Three state representatives from the Miami Valley are questioning Ohio’s need for dual license plates.
Ohio Reps. Terry Blair, Washington Twp.; Michael Henne, Clayton; and Ron Maag, Lebanon, co-signed a bipartisan bill that would nix the front plate.
The House’s committee on transportation issues unanimously cleared the bill Tuesday afternoon without debate. The House will likely vote on the bill Wednesday.
The bill would reduce Ohio’s license plate replacement fee by a dollar, saving the state’s vehicle owners about $350,000 a year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission.
Additionally, the bill would save the state about $1.4 million in manufacturing costs, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Many of the state’s police officers disagree with the bill. They said the front plate is useful in assisting law enforcement.
“The front license plates have been invaluable to law enforcement,” said Michael Weinman of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio. “Why race to the bottom, we have this tool for us that we can use.”
The Buckeye State is an outlier when it comes to front license plates — none of the states bordering Ohio require them. Ohio has required a front plate since 1908, except for 1944-46 when Ohio wanted to conserve steel for the war effort, according to BMV officials.
If it passes the House, the bill would still need approvals from the Ohio Senate and Gov. John Kasich before it would become law.
— Staff Writer William Garbe is a senior at the University of Dayton.