Next of Kin Registry

ODPS and Ohio BMV Launch First of Its Kind System

Columbus – Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) Director Henry Guzman, Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Registrar Mike Rankin and rep. Jim McGregor today announced the launch of Ohio’s Next of Kin Registration System.

Carmella Wiant and Linda Wuestenberg, who were instrumental in initiating legislation for the system, joined them in the Atrium of the BMV to sign the first ceremonial forms for the new registration system. Both were personally impacted by not being able to reach a loved one in a timely manner after a crash.

With the launch, Ohio became one of the first states to make a next of kin registration process available. Any holder of a valid Ohio driver license, commercial drivers license, temporary permit or state of Ohio identification card will now have the option of providing the name and information of a contact person they wish to be notified in the event the individual is involved in a crash or emergency and is otherwise unable to communicate with the contact person.

“In an emergency situation, time is critical to saving lives,” Guzman said. “This is yet another way we can all work together to be prepared to respond or help the public respond, to an emergency.”

Ohioans can now provide next of kin information for up to two contacts online or through any BMV deputy registrar. For those over the age of 18, the contact person can be a nearby relative, friend or co-worker. Those under the age of 18 are required to provide a parent of guardian for the primary contact. This secure database will only be accessible to BMV employees and law enforcement officials.

“We are encouraging all Ohioans to take advantage of this beneficial opportunity, to save time when trying to identify family and friends of a crash victim,” said Rankin.