What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Ohio?

Penalties for driving without insurance

Ohio takes car insurance seriously, and driving without it could be costly. If caught driving while uninsured, the state may decide to suspend your driving privileges, charge fees to reinstate them, and even impound or sell your car.

There are two main ways Ohio can find out you’re driving without insurance: You can’t provide proof of insurance when a police officer asks for it, or the state’s electronic database flags you in the system. In both of these cases, the state will send you a notice.

If you don’t have car insurance, you should get quotes from at least three companies. You’ll need to buy at least the minimum liability coverage and carry proof of the policy — such as an insurance ID card — while driving. The minimum limits are:

$25,000 for bodily injury per person $50,000 for bodily injury per accident $25,000 property damage

If you have insurance but forgot to bring it with you, then you may be able to get the citation dismissed. Send proof of insurance when you pay the fine or bring the proof to traffic court. If you don’t respond to the notice one way or another, the state may temporarily take away your driving privileges.

In the table below, we outline what could happen depending on the number of offenses attached to your record.

Fines Driving privilege Other Suspension violation First offenseAdditional fines or penalties may be imposed by a court of lawDriver’s license suspended until all requirements met$160 restoration fee for vehicle registration and license platesVehicle and license plates confiscated for 30 days Second offenseAdditional fines or penalties may be imposed by a court of lawDriver’s license suspended for a full year. Limited driving privileges may be granted after 15 days.$360 restoration fee for vehicle registration and license platesVehicle and license plates confiscated for 60 days Third and subsequent offensesAdditional fines or penalties may be imposed by a court of lawDriver’s license is suspended for two years. Limited driving privileges may be granted after 30 days.$660 restoration fee for vehicle registration and license platesVehicle impounded and sold; five-year suspension on registering vehicles

How Does a Lapse in Car Insurance Coverage Affect Rates? by Matt Timmons

Penalties for first offense

If you can’t provide proof of insurance at a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident, the state will temporarily suspend your driver’s license, license plates and vehicle registration. You’ll need to pay $160 total to get the license plates back — a $100 reinstatement fee, $50 compliance fee and $10 registrar service fee. The state will restore your registration once you pay the fees and your insurer files an SR-22 form on your behalf. The form will need to stay on file for three to five years.

If you violate any terms of the suspension, the state will immobilize your vehicle and take your license plates for 30 days.

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Penalties for second offense

If you’re caught driving uninsured within five years of your first offense, the state will suspend your driver’s license for a full year — but you may be able to get limited driving privileges after 15 days. The reinstatement fee jumps to $300, which means you need to pay $360 total to retrieve your plates and registration. Violate these terms, and the state will confiscate your car and license plates for 60 days.

Penalties for third and subsequent offenses

Caught driving a third time within five years, and you’ll have to surrender your driver’s license for two full years. The court may grant limited driving privileges after the first 30 days of the suspension. But you’ll need to pay $660 this time to collect your registration and license plates. Violate these terms, and the state will take and sell your vehicle — and you won’t be able to register one for the next five years.

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What Happens if You Get in an Accident Without Insurance?

Oh, man, this is a nightmare. You’ll face your state’s penalties for driving without insurance—and then some. (Most states have laws that make the punishment for driving uninsured worse if you get in a collision.) 

Then we deal with the accident itself.

When the Accident Is Not Your Fault

The at-fault driver will probably have to pay for the damage to your car and any medical treatment you need—as long as they have insurance. (If they don’t, you’ll both be in a mess.)

There’s a catch, though: Some states have no pay, no playlaws. These laws ban you from suing the other driver or their insurance company for noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering, after an accident.

Some states’ no pay, no play laws also count against economic damages. So you can’t sue for medical bills, car repairs or lost wages because you missed work due to an accident.8 

In these states, you’re at the mercy of the other driver’s insurance company. You may even have to pay a certain amount out of pocket before the insurance will help out or before you can sue for economic damages (if your state allows that). You’re also on your own for expenses their insurance won’t cover.

When the Accident Is Your Fault

Again, you’re facing a fine, suspensions and possible jail time. As for the accident . . .

The person you hit might have uninsured motorist insurance to help pay for repairs and medical bills. That said, if the damages cost more than their policy limit (aka how much the insurance company will pay), you’ll be responsible for the rest.

And if they don’t have uninsured motorist coverage? That’s really bad news. The other driver or their insurance company can sue you for any and all damages you caused. If you don’t cough up, courts can make your employer garnish your wages until your debt is paid.

Clearly, driving without car insurance is stupid, and it’s freaking expensive if you get caught. The fact of the matter is, you can’t afford not to have car insurance.

6. What happens if you are caught driving without insurance?

State penalties for driving without insurance ; Ohio. Varies. License suspension until proof of insurance is provided. None ; Oklahoma. $250.(17)

Are you currently driving without car insurance? If you’re caught driving without insurance in Ohio, you’ll lose your driver’s license, registration, (18)

Like most states, Ohio requires anyone operating a motor vehicle to have insurance, with the potential for penalties and fines if you are caught driving (19)

Ohio is a fault state, which means the individual responsible for a car accident must compensate the other party for any injuries or damages they incur. Without (20)

2. Ohio Car Insurance

In the state of Ohio, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without proof of insurance or financial responsibility. The driver must maintain proof of (4)

The first thing that you will probably be burdened with if you were in a car accident with no insurance is a penalty. In Ohio, the fine for (5)

If you’re caught driving without insurance in Ohio, you face severe penalties. The first time you’re caught driving without insurance, (6)

Minimum car insurance requirements by state

As with penalties for driving without insurance, car insurance requirements vary by state. Some require very little coverage, while others require more comprehensive policies.

The most common types of required insurance coverage are bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist coverage.

Liability car insurance limits are often written as a series of three numbers, which represent the limits for each type of coverage. For example, liability limits for car insurance in Texas may be written as 30/60/25. This means that the state requires drivers to hold at least:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $60,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident

If you want cheap car insurance, you may consider only purchasing your state’s minimum required coverage. However, keep in mind that if an accident you cause results in damage that exceeds these limits, you’ll have to pay the difference out of pocket. Also, liability insurance only covers other parties’ damaged property and medical bills. If you want coverage for your own vehicle, you’ll need to buy collision insurance.

Random Verification

The BMV may request proof of coverage any time through its Random Verification program. You must respond in 21 days, or the BMV will suspend your license, followed by the impounding — and destruction — of plates and registration. However, you won’t lose privileges for a first offense if you pay the reinstatement fee and submit an SR-22 insurance certificate. You also must buy new plates and registrations. Drivers who disagree with the BMV’s action can request an administrative hearing.

Initial Penalties

Loss of plates, registration and driving privileges isn’t the only risk that uninsured drivers take. The BMV also imposes a $150 reinstatement fee that increases to $650 for third and subsequent offenses, according to its website. You also have to file proof of coverage over a 3 to 5 year period. You must fulfill all the suspension conditions, –like paying reinstatement fees — to get your license back.

Ohio Insurance Information by City

Do you live in one of Ohio’s 3 largest cities and are looking towards having cheap car insurance? You can find city-related insurance information for Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus below.

The average annual cost of car insurance in Ohio is $1,688 per year.

Get behind the wheel with Good2Go Insurance today.

Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Each State

In case you’re wondering about your state’s laws, here’s the rundown of penalties for first-time offenses in each state:

State

Fines

Suspension

Jail Time

Alabama

Up to $500

Registration

None

Alaska (in areas where insurance is required)

$500–1,000

Driver’s license

Up to 90 days

Arizona

$500+

Registration and driver’s license

None

Arkansas

$500+

Registration

None3

California

$100–200, plus penalty assessments

None

None4

Colorado

$500+

Driver’s license

Community service

Connecticut

$100–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 90 days

Delaware

$1,500–2,000

Registration and driver’s license

None

District of Columbia

Up to $500

Registration

Up to 90 days

Florida

$30

Registration and driver’s license

None

Georgia

$200–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 1 year

Hawaii

$500

Driver’s license

None

Idaho

$75

Driver’s license

None

Illinois

$500–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

None

Indiana

Up to $1,000

Driver’s license

None

Iowa

$250

None

None

Kansas

$300–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 6 months

Kentucky

$500–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 90 days

Louisiana

$175

None

Up to 30 days

Maine

$100–500

Registration and driver’s license

None

Maryland

Up to $1,000

Registration

Up to 6 months

Massachusetts

$500

Driver’s license

Up to 1 year

Michigan

$200–500

Driver’s license

Up to 1 year

Minnesota

$200–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 90 days

Mississippi

$500

Driver’s license

None

Missouri

$300

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 15 days

Montana

$250–500

None

Up to 10 days

Nebraska

Up to $1,000

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 6 months

Nevada

$600–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

None

New Hampshire

N/A

N/A

N/A

New Jersey

$300–1,000

Driver’s license

Community service

New Mexico

Up to $300

Registration

None

New York

$150–1,500

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 15 days

North Carolina

Up to $1,000

Registration and driver’s license

None

North Dakota

$150+

Registration and driver’s license

None

Ohio

$100

Driver’s license

None

Oklahoma

Up to $250

Driver’s license

Up to 30 days

Oregon

$130–1,000

Registration and driver’s license

None

Pennsylvania

$300

Registration and driver’s license

None

Rhode Island

$100–500

Registration and driver’s license

None

South Carolina

$445

Registration and driver’s license

None

South Dakota

$500

Driver’s license

Up to 30 days

Tennessee

$125

Registration and driver’s license

None

Texas

$175–350

None

None

Utah

$400

Registration and driver’s license

None

Vermont

$47–622

None

None

Virginia

$500 uninsured motor vehicle fee or $600 noncompliance fee

Registration and driver’s license

None

Washington

Up to $250

Driver’s license

None

West Virginia

$200–5,000

Registration and driver’s license

15 days to 1 year

Wisconsin

Up to $500

Registration and driver’s license

None

Wyoming

Up to $750

Registration and driver’s license

Up to 6 months5

Keep in mind, fines and reinstatement fees will be way higher for additional offenses. Plus, states that don’t jail first-time offenders may arrest you if they catch you driving uninsured again. And that’s just for driving around! Heaven help you if you get into an accident—especially if it’s your fault. In fact, accidents are the reason it’s illegal to drive without insurance.

Our methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we at the Home Media reviews team created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.

Here are the factors our ratings take into account:

  • Reputation: Our research team considered market share, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements scored highest in this category.
  • Coverage: Companies that offer a variety of choices for insurance coverage are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Cost: Auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
  • Customer Experience: This score is based on volume of complaints reported by the NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by J.D. Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.

*Data accurate at time of publication.

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