Driving Without Insurance in Ohio

Driving without insurance in Ohio will cost you $100-$600 in fines and lead to an SR-22 filing requirement and license suspension for up to 5 years.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by Sarah Gray
Ohio has some of the
cheapest car insurance
rates in the US, but if you’re caught driving without insurance, you could be on the hook for hefty fines, reinstatement fees, and a potential vehicle buying ban. 
  • Penalties for driving uninsured and breaking Ohio’s
    car insurance
    laws are license suspension up to one year, vehicle and license plate confiscation for anywhere between 30 days and 5 years, and a mandatory $100-$600 reinstatement fee.
  • All offense levels for driving without an active insurance policy require drivers to carry an SR-22 insurance policy for up to 5 years.
  • Ohio state minimum insurance requirements include $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability (BIL), along with $25,000 per accident in property damage liability (PDL)
  • Insurance companies such as State Farm, Erie, and American Family offer high-risk coverage to drivers with more than one infraction. 

What happens if you’re caught driving without insurance in Ohio?

Driving without insurance isn’t advisable in any state, especially as an already established high-risk driver. 
In the state of Ohio, if you are pulled over or involved in a car accident and don’t have the proper liability insurance in place, you could face the following penalties: 
Reinstatement fee
SR-22 requirement
Vehicle and license plate suspension duration
License suspension
First offense
30 days - only if driver fails to meet suspension terms
Yes - can be obtained once all fees and requirements are met
Second offense
60 days - only if driver fails to meet suspension terms
Yes - for up to 1 year; limited driving after 15 days
Subsequent offense
Vehicle impounded and sold with 5 year suspension on registering vehicles
Yes - for up to 2 years; limited driving after 30 days
Additionally, Ohio drivers operating a motor vehicle without proper auto insurance or no auto insurance may also have to pay an additional $50 fee, if they fail to surrender their driver’s license, license plates, or registration
If you have coverage, but are unable to provide
proof of insurance
at the scene, you won’t lose your driving privileges or have to obtain an SR-22. Instead, you simply have to provide proof to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) along with the applicable fees to the address provided on the issued notice. 

Uninsured drivers must maintain SR-22 insurance for three to five years

Depending on whether it’s your first, second, or subsequent offense, all motorists convicted of driving without car insurance must file for an
SR-22 form
according to Ohio law. 
The duration for your SR-22 certificate will go based on your offense:
  • First offense: 3 years
  • Second offense: 5 years 
  • Subsequent offense: 5 years
Regardless whether you’re a
high-risk driver
or a first-time offender, an SR-22 certificate in Ohio operates as proof of financial responsibility, and is the first step to having your license reinstated. It’s filled out and filed on your behalf by your insurance provider—this means, you need insurance coverage to obtain an SR-22. 
Did you know? In Ohio, an SR-22 certificate may also be known as an SR-22 bond or financial responsibility bond and tells the state that you carry the minimum amount of insurance required to legally operate a vehicle. 

Ohio car insurance requirements

Ohio car insurance laws
require drivers to purchase a policy that includes:
The state of Ohio takes car insurance coverage seriously, as displayed by their strict penalties for first, second, and third offenses which can easily impact your license and vehicle registration privileges. 
There are a few ways the Ohio BMV may discover you’re driving without at least the minimum coverage: 
  • You’re unable to provide sufficient proof of insurance at a traffic stop, or if a police officer requests it when pulled over.
  • You’re unable to supply proof in court when appearing for tickets
  • The state’s databases signal that you aren’t attached to an insurance policy
In all cases, you will face license registration suspension and fees, and will be required to file for an SR-22 form unless you can prove you meet the state minimum requirements for insurance.

What happens if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Ohio?

The first thing to know when driving in Ohio is that the Ohio BMV receives all
car accident
reports with details about the parties involved, their insurance coverage policies, and the result of the accident. 
This means, if you’re driving without the minimum coverage requirements and the BMV finds out, you will be on the hook for more than penalties. 
As Ohio is considered an at-fault state, the at-fault driver is penalized for any damages or injuries that occur. 
Usually in an at-fault state, your insurance policy covers most expenses associated with an accident, including personal injury and property damage. However, uninsured motorists won’t be covered by any vehicle insurance, meaning you’ll likely pay out of pocket for all medical expenses and damages.  
If you’re the driver at-fault, this expense only grows, as you also have to pay for the other driver’s economic and non-economic damages (property damage, lost wages, medical bills, etc.) on top of your own.
Keep in mind: Ohio is a ‘tort state’, meaning that if you’re not at fault in the event of an accident, you will not have to pay for the at-fault party’s expenses—but you will still have to bear the penalties for driving uninsured. 

Getting car insurance as a high-risk driver in Ohio

While getting car insurance as a high-risk driver in Ohio can be difficult, it’s not impossible. There are several companies, such as State Farm, Erie, and American Family who offer insurance for those with a poor driving record—such as a DUI charge or reckless driving.
Another solution is to
compare fair rate price estimates
from multiple providers using the Jerry app. Make sure to have both major insurers and smaller non-standard insurance companies in your search, as this will increase your chances of
finding cheap car insurance
for your profile.
Whether you’re a high-risk driver or simply experiencing a lapse in your current policy, Jerry can help you compare the lowest rates for both minimum and full coverage options in Ohio.


No. In the state of Ohio, all drivers of any vehicle must be insured in order to operate the vehicle. This means even if you don’t own a car, but you borrow a friend’s insured car, you still need to have your own insurance—such as a non-owner’s policy—to legally drive their vehicle.
For Ohio drivers, it’s important to know that insurance follows the vehicle. Therefore, if your insured friend uses your vehicle and gets into an accident, your coverage kicks in first.
Yes. This crime is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
To provide proof of insurance to the Ohio BMV, you can either send it via email, fax, in person, or by mail. For a complete list of all addresses, numbers, and service locations, refer to the Ohio BMV website.
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