehicle for the preceding year or the preceding period of the current registration year have not been paid, if division (D) of section 2935.27, division (A) of section 2937.221, division (A) of section 4503.13, division (B) of section 4510.22, or division (B)(1) of section 4521.10 of the Revised Code prohibits acceptance of the renewal notice, or if the owner or lessee does not have an inspection certificate for the motor vehicle as provided in section 3704.14 of the Revised Code, if that section is applicable, the license shall be refused, and the registrar or deputy registrar shall so notify the owner. This section does not require the payment of license or registration taxes on a motor vehicle for any preceding year, or for any preceding period of a year, if the motor vehicle was not taxable for that preceding year or period under section 4503.02, 4503.04, 4503.11, 4503.12, or 4503.16 or Chapter 4504. of the Revised Code.

(E)

(1) Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve a motor vehicle owner from the responsibility to renew the registration for the motor vehicle. Any person who has a motor vehicle registered in this state and who does not receive a renewal notice as provided in division (B) of this section prior to the expiration date of the registration shall request an application for registration from the registrar or a deputy registrar and sign the application manually or by electronic means and submit the application and pay any applicable license taxes and fees to the registrar or deputy registrar.

(2) If the owner of a motor vehicle submits an application for registration and the registrar is prohibited by division (D) of section 2935.27, division (A) of section 2937.221, division (A) of section 4503.13, division (B) of section 4510.22, or division (B)(1) of section 4521.10 of the Revised Code from accepting the application, the registrar shall return the application and the payment to the owner. If the owner of a motor vehicle submits a registration renewal application to the registrar by electronic means and the registrar is prohibited from accepting the application as provided in this division, the registrar shall notify the owner of this fact and deny the application and return the payment or give a credit on the financial transaction device account of the owner in the manner the registrar prescribes by rule adopted pursuant to division (A) of this section.

(F) Every deputy registrar shall post in a prominent place at the deputy's office a notice informing the public of the mail registration system required by this section and also shall post a notice that every owner of a motor vehicle and every chauffeur holding a certificate of registration is required to notify the registrar in writing of any change of residence within ten days after the change occurs. The notice shall be in such form as the registrar prescribes by rule.

(G) The three dollar and fifty cent service fee collected from a person who renews a motor vehicle registration by electronic means or by mail, plus postage collected by the registrar and any financial transaction device surcharge collected by the registrar, shall be paid to the credit of the state bureau of motor vehicles fund established by section 4501.25 of the Revised Code.

(H)

(1) Pursuant to section 113.40 of the Revised Code, the registrar shall implement a program permitting payment of motor vehicle registration taxes and fees, driver's license and commercial driver's license fees, and any other taxes, fees, penalties, or charges imposed or levied by the state by means of a financial transaction device for transactions occurring online, at any office of the registrar, and at all deputy registrar locations. The program shall take effect not later than July 1, 2016. The registrar shall adopt rules as necessary for this purpose, but all such rules are subject to any action, policy, or procedure of the board of deposit or treasurer of state taken or adopted under section 113.40 of the Revised Code.

(2) The rules adopted under division (H)(1) of this section shall require a deputy registrar to accept payments by means of a financial transaction device beginning on the effective date of the rules unless the deputy registrar contract entered into by the deputy registrar prohibits the acceptance of such payments by financial transaction device. However, commencing with deputy registrar contract awards that have a start date of July 1, 2016, and for all contract awards thereafter, the registrar shall require that the proposer accept payment by means of a financial transaction device, including credit cards and debit cards, for all department of public safety transactions conducted at that deputy registrar location.

The bureau and deputy registrars are not required to pay any costs that result from accepting payment by means of a financial transaction device . A deputy registrar may charge a person who tenders payment for a department transaction by means of a financial transaction device any cost the deputy registrar incurs from accepting payment by the financial transaction device, but the deputy registrar shall not require the person to pay any additional fee of any kind in connection with the use by the person of the financial transaction device.

(3) In accordance with division (H)(1) of this section and rules adopted by the registrar under that division, a county auditor or clerk of a court of common pleas that is designated a deputy registrar shall accept payment by means of a financial transaction device, including credit cards and debit cards, for all department transactions conducted at the office of the county auditor or clerk in the county auditor's or clerk's capacity as deputy registrar. The bureau is not required to pay any costs incurred by a county auditor or clerk that result from accepting payment by means of a financial transaction device for any department transaction.

(I) For persons who reside in counties where tailpipe emissions inspections are required under the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program, the notice required by division (B) of this section shall also include the toll-free telephone number maintained by the Ohio environmental protection agency to provide information concerning the locations of emissions testing centers.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 53, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2015.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004; 2007 HB119 09-29-2007; 2008 HB13 08-19-2008

Related Legislative Provision: See 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 53, §812.30.