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ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Insurance Requirements (Financial Responsibility) - FAQ


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How do I get my driving privileges reinstated?

It depends upon the type of suspension that caused your privileges to be taken away. You may have to serve a suspension period, pay a reinstatement fee(s), file proof of financial responsibility insurance, petition for driving privileges from the court or the BMV and/or re-take a driver license examination. See suspensions for more specific answers.

I didn't have insurance when I was stopped, but I have it now. Why am I still being suspended?

A person must show proof of insurance or other acceptable financial responsibility at the time of a violation or accident. If none is in place at the time of the infraction, the license is suspended.

I have been suspended for not having insurance. Can I have occupational driving privileges during this suspension?

During a first-time non-compliance suspension, an individual does not apply to the court for driving privileges. Driving privileges will be restored upon payment of the reinstatement fee and filing of insurance with the Bureau in the form of an SR-22 or bond, provided no other suspensions are in effect.

Limited driving privileges may be granted by the court during the term of a second or third/subsequent non-compliance suspension. Before petitioning the court for privileges, a suspended individual must file insurance with the BMV in the form of an SR-22 or bond and pay the reinstatement fee to the BMV. Some courts may allow the individual to utilize a payment plan for the reinstatement fee. A second non-compliance suspension requires a 15-day waiting period before driving privileges can be granted. A third or subsequent non-compliance suspension requires a 30-day waiting period. The individual should apply to the local court having jurisdiction over his/her place of residence, or to the court having jurisdiction over the traffic offense that resulted in the non-compliance suspension. A court is not required to grant limited privileges and may decline to do so based upon the individual's driving record and other factors.

My vehicle was in an accident. My vehicle did not have insurance, but I was not driving at the time. Why is my license being suspended?

Under Ohio law, in the case of a motor vehicle accident, both driver AND owner are responsible for making sure the operation of the vehicle was covered by insurance.

A judgment has been rendered against me previously. It has just now been submitted to your office. Why doesn't my suspension start from the date of my judgment and not from the date you determine?

Under section 4509.37 of the ORC, "The registrar of motor vehicles upon receipt of a certified copy of a judgment, shall FORTHWITH (at once) suspend the license and registration and any non-resident's operating privilege of any person against whom such judgment was rendered."

Why can't the BMV take a faxed SR-22?

Due to the volume of SR-22s received daily, it would not be practical to overload a fax machine with SR-22s. Therefore, an administrative decision has been made to only accept SR-22s by mail or by online transmission.

I received a ticket recently. I am now receiving a "Notice of Suspension" from the BMV stating I will be suspended if I didn't have insurance at the time of the violation. Why does my suspension start in 30 days, and not from the date I was convicted?

Once the conviction is received and processed by the BMV, an additional 30 days must be given prior to suspending an individual in order to give the person a chance to verify with the BMV that they indeed were insured at the time of the offense.

I was recently stopped and ticketed while I was driving a motor vehicle that was not mine. I have now received a "Notice of Suspension" because the car I was driving was not insured. The owner told me the vehicle was insured. Why are you suspending me and not the owner of the uninsured vehicle?

When a ticket is issued, and "FR proof not shown" is noted on the ticket, it is the responsibility of the person in whose name the ticket was issued to provide proof that financial responsibility did exist. If no proof is in existence, the operator's license is suspended. If the infraction also resulted in an accident, and a State Crash Report is filed by the other party, the suspension would then also carry over to the owner of the vehicle.

I have the money to pay for the damages in the accident, and have done so, which makes me financially responsible. Why are you suspending my license?

Under section 4509.45 of the ORC, there are specific items that are deemed acceptable as proof of financial responsibility. These consist of (A) A certificate of insurance as provided in section 4509.46 (SR-22) or 4509.47 (out-of-state SR-22) of the ORC; (B) A bond as provided in section 4509.59 of the ORC; (C) A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in section 4509.62 of the ORC; (D) A certificate of self-insurance as provided in section 4509.72 of the ORC. In addition, section 4509.49 of the ORC sets forth the requirement for a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, and section 4509.51 sets forth the minimum requirements of such policy.

Can I make payments on reinstatement fees?

The BMV can accept any payments on reinstatement fees due. If a customer wishes to have the partial payment applied to a certain case, the individual must specify the case number and his/her Social Security number on a personal check, bank check or money order. Payments should be made out to the Ohio State Treasurer.

Why can't I get my point information over the telephone?

Under section 4509.05 of the ORC, when reporting a record of convictions to a person, "The registrar shall collect for each abstract a fee of five dollars." Since the points assessed are part of the record of conviction, the fee must be collected before the information is released.

How long does a ticket stay on my record?

There is no section of the ORC that states convictions ever come off of a driver record. However, an administrative decision is in effect that allows for Driver Abstracts to only reflect the last three years driver record activity.

Can I pay my reinstatement fee by credit card?

At this time, there is no section of the ORC that allows for the BMV to accept credit card payments nor defer the service charges of such transactions. A change in the law would have to be made to allow for these transactions. However, payments may be made online using your current checking account. More information is available HERE. Pay reinstatement fees online HERE.

My insurance company just obtained a copy of my driving record, and it goes back more than three years. Why?

Some insurance companies obtain information from independent abstract companies. Some of these abstract companies release information from as far back as they have. Make sure the insurance company is receiving their information directly from the BMV. You can obtain an OBMV Record Request - BMV Form 1173, either directly from any BMV regional office, your local Deputy Registrar's office, or by downloading from the BMV's Web site. You may obtain an official copy of your BMV driving abstract HERE.

I live out of state, and do not have an Ohio driver's license. I just received a "Notice of Suspension." How can you suspend my out-of-state license?

Under various sections of the ORC, when an out-of-state resident is suspended, what is actually suspended is the non-resident's Ohio operating privilege. This means the person may no longer operate a vehicle in this state. This may also effect the non-resident's license if the home state runs a National Driver Registry (NDR/PDPS) check for suspensions in other states. If a check is done and a match is found, the home state will suspend the individual's license until the out-of-state suspension is cleared.

I was notified by my bank of a returned check written to the BMV. How do I resolve this matter?

Banks are instructed to send returned checks through a second time. If the check clears on the second attempt, the BMV does not receive any notice of a returned check. However, if the returned check does not go through on the second attempt, and/or for another reason is sent to the BMV to process, you will be sent a letter requesting payment, including a $15.00 service charge, with a return envelope provided. The letter will reference a claim number, which needs to be included with your payment in order for you to receive proper credit for the transaction. We understand that mistakes happen and afford you the opportunity to correct the situation. If you have further questions about a returned check, you may contact the BMV Tax Distribution Section at (614) 752-2084.

Why is my insurance company charging me with an accident for which I am not at fault?

Pursuant to the ORC, all accidents must be listed on the driving record. However, nowhere on a driver record will you see the wording "at fault." Generally, the way to determine if a person is at fault is to also view the convictions. If there is an offense, i.e., speed, failure to control, etc. that matches the date of the accident, then the person was at fault as they were cited for the violation. It is suggested that you complete form BMV 1173 requesting a driver record. This will show you what is actually on your record with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This form can be downloaded from the BMV Web site.

I received a letter in the mail requesting that I provide proof of insurance coverage. The letter included a return envelope addressed to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Is the requested information an authentic request from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles?

The letter that you received requesting proof of insurance coverage is required by Ohio law. This statutory requirement is known as the "Random Selection Program." The Random Selection Program is administered by a subsidiary office of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles located in Hudson, Ohio. Therefore, for this program only, correspondence should be addressed to: BMV Insurance Processing Center, P.O. Box 209, Hudson, OH 44236-0209. The phone number for questions is 1-877-315-6605.