Getting a driver license is a privilege sanctioned by the Ohio Legislature. The worst thing that can happen to you is to lose that right. Without it you can’t work, attend school, or go to medical appointments.
These are just a few of the complications that occur without that driver license. You can of course drive without it but if caught, you will receive a ticket and must deal with that ticket in your local court. You can also ask friends to drive you around but that gets tired quickly. The best way to handle it is never lose it! That is easier said than done. What are some of the driver license suspensions and reinstatement options?
Insurance Related Suspensions
The Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) implements driving laws enacted by the Ohio Legislature. Insurance is mandatory to drive in all states. Ohio requires a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 liability insurance coverage. This coverage protects you if you are at fault for the accident. The BMV is the watchdog for the State. It has the task of enforcing compliance with all Ohio drivers. It does this in many ways.
Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Act prohibits vehicle owners from driving or allowing someone to drive their vehicle without proof of insurance. To make sure insurance is in place, the BMV uses the Random Selection Program. The office in Hudson, Ohio administers the initial phase of this suspension. The BMV will randomly selects 5,400 registered vehicles per week to confirm proof of insurance coverage. Letters are sent to the registered vehicle’s address requesting the owner to provide proof of coverage. A random selection suspension will occur if the vehicle owner fails to provide proof of insurance. In order to cancel the suspension, the person must provide proof of liability insurance coverage listing the selected vehicle in effect for the requested verification date. The person may submit a copy of their vehicle insurance policy declaration page, insurance identification card or a letter from the insurance company letter head indicating insurance coverage. The suspension will stay until the person carry a certificate of insurance (SR-22/bond) for three years and pay a reinstatement fee. The insurance agent must sign that letter. You can reach the Hudson office at:
BMV INSURANCE PROCESSING CENTER
P.O. BOX 209
HUDSON, OHIO 44236-0209
Exemptions From Random Selection
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If a person fails to show proof insurance when asked and it is the first offense the BMV will suspend the driver license. To reinstate, as mentioned before, the person must carry a SR-22/ bond for three years and pay a reinstatement fee.
A second non-compliance offense in a five- year period will carry a one-year suspension. The suspension will remain until the one-year suspension is served. A person must carry the SR-22/bond for five years and pay the reinstatement fee.
A third non-compliance offense in a five-year period is a two-year suspension. That person must serve the two-year suspension, carry the SR-22/bond for five years and pay the reinstatement fee.
Judgments from a lawsuit involving personal injury and/or property damage with no insurance to cover the judgment may be sent to the BMV for suspension action. This will usually occur when an insurance company attempts to collect from a non-insured person who caused the accident. The insurance company will send the non-compliance notice to the BMV. The suspension will stand until a payment agreement is reached requiring the journal entry from the court. The claimant can also release the judgment. Finally, the judgment can be terminated by either a petition or discharge in bankruptcy.
A security suspension occurs when an uninsured driver causes a crash with more than $400 in property damage and/or personal injury claim. It will be noted on Form 3303 (crash report) which is used by the BMV to confirm. The reinstatement process requires the person to serve a two-year suspension. They will need to submit a payment agreement or get a release signed by all the parties for damages. Additionally, they will have to file a deposit for the damages with the BMV. They can alternatively provide a petition for discharge in bankruptcy with a schedule of creditors listing the accident claim.
No further agreements will be accepted if there is a default on the payment agreement. Only a full release or a deposit for the remaining balance can be submitted.
Court Ordered Suspension
Court Ordered Suspension
A court may order a driving suspension for traffic violations. The length will be determined by the court. To reinstate, the person must serve the suspension and then pay a fee to the BMV if the suspension is longer than 89 days.
License Forfeiture Suspension
This type of suspension is imposed when a person is charged with a misdemeanor other than a minor misdemeanor and either fails to show up for court or fails to pay the court fine. This type of suspension will not be lifted until the court forwards the release of forfeiture to the BMV. There will also be a reinstatement fee paid to the BMV.
These are only a few of the types of suspensions and reinstatement rules that govern all Ohio drivers. Due to the number and types of driving suspensions, it is essential that you consider contacting an Attorney.
Dennis E. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Florida
Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan
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