Financial Responsibility


Financial Responsibility
Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How do I get my driving privileges reinstated?


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


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


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?


I was convicted of a major conviction (hit/skip, drag racing, etc.) and got a notice that I must now file an SR-22 with your office for a five year period. I was insured at the time of the violation. Why do I need to file an SR-22?


A judgment has been rendered against me previously. It has just now been submitted to your office. Why doesn't my 7 year suspension start from the date of my judgment and not from the date you determine?


Why can't the B.M.V. take a Faxed SR-22?


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


Why does the B.M.V. charge two reinstatement fees for one D.U.I. offense?


Why can't our Public Service Area take faxed copies of insurance information to clear a case?


I was recently stopped and ticketed. I have now received a "Notice of Suspension" because the car I was driving was not insured. It was not my car, and the owner told me the vehicle was insured. Why are you suspending me and not the owner of the uninsured vehicle?


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


Why does a not-at-fault accident appear on my driving record even if a "State Crash Report" was not filed with the B.M.V.?


Can I make payments on reinstatement fees?


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


How long does a ticket stay on my record?


Can I pay my reinstatement fee by credit card?


Why can individuals convicted of D.U.I. receive driving privileges, even if it is not their first offense, but I can't, being suspended for no insurance?


My "State Crash Report" was filed late, but I was insured. Why does a suspension still show on my driving record?


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


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?


I was notified by my bank of a returned check written to you or a deputy registrar office.  How do I resolve this matter?


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.


Section 4509.101 of the O.R.C. states that a person must show "proof of insurance or other acceptable financial responsibility" at the time of a violation or accident. If none is in force at the time of the infraction the license is suspended pursuant to that section of the O.R.C.


Under section 4509.101 of the O.R.C. there are OCCUPATIONAL driving privileges available in certain circumstances during a suspension for not having insurance. (Call 614-752-7700, for more details). However, the reinstatement fee must be paid, SR-22(or other acceptable proof of financial responsibility in accordance with section 4509.45 of the O.R.C.) filed, state crash report filed (if applicable), and payment arrangements for damages made (if applicable), along with other conditions being met, for this to apply. Registration privileges during the suspension period may also be given so the vehicle may be driven by another licensed driver if the above requirements are met. This is as long as there are no other suspensions blocking the registration.


Under section 4509.101 of the O.R.C., 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.


Under section 4509.31 of the O.R.C. all convictions for offenses listed in section 4507.16 of the O.R.C. require that an SR-22, Bond, or other acceptable proof of financial responsibility (in accordance with section 4509.45 of the O.R.C.) be filed with the B.M.V. for the next five years. Failure to do so will result in a driver license and registration suspension until such proof is filed.


Under section 4509.37 of the O.R.C. "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."


Due to the volume of SR-22s received daily, it would not be practical to tie up a fax machine to constantly run accepting SR-22s by fax. Therefore, an administrative decision has been made to only accept SR-22s by mail or by on-line transmission.


Under section 4509.101 of the O.R.C., once the conviction is received and processed by the B.M.V., an additional 30 days must be given prior to suspending an individual in order to give the person a chance to verify with the B.M.V. that they indeed were insured at the time of the offense.


Under section 4511.191(L) of the O.R.C. "at the end of a suspension period under this section (refusal or positive test), section 4511.196, or division (B) of section 4507.16(DUI conviction) of the O.R.C." included as part of the reinstatement requirements is (L)(2) "Payment by the person of a license reinstatement fee of two hundred fifty dollars to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles". This is for each section of the law broken, and is why two fees are required. The exception to this is if the person REFUSED the breath test and then pled GUILTY or NO CONTEST to the D.U.I. charge. In this case, when the conviction came in, the refusal suspension would be terminated and only one fee would be owed on the D.U.I. conviction.


An administrative decision has been made by that section's division not to accept faxes from persons walking in. Authenticity of the document is the main question, as the document is not coming directly off a fax machine to verify where it was faxed from.


Under section 4509.101 of the O.R.C. 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 carry over to the owner of the vehicle also.


Under section 4509.45 of the O.R.C. 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 O.R.C.; (B) A bond as provided in section 4509.59 of the O.R.C.; (C) A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in section 4509.62 of the O.R.C.; (D) A certificate of self-insurance as provided in section 4509.72 of the O.R.C. In addition section 4509.49 of the O.R.C. sets forth the requirement for a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, and section 4509.51 sets forth the minimum requirements of such policy.


Under section 4509.05 of the O.R.C. "upon request the registrar of motor vehicles shall search and furnish a certified abstract of the following information with respect to any person:"

1.    An enumeration (inventory) of the motor vehicle accidents in which such person has been INVOLVED;

2.    Such person's record of convictions for violation of the motor vehicle laws.


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, along with his/her social security number, on their personal check, bank check or money order. Payments should be made out to the "Treasurer State of Ohio."


Under section 4509.05 of the O.R.C. when reporting a record of convictions to a person "The registrar shall collect for each abstract a fee of two dollars." Since the points accessed are part of the record of conviction the fee must be collected before the information is released.


There is no section of the O.R.C. 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.


At this time there is no section of the O.R.C. 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.


Under section 4507.16(E) of the O.R.C. "Any person whose driver's or commercial driver's license or permit or nonresident operating privilege has been suspended pursuant to division (B) [D.U.I. conviction] or (C) [D.U.S.] of this section or pursuant to division (F) [Positive Breath Test] of section 4511.191 of the O.R.C. may file a petition that alleges that the suspension would seriously affect the person's ability to continue his employment." This section also specifies periods of suspension without driving privileges that must be served prior to driving privileges becoming active. These periods increase depending upon the prior D.U.I.s on the driving record. There is now a provision of this kind in section 4509.101(financial responsibility law) of the O.R.C., covering first time offenders.


Under section 4509.09 of the O.R.C. "The registrar may suspend the license of any person who fails to report an accident, as provided in sections 4509.01 to 4509.78, inclusive, of the O.R.C., until the report has been filed.


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 Abstract Request Form BMV Form 1173, Either directly from any BMV Regional office, your local deputy registrar's office, the BMV or by downloading at the BMV's Internet Web Site. There is a $2.00 fee to obtain an official copy of your driving record. After completing BMV Form 1173, mail it to: BMV, Attn. Abstracts, P.O. Box 16520, Columbus, OH 43216-6520. Include your name and address, DOB, SSN, and a two dollar check or money order payable to the "Treasurer State Of Ohio."


Under various sections of the O.R.C., when an out-of-state resident is suspended, what is actually suspended is the nonresident's Ohio operating privilege. This means the person may no longer operate a vehicle in this state. This may also effect the nonresident'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.


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.