To E-Check or Not to E-Check for 7 Ohio Counties

Model of State of Ohio using various license platescourtesy of Flickr

At the end of April this year, Ohio lawmakers once again called for an end to the Ohio e-check requirements via a resolution cosponsored by Republican state representatives G. Pavliga (Portage country) and D. Grendall (Geauga county).

E-check in Ohio has been a state mandated program for older vehicles since the late 1990's.

There have been several attempts in recent years to amend or eliminate the law on both sides of the political aisle.

A similar resolution passed in the House in 2017.

Both the House and the Senate proposed and passed similar resolutions in 2020, however none of those attempts made it to the full vote in the Senate as required.

There are currently just seven counties in Ohio still requiring e-checks including:

  • Cuyahoga
  • Lake
  • Geauga
  • Portage
  • Lorain
  • Summit
  • Medina

According to the Ohio E-check website as of this writing, "All gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles, including flexible fuel and hybrid vehicles, equal to or less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), 25 years old or newer from the current testing year, and registered in an E-Check county must comply with E-Check".

New vehicles (last four model years) are exempt. So that means for 2021, vehicles 2017 or newer will not have to be e-checked.

Other vehicles which are exempt including motorcycles, vehicles over 10,000 pounds, RVs, and historical vehicles. See the exemption section of the website for more details.

In January 2020, the "tailpipe" test, which is unnecessary for cars newer than 25 years old, was discontinued in favor of two other types of tests that were less stressful and more relevant for newer car models.

Lawmakers in favor of eliminating all e-check requirements believe it's not as effective as once hoped and they cite exhorbitant costs to the state in time and money, as well as the unfair financial and other obstacles it creates for low income Ohio citizens.

While protecting the environment is a critical safety issue, it does seem that Ohio lawmakers are trying to rid Ohio residents of this burdensome test. Perhaps they will replace it with a more effective test.

But for this year at least, if your vehicle is 25 years old or newer, is not exempt, and was manufactured more than four years ago, you are required to have an e-check every two years.

If your car is an odd year model, that means 2021 is your year to have an e-check performed.

Even numbered models will be due for e-check in 2022 if the resolution has not passed the full vote.

Make sure you look into the details of the e-check process well ahead of renewing your license plates as you won't be able to complete the process without documentation of a passing e-check test.

To e-check or not to e-check in Ohio?

Whether this new resolution will result in the elimination of the e-check requirements is yet to be seen.

For now, it seems those in the remaining seven counties will still be subjected to the program until further notice.

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With fifteen years of freelance experience, Meg founded Freelance Filter in 2019 to help writers and small business owners learn the technology needed to do business better online. She currently offers private coaching to writers and small business owners. Her favorite nonfiction writing projects deal with marketing, SEO, freelancing, productivity, and technology for writers and small business owners. She's currently working on an SEO guide for beginners and a series of short stories. She's a mother of four and "Grammi" of ten.

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