Having serious offenses on your driving record can haunt you for years. Driving under the influence or dangerous driving that endangers the lives of passengers, pedestrians and other drivers may not only lead to the loss of your license, but also disqualify you for jobs requiring a clean driving record. Ohio allows for a type of expungement in which a portion of a resident's record is sealed, ensuring that future employers and most private citizens can't discover earlier offenses or violations.
Determine if state laws permit the expungement of a specific driving violation on your record (see Resources). For instance, authorities cannot seal your record if you pleaded guilty to or have been convicted of driving under the influence.
Pay the clerk at any county court the applicable expungement filing fee to begin the process of sealing your record. In 2010, courts charged $50 per application. Indigent residents and those who believe that their financial situation makes it impossible to pay this amount may also apply to waive the filing fee.
Submit the appropriate expungement form, based on your legal situation (see Resources). Courts in Ohio provide separate expungement forms to complete when the applicant has already been convicted of a driving offense or when a conviction is still pending.
Attend the hearing held at a county court, usually scheduled up to six weeks after you submit your initial application. Bring documents explaining why the expungement of your record and driving violations is important. For example, if a violation is keeping you from seeking employment in your field, let the judge know this.
Be available by telephone or mail during the six weeks after filing your application, to clarify any details or provide additional information requested by the court. Failure to respond to these requests may lead to the automatic rejection of your expungement application.
If a county court judge determines at the hearing that an applicant is not indigent, he will refuse to seal driving violations on a record, even if expungement is granted. The formal sealing remains delayed until payment of the filing fee.
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