SR22’s and Suspended Licenses in Ohio
Your MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) – and Ohio Driver’s License Suspensions: I’ve had countless experiences where someone has called me for auto insurance and didn’t know their license was suspended. And, no, they weren’t lying. They actually didn’t know their drivers license was suspended. I had one client call me and his licensed had just been suspended that same day. And others with licenses that have been suspended for up to a year and they had no idea it was suspended.
Typically the reasons we don’t know our licenses are suspended:
- We don’t check our mail
- We don’t have the correct mailing address on our drivers license
- You need to read your mail. And you need to update the address on your drivers license so they know where to contact you.
Reasons your license could be suspended include:
- random selection
- non-compliance suspension
- judgement suspension
- security suspension
You can find more information about all Ohio drivers license suspensions and reinstatement’s here: Ohio drivers license suspensions & reinstatement’s
This should be common sense; if they caught you speeding twice this year, they’re probably going to catch you again – obviously, you’re not good at not getting caught, so just slow down or stop doing whatever it is they keep catching you doing.
If you need to check to see if your license is valid you can order a “Free” two year abstract, online, through the Ohio BMV’s website. All you need to enter is your drivers license number, date of birth, first letter of your last name, and the last four of your social security number. Just go here: BMV Free two year drivers license abstract
If your license is suspended because you need an SR22, not only do you need to get an SR22 through an insurance company, but you also need to pay a reinstatement fee to the BMV to get everything cleared. I would advise you to take a copy of your SR22 with you when you go to pay that reinstatement fee just in case your insurance company didn’t get it to them or in case the BMV says they don’t see it in their system.
If you don’t pay the reinstatement fee along with getting an SR22, you are still considered non-compliant and will get in trouble again.
If you need an SR22 make sure you tell the insurance agent writing your policy that you need one – not all insurance companies write SR22’s. And, we are not physic. If you don’t tell them you need an SR-22, they will write your policy without one and wont be unable to add it later because, like I said a minute ago, not all insurance companies write SR22’s, and you will have to start all over with another company.
Insurance agents do not dictate auto insurance rates at all. We can get you discounts and package policies to make your rates cheaper, but we cannot change what is and what is not considered “at fault”. Some insurance companies are lower than others and are more competitive.
The underwriting company (meaning the company your agent gets to write your policy), i.e., Grange, Progressive, Geico, Stateauto, etc., dictates your auto insurance premium (rate) based on a lot of factors, some of those include:
- Loss history (claims paid, tows)
- Accidents (whether at-fault or not at-fault)
- Violations & tickets
- Credit Score (yes this sucks, but they do it)
- Garaging address (where your vehicle spends the night every night)
- How long you’ve had a consistent auto insurance policy (whether there have been lapses or cancellations)
- the cost to repair your vehicles or if it has a clean or salvaged/rebuilt title
If your insurance agent tell’s you they will remove a violation or at-fault accident, it by disputing it, here’s what happens: The insurance agent clicks a button that says “dispute” and temporarily removes it from your record, hoping that it will stay that way so that your premium will be cheaper. They then sell you the cheaper policy. The policy, and that explanation, is sent to their underwriters. The underwriter reviews the explanation and typically says, “Ok, cool, that sounds like a great explanation, its approved”. Then they send it off to the department of motor vehicles, who then sends them back something that says, “they were at fault” or “they were NOT at fault”. Then the system generates a message that the dispute didn’t stick because the BMV still has you listed as “at-fault”,and it goes back your policy, which raises your premium.
In other cases, where there is incorrect information pulled, on our end, but not through the BMV, we can identify that information and when we dispute it, you’re cleared. This typically happens in the case of:
- duplicate charges
- losses on a vehicle that happened before you purchased the vehicle
- someone that was in your household that is no longer there so their charges are showing up on your loss history
Only the people at the BMV can change or remove something from your driving record. And they will only do it, if you go to court or somehow prove to them that it wasn’t your fault. I am not sure which ways or what hoops you will need to jump through to deal with them, but you will have to deal with them to have anything changed or removed.
You don’t want to drive around with a suspended license because you will keep accruing more and more fees and you could risk jail time, depending on your circumstances. The last thing you need is to spend tons of money on fees or spend time in jail for something related to your driver’s license.
I hope this helps someone. And if you need a SR-22, or other insurance-related help, give me a call!