INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Tuesday was the day fitness centers, pools and BMV locations reopened to the public for the first time since closing back in March due to COVID-19.
Ohioans have been staring at the calendar and looking to Governor Mike DeWine for advisement about when they can resume somewhat normal routines.
“I understand the danger they’re talking about, but I want to live my life,” Eric Hatman said while in line at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Tuesday.
Long lines were seen at multiple BMV locations across the state.
“I wanted to get it over with,” Renee Germany said.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles said since reopening Tuesday morning, locations have served approximately 3,000 customers per hour.
“We have about a million people a month who normally come through our offices,” Charlie Norman said. “So as you can imagine, we’ve got a lot of people who need service right now.”
Lt. Governor Jon Husted is discouraging Ohioans from rushing to their local office, but Hatman said he did not want to take any changes regarding his motorcycle registration.
“I talked to my local police and they said don’t worry about it,” Hatman said, “Because of this epidemic you could’ve ridden your bike, but I can’t take that chance.”
The Ohio BMV will not be administering knowledge or skill tests. Instead, officials said the bureau will resume testing once they have the capacity to do so.
Ohioans can complete the following BMV related services online:
- Vehicle registration
- Check availability of specialty plates
- Driving records
- Change of address
- Register to become an organ donor
- Reinstatement requirement fees
- Fleet and power of attorney services
- Check status of registration
For face-to-face services, Husted recommends first using the "Get In Line Online" tool on the Ohio BMV website.
Gyms and fitness centers are also permitted to open under strict health guidelines.
“If someone doesn’t feel good or if I don’t feel good, I’m not gonna come to the gym,” Brian Bonifay said, “We don’t want to get anyone sick.”
Community pools that are regulated by local health departments also reopened Tuesday.
However, many pools remain closed and future opening dates can be found for particular locations online.