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Legal Information: Ohio

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 3, 2020

What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

Before moving to Ohio, the state that issued your protection order may already have entered your order into the NCIC. If not, your order will be entered into the NCIC once your order is registered in Ohio. All law enforcement officials have access to the NCIC database, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

How do I register my protection order in Ohio?

There is no fee for registration, and you may register your protection order in as many Ohio counties as you wish.1   To register your protection order in Ohio, you will need to:

  • get a certified copy of the order from the clerk of the court that issued your order; and
  • present your certified copy to the clerk of the county or municipal court or court of common pleas where you want to register your protection order.  The clerk will place a mark on the certified copy proving that your order has been registered and give you a copy bearing that mark.2 

See the OH Courthouse Locations page to find contact information for courthouses in Ohio.  It’s a good idea to bring your photo identification with you when you get your certified copy or register your protection order.

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Ohio for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our OH Advocates and Shelters page.

1 Ohio Rev. Code § 3113.31(J),(N)(1)
2 Ohio Rev. Code §§ 2919.272, 3113.31(N)(2)

Do I have to register my protection order in Ohio in order to get it enforced?

Ohio state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order.1 It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by an Ohio police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.

1 Ohio Rev. Code § 2919.272(D)

Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our OH Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)

What if I don't register my protection order?  Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your protection order in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be more difficult for a law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real. So, it could take longer to get your order enforced. If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in Ohio.

To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in Ohio, go to our OH Advocates and Shelters page.

Does it cost anything to register my protection order?

There is no fee for registering your protection order in Ohio.