Proof of Insurance Following an OVI Conviction
After your Youngstown OVI lawyer has helped you get through the court process following a OVI charge, and you have served your suspension and are now getting your driver’s license back, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is going to require that you show proof of insurance. You will need to go to your insurance company and ask for a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. Also known as SR-22, this certificate proves you have the minimum liability coverage that is required by law in Ohio. It’s your proof of purchase.
The insurance company will charge you for this certificate, both to cover the cost of preparing it and the cost of filing it with the state. You will need to keep proof of your SR-22 purchase in your car all the time, along with your normal insurance card. If you are pulled over for any reason, the officer will need to see it. The SR-22 is an additional purchase you make along with your regular insurance policy. It only covers you, not your family members or anyone else.
If you got your OVI in Ohio and are from another state, or move to another state after you get your license back, you still have to have the SR-22 if required. You must make certain the insurance company writes it for Ohio, specifically.
Often, an insurance company will file this certificate electronically, making the process go faster and getting BMV approval within 72 hours.
What If I Don’t Own a Car? Do I Still Need an Sr-22?
If you want to get your driver’s license back and take the steps to do so, you will still need to get an SR-22, regardless of your ownership of a vehicle or otherwise. Having a license means you intend to drive, even if it’s someone else’s vehicle. If you want to drive, you have to have proof of insurance. If you don’t own a car and instead intend to borrow or rent one, you will have to get an SR-22 that is specific to those who don’t own vehicles. You can get one from your family’s auto insurer, but if they don’t, you still need to call an insurance agent to get one. You can call several and get quotes. It’s possible that you can find a certificate that costs less when you don’t own your own car and therefore don’t plan to drive a lot.
What Happens if I Don’t Get the SR-22?
If you don’t purchase an SR-22 certificate, you will find yourself with your license suspended once more. The same is true if you cancel your policy or let it lapse. Insurance companies have to tell the BMV when SR-22 policies have lapsed or been cancelled.
Your license will probably remain suspended until you make it right by complying with the law and purchasing a policy and certificate. However, if you keep allowing it to expire or cancelling it, you could lose your license for a much longer period of time.
There is the danger of your required SR-22 period being restarted if you are without coverage for more than a few days. For example, if you had to have it for three years and forget to renew it between years two and three, those first two years will be lost and you’ll have to start all over. You will have to pay for five years of SR-22 certification instead of just three.
It is very important for you to obtain and retain a Certificate of Financial Responsibility when it’s required of you. Your ability to travel freely will depend upon your faithfulness in getting and keeping it. In most cases, an SR-22 is required for three years, though that can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. Though it adds to the expense of a OVI conviction, it’s worth the money to have that freedom back.
Do you need help with a OVI charge? Youngstown Criminal Law Group can help you.
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