State of Ohio Insurance Requirements
What is Financial Responsibility?
If I obtain insurance, what is required?
Ohio law requires the following for insurance coverage:
If I purchase auto insurance to demonstrate Financial Responsibility, what are the minimum coverage requirements in Ohio?
Why should I get more coverage than the minimum?
The value of your assets (what you may have to lose in the event you cause an accident) may help you determine the amount of coverage you should carry. Having additional coverage could protect you and your assets in the event of a serious accident. If you do not have adequate coverage, the law allows the victim to take any assets that you may have in order tocover the costs of any damages that occur.
I have very limited income and can only afford minimum coverage.
What can I do?
If I want to get a bond or post collateral instead of purchasing insurance, what is required?
Ohio law allows for the following alternatives to automobile insurance:
• A $30,000 bond issued by an authorized surety or insurance company.
Questions or concerns?
RANDOM SELECTION PROGRAM
Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Act prohibits vehicle owners from operating or allowing the operation of their vehicle without insurance. One method of verifying that a vehicle owner maintains insurance is through the Random Selection Program. The BMV randomly selects 5,400 registered vehicles per week to provide proof of insurance for a selected date. Letters notifying the owner of the random selection are mailed to the address on file for the owner. A random selection suspension occurs if a vehicle owner fails to provide proof of insurance.
In order to cancel a random selection suspension, the individual must provide proof of liability insurance coverage listing the selected vehicle in effect for the requested verification date. The individual may submit a copy of his or her automobile insurance policy declarations page, insurance identification card or a letter on insurance company letterhead and signed by the agent indicating liability insurance was in effect.
The BMV’s subsidiary office in Hudson, Ohio, administers the initial phase of this program. That office can be reached at:
BMV Insurance Processing Center
P.O. Box 209
Hudson, OH 44236-0209
Jump to Reinstatement Requirements.
If a vehicle owner provides clear evidence that he or she customarily maintains insurance, then the individual may be exempt if one of the following are applicable:
- The vehicle was inoperable.
- The vehicle is operated only seasonally and the date in question was outside of the season.
- A person other than the vehicle owner or driver was at fault for the lapse of financial responsibility through no fault of the owner or driver.
- The lapse of financial responsibility was caused by excusable neglect because of circumstances that are unlikely to happen again.
- The vehicle was sold or traded in.
- The vehicle was stored.
- The vehicle owner was on active duty with the military.
- The vehicle owner was incarcerated.
The vehicle owner first must provide proof that he or she customarily maintains insurance. Acceptable proof would be an insurance card, declarations page or letter from the insurer on the agent’s or company’s letterhead. The proof of coverage must include the start and end dates of the coverage, policy number and list the vehicle selected. Exemptions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The proof of insurance provided must cover dates shortly before the vehicle became inoperable. If the vehicle was inoperable, the BMV will accept the following as proof:
- Signed statement from an auto shop on company letterhead stating the vehicle was inoperable for the minimum 30-day period prior to the selection date
- Repair bill or estimate dated at least 30 days, but less than 90 days, before the selection date
- Dated receipts for the types of parts that would make a vehicle inoperable
- Signed statement from a law enforcement official or warning letter stating that parked, inoperable vehicles must have valid license plates, in addition to documentation indicating inoperability
The BMV will not accept the following documentation:
- Statement from a business whose existence cannot be verified
- Affidavits from the owner stating it was inoperable
- Statements that someone other than a certified mechanic repaired the vehicle at home, unless accompanied by receipts for parts to repair
If the vehicle is only used at certain times of the year, the owner must provide a letter from his or her insurance agent stating the vehicle has a history of being driven seasonally and is only insured when in use.
Not at Fault for Lack of Financial Responsibility
If the owner was not at fault for lack of financial responsibility, the BMV must receive documentation to support it. For example, the vehicle was awarded to the other party in a divorce settlement.
The lapse in insurance was caused by an event that is unlikely to occur again. For example, the vehicle owner was hospitalized at the time the insurance bill was due.
Vehicle was Sold or Traded-In
If the vehicle was sold or traded prior to the date of random selection, the individual must submit one of the following as proof:
- A copy, front and back, of the notarized title as proof of the sale
- A copy of the sales contract of the new vehicle showing the trade-in
- A notarized statement listing the date of the sale and the name of the buyer
If the vehicle is stored, you must submit a receipt from a paid storage facility for exemption from the financial responsibility requirement.
If the owner is in the military, the owner must be stationed outside of Ohio. The individual must submit a copy of his or her orders or other official documentation in order to be exempted.
If the owner is incarcerated, he or she will need to submit a letter from the correctional facility or other official documentation. If the registration is renewed during the incarceration, then the vehicle will be considered to be in use by a family member or other individual and will not be exempted.
Ohio Revised Code: 4509.101
A random selection suspension will stand until the owner meets the following requirements:
- Carry a certificate of insurance (SR-22/bond) for three years
- Pay a reinstatement fee