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MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – If you’ve taken advantage of the COVID extensions granted by the BMV, you’re almost out of time.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles pushed back the annual requirement for driver’s license and vehicle tag renewals last March. State registrar for the Ohio BMV,  Charlie Norman, said that extension will end July 1, and could mean longer wait times at your local BMV office.

“We know that there were about 400,000 people that still had not come in to renew their license or registration, and that’s on top of you know, maybe the million people a month we already see. So it’s a 40 percent increase in customer volume we expect this month. So it’s going to be busy at the BMV.”

If you are planning on going into a BMV office, some health protocols are still in place, including increased sanitation of high-touch surfaces and a mask requirement for those who are not fully vaccinated. But Norman said there are easy ways to avoid the crowd and take care of business quickly — without spending your day inside a BMV office.

“Take advantage of some of the online options we have,” he said. “So for instance — your tags, your annual vehicle registration — you can do that entirely online without ever coming into the office. But if you do have to come in, we also have some tools available to help you manage your time and wait less in line.”

One of the most useful tools involves getting in line virtually, either through the BMV website or by using the QR code at BMV locations. Norman said an interactive checklist of acceptable documents for each service can also help speed up the process. But if you still wait until the last minute or simply don’t get your tags in the mail before July 1, Norman said you should be ready to show proof of your updated information.

“If you renew [your registration] online, there is a document you can print out and I would just encourage folks to keep that with them in case they do get pulled over before those stickers arrive in the mail.”

While registrations can be renewed entirely online, driver’s licenses cannot, so the BMV is encouraging community members to plan accordingly.