The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has allowed its deputy registrars to charge Ohio motorists more than $3 million for a service the registrars no longer perform.

Each driver’s-license or identification-card issuance or renewal is accompanied by a $1.50 lamination fee to compensate registrars for encasing the cards in plastic.

However, with the switch to federally compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards, a BMV vendor — not local registrars — has produced and mailed the cards since July 2.

Based on the monthly average of the nearly 2.6 million driver’s licenses and 448,000 ID cards issued last year, an estimated 2 million Ohioans since have paid more than $3 million in lamination fees.

The continued collection of the fee by registrars was only recently “brought to our attention” and will be addressed in the two-year state budget to be introduced Friday by Gov. Mike DeWine, said BMV spokesman Lindsey Bohrer. “The verbiage was never updated to reflect changes in technology,” she said.

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