Auto Insurance in Ohio (OH)

If You Are Paying More Than $1,027.22 on Auto Insurance in Ohio, You Are Paying Too Much.

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Auto Insurance Industry in Ohio

  • An average consumer pays $1,246.00 on auto insurance
  • 183 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
  • Accident fatality rate of 0.92%
  • Of all accidents: 59% are road-way accidents, 21% are intersection accidents, and 12% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.

Physical injuries and property damages cost millions of dollars each year. Ohio has implemented a financial responsibility law in an effort to lower costs. It is illegal to drive a vehicle in the Buckeye State without adequate auto liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility.

Ohio's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance

As a resident of Ohio, there are several ways that you can establish financial responsibility while driving in the state. Proof of financial responsibility demonstrates that you have met the minimum monetary requirements. Most people opt to purchase auto liability insurance from an authorized insurance provider. However, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) of Ohio’s Department of Public Safety also allows one of the following:

  • A $30,000 surety bond from an authorized company or insurance provider
  • A $30,000 cash or government bonds deposit with the State Treasurer for a BMV certificate
  • Completed application by real estate owners for a $30,000 certificate of bond from the BMV

The state of Ohio has minimum liability insurance requirements for every driver who wishes to operate a private passenger vehicle. When you buy an auto insurance policy from an authorized provider, it must have the following:

  • $12,500 physical injury coverage for one person
  • $25,000 physical injury coverage for two or more persons
  • $7,500 property damage coverage

Ohio does not have an electronic reporting database to keep track of the insurance policies issued for registered vehicles. Instead, the state has a Random Selection Program where you are subject to a random check to show proof of financial responsibility. Nearly 280,000 notices are mailed to vehicle owners each year.

Basically, the BMV sends a written notice by mail to vehicle owners requesting documented proof of coverage. If you receive one of these notices, you will need to submit a current auto liability insurance card, surety bond or bond certificate.

You could face penalties for failing to show proof of financial responsibility within 21 days of the notice. In most cases, your driver’s license and vehicle registration are suspended. If this is the first occurrence, your driving privileges are lost for 90 days. Multiple offenses can lead to one to two year suspensions.

There are also penalties if you are involved in an accident or stopped by a law enforcement officer. Typically, the officer will issue a written notice for you to show proof of insurance at a later date. You can either send a proof to the address on the notice or appear in traffic court with proof.

Consumer Car Licensing Information in Ohio

As a first-time driver or a new resident in Ohio, you will need a driver’s license to legally drive in the state. Ohio issues a Class D driver’s license through the BMV where vision, written and driving tests are administered. Appointments are not necessary if you need to take the written test. However, appointments are required for the driving test and are scheduled online or at a driver exam station.

On the day of the tests, you will need to present the following:

  • Proof of identification
  • Social security number
  • Completed driver’s license application

The driver’s license fee is $23 if you are 21 years or older. If you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license, you only need to pass the written test to receive an Ohio driver’s license. The BMV will waive the driving test unless you have driving restrictions on the out-of-state license.

Motorcycle Licensing Information in Ohio

Ohio issues a motorcycle learner’s permit to residents who are at least 15 1/2 years old and want to drive a motorcycle. Licenses are issued to anyone over 18 years old who have either completed the Motorcycle Ohio Basic Course or the on-cycle skills testing. The basic rider course is $25 and you will receive a completion card once you successfully pass the course.

You must take the completion card to a deputy registrar’s office within 60 days and pay the $23 licensing fee. The motorcycle license is valid for four years and expires on your birthday. The on-cycle skills tests is required if you go after 60 days.

Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in Ohio

The state of Ohio issues a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to residents who will drive commercial vehicles. Typically, a CDL is required to drive any of the following:

  • Commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that is at least 26,001 lbs. with a towed vehicle not more than 10,000 lbs. of GVWR.
  • Single commercial vehicle with 26,001 lbs. or more of GVWR
  • Commercial vehicle used to transport 16 passengers
  • School bus used to transport less than 16 passengers and weighs under 26,001 lbs. GVWR
  • Commercial vehicles used to transport hazardous materials where placards meet federal regulations
  • Vehicles such as drilling rigs and cranes that are operated on public roads.

CDL instruction permits are issued to anyone who is 18 years old and has a valid driver’s license. If you want to apply for an instruction permit, you will need to take your driver’s license and social security card to a State Highway Patrol station.

The State Highway Patrol administers the vision and written knowledge tests free of charge for the instruction permit. Additional tests are required based on the type of commercial vehicle you will drive. For example, additional tests are necessary to transport hazardous materials and to drive tankers.

The six-month permit costs $27 and is renewable once within a two-year period. You can enroll in a truck driving course through an approved third-party provider. An appointment is necessary to take the three-part skills test, which includes the following:

  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Basic
  • On-road

The pre-trip inspection and basic vehicle tests cost $10 each. The on-road test is $30. Once you pass all three tests, there is a $42 fee for the CDL.

More Resources on Auto Insurance in Ohio

Department of Insurance

  • 50 W. Town Street, Third Floor - Suite 300 Columbus, Ohio 43215
  • General Info: 614-644-2658
  • Consumer Hotline: 800-686-1526
  • Fraud Hotline: 800-686-1527
  • OSHIIP Hotline: 800-686-1578