Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
IPJC v. BMV - Case Documents
Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center et al. v. Registrar, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Obtaining a temporary instruction permit at age 15 and then a driver’s license at age 16 is a step to gaining independence, supporting oneself and assisting one’s family financially, and attending school and extracurricular activities. Sadly, thousands of non-citizen and U.S.-citizen minors across Ohio who were eligible to obtain driver’s licenses were unable to do so, because of the national origin and immigration status of their parents and an Ohio BMV policy that a federal court found unlawful after ABLE filed suit on behalf of the Ohio young people.
In February 2020, Judge Edmund Sargus, Jr. decided the case in favor of the plaintiffs, finding the BMV policy unlawfully created a distinction between U.S. citizens whose parents had lawful immigration status and those who did not, and that the BMV had not provided a compelling justification for treating the plaintiffs differently than other young Ohioans.