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Car insurance is one of those things that we all take for granted: gotta have it, and don’t really pay too much attention to it until we need it. Like when someone rear ends us, or we rear end someone, or we get a speeding ticket. OR when we get a letter from the BMV asking us to verify that we have insurance (this is a random letter process).

In this job, I come across this every so often, where someone lets their insurance lapse for a day or two, and gets a speeding ticket, and what do you think happens?

Automatic license suspension of 90 days on a first time violation of Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Law.  No driving allowed. At all.

And I have also had people get the random letter from the BMW, ignore it, then get pulled over and find out they have a suspended drivers license, and are now facing a first degree misdemeanor driving under suspension.

So we all know we need insurance, and we all have it, but where does the law provide for it?

Ohio Revised Code 4509.101 lays out financial responsibility and provides that


(1) No person shall operate, or permit the operation of, a motor vehicle in this state, unless proof of financial responsibility is maintained continuously throughout the registration period with respect to that vehicle, or, in the case of a driver who is not the owner, with respect to that driver’s operation of that vehicle.

(2) Whoever violates division (A)(1) of this section shall be subject to the following civil penalties:

(a) Subject to divisions (A)(2)(b) and (c) of this section, a class (F) suspension of the person’s driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege for the period of time specified in division (B) (6) of section4510.02 of the Revised Code and impoundment of the person’s license. (And that (B)(6) section will tell you that a class f suspension is for 90 days.

So make sure your insurance is up to date, make sure you are making the monthly payments, and do not ignore any letter from the BMV.