Driving without insurance in Ohio

Many drivers look for ways to save money, especially when it comes to car insurance. For Ohio drivers, this could mean that they will drive without Ohio insurance. Is this a good idea? Is it safe to do so? Is this even legal?

Answer: Yes. It is illegal in Ohio to drive without insurance. This can lead to a variety of penalties.

Ohio car insurance laws

Ohio law requires that all drivers have a minimum of a 25/50/25 insurance policy. This means that your insurance provider must pay you up to:

  • $25,000 per person to cover bodily injury/death
  • $50,000 for bodily injury/death
  • $25,000 per accident to cover property damage

This is only a minimum. If your budget permits, you can purchase additional liability protection. Although the amounts above are quite expensive, there are many situations where they won’t be sufficient. Many new cars can be bought for between $40k and $50k. You must pay out of pocket any amount that is beyond your policy limits.

Two states have very unusual insurance laws that allow you to legally get by without auto insurance. Virginia and New Hampshire are those states. Ohio does not have any legal loopholes. This means that if you want Ohio to permit you to drive, you will need at least a basic policy.

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Driving without insurance in Ohio carries severe penalties

Are there any penalties for driving in Ohio without insurance? There are many penalties for driving without insurance in Ohio.

There are two ways in Ohio to find out if you drive without insurance. Either pulling you over and asking you for proof of your car insurance or notifying the Ohio BMV by your previous insurer that you have dropped it.

Ohio has three levels of penalties if you are cited for driving without insurance.

First offense

If you are caught driving without insurance, your license will be immediately suspended.

Total fees of $160

  • $100 reinstatement fee
  • $50 Compliance fee
  • $10 registrar fee

Ohio will reinstate your driving privileges if you have paid all applicable fees and can provide proof of insurance. If you are found to have violated any terms of the law, Ohio will confiscate your license plates and immobilize your vehicle for 30 days.

Second offense

Ohio will suspend your driver’s license for one year if you are caught driving without insurance within five-years of your first offense. Although it is possible to drive after 15 days, this is not guaranteed and may be denied or granted at the court’s sole discretion.

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Restoring your license after a second offense is more expensive than the first. You’ll be charged $360 total

  • $300 reinstatement fee
  • $50 Compliance fee
  • $10 registrar fee

Ohio will take your vehicle and plates if it is found that you have violated any terms. This is in addition to the 30 days for your first offense.

The third offense and beyond

Ohio will take your license away for two years if you are caught driving without insurance more than once in five years. A judge might allow partial driving privileges for you after 30 days, but that is not a guarantee.

Restitution fees are doubled for second offenses. You will need to pay $660 total

  • $600 reinstatement fee
  • $50 Compliance fee
  • $10 registrar fee

Ohio can take your car and sell it if it finds you have broken any terms. You won’t be allowed to register another vehicle for five years.

Ohio: No insurance for an accident

If you are found in Ohio driving without insurance, and you get into an accident, you will receive a citation from an officer. This is because you have failed to show proof of insurance. All of the above penalties will apply.

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Your worries end if you’re not at fault. But, if you’re at fault, there are many possible outcomes.

Keep in mind that Ohio is a tort-state, meaning drivers considered at fault for an accident are responsible for all medical and property damage. This can often be a significant amount of money.

It is very possible that you will be sued if you cannot pay everything out of your own pocket. Any assets, such as your home, boat, or car, will be likely to be liquidated in this instance.

This is especially true if you cause more than $400 in damages. Ohio can suspend your driving privileges up to two years after a settlement is reached.

Questions frequently asked

Which Ohio insurance policy is best?

It is not easy to find the best Ohio car insurance. Because everyone has different needs, this is why it can be difficult to find the best car insurance in Ohio. These are some of the things people seek:

  • Strongest customer service
  • Strongest financial rating
  • Cheapest premiums
  • Best discounts
  • Best mobile app
  • Best for bundling
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There are many ways to answer this question. This Best Car Insurance Companies In Ohio page provides a detailed look at the subject.

Is Ohio home to a large number of uninsured drivers

Yes, Ohio does have a lot of uninsured drivers. The Insurance Information Institute’s most recent study shows that just over 12% of Ohioans don’t have insurance. This makes it 22nd worst.

Is Ohio prone to traffic accidents?

Yes, Ohio is the source of many claims each year. According to the Ohio State Patrol in 2020, there were 241,363 traffic crashes. These 241,363 traffic accidents were:

  • 1,138 were fatal
  • 5.826 resulted in serious physical injuries
  • Only 177,023 property damages