Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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When a loved one passes away, it's important to notify various organizations and governmental bodies. This includes the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) if the deceased was a resident of Ohio and held a driver's license or state ID. Notifying the BMV helps prevent identity theft and ensures the deceased's driving records are updated appropriately.

Who Should Be Notified

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles needs to be notified in the event of a death, especially if your loved one held an Ohio driver's license or state ID. This helps to ensure the deceased's identification documents cannot be used fraudulently.

When to Notify

The BMV should be notified as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. This helps to prevent any misuse of the deceased's driver's license or ID card.

How to Notify

To notify the Ohio BMV, you will need to mail a copy of the death certificate to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Attn: Records Division, P.O. Box 16520, Columbus, OH 43216-6520. Remember, it's crucial to send a copy of the death certificate, not the original, as you may need the original for other purposes.

What to Expect After Notification

Once the Ohio BMV receives the death certificate, they will update their records to show that the individual is deceased. The deceased's driver's license or state ID will be cancelled to prevent fraudulent use. You will not typically receive confirmation from the BMV, but you can contact them to verify the update if needed.

Tips for Notification

When notifying the BMV, it's a good idea to send the death certificate by certified mail. This gives you proof that the document was received. Keep a copy of the death certificate and the certified mail receipt for your records.

Conclusion

Notifying the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles of a loved one's death is a critical step in managing their affairs. It helps to prevent identity theft and ensures their driving records are updated correctly. While it may seem like a minor detail during a difficult time, it's an important task to complete.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify the Ohio BMV online or via phone?
A: Currently, the Ohio BMV does not offer a method to report a death online or via phone. They require a copy of the death certificate to be mailed to their Records Division.

Q: What if my loved one had a suspended or revoked license?
A: Even if a license was suspended or revoked, it's still a good idea to notify the BMV of the individual's death to prevent possible identity theft.

Q: What if my loved one had a vehicle registered in their name?
A: A vehicle's title will need to be transferred to the new owner. This is separate from notifying the BMV of the death and typically involves probate court. It's recommended to speak with an estate or probate attorney for guidance.