Requirements for Acquiring Auto Insurance
SafeAuto wants to help you get the lowest possible auto insurance rates. Being familiar with your state's financial responsibility requirements is an easy way to start. Here is the most recent information for Ohio:
The minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required to satisfy Ohio's Financial Responsibility law is 12,500/25,000/7,500. This means that your insurance policy must insure you against loss in an accident where you have been determined to be at-fault for a minimum of:
- Twelve thousand five hundred dollars ($12,500) because of bodily injury to or death of one (1) person in any one (1) accident
- Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two (2) or more persons in any one (1) accident, subject to the twelve thousand five hundred dollar ($12,500) per person limit
- Seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in an accident
Under Ohio law, you are required to provide documentary proof of Financial Responsibility in the following circumstances:
- At the request of a law enforcement officer at the time of an accident or traffic stop
- If you are found guilty of a traffic offense for which a court appearance is required
To ensure drivers continue to meet the Financial Responsibility requirements, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) conducts a random selection process for insurance verification. As part of this process, the BMV mails letters to a random selection of five (5) percent of registered Ohio vehicle and noncommercial truck owners. The letter instructs the vehicle owner that within twenty-one (21) days they must provide proof to the BMV demonstrating Financial Responsibility coverage was in effect on the date specified in the notice.
Penalty for failure to comply with Ohio's Financial Responsibility requirements:
Failure to provide proof of Financial Responsibility, when required, may result in the following penalties imposed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles:
- Loss of driving privileges for a minimum of ninety (90) days and up to two (2) years.
- License plates and vehicle registration suspension.
- Reinstatement fee:
- Reinstatement fee of $75 for first violation
- Reinstatement fee of $250 for second violation
- Reinstatement fee of $500 for a third or subsequent violation
- Vehicle immobilization and confiscation of plates for thirty (30) to sixty (60) days for violating Financial Responsibility suspension
- Third and subsequent offenses could result in vehicle forfeiture and a five (5) year suspension of vehicle registrations
Driving and registration privileges cannot be restored until all requirements of the suspension have been met.
Certificate of Financial Responsibility (SR-22):
An SR-22 is a certification of future proof of Financial Responsibility issued by your insurance company to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles providing proof that you purchased liability insurance. The following circumstances may require a person to have an SR-22:
- To reinstate a suspended license after the person fails to pay an accident judgment
- To reinstate a suspended license after the person fails to maintain proof of Financial Responsibility
- To reinstate a suspended license after conviction of a major offense
If you are required to maintain a certificate of Financial Responsibility, your insurance company must provide the Bureau of Motor Vehicles with at least ten (10) days advance notice before termination. SafeAuto will only issue an Ohio SR-22 to Ohio residents.
Other helpful things to know about Ohio's Financial Responsibility laws:
If you are randomly selected for insurance verification, you may be exempt from showing proof of Financial Responsibility if you can show:
- That the vehicle is used on a seasonal basis only and the date specified is out of season for that vehicle
- That the vehicle is inoperable or has been out of service for a period of at least thirty (30) days immediately prior to the selection date.