If you recently had your license suspended or are classified as a high-risk driver in Ohio, you may be wondering how the process of getting car insurance differs. While you aren’t able to purchase less than the state-required minimum, you’ll likely also need to have an SR-22 to prove you meet the minimums. Although an SR-22 is not an insurance policy, it is a certificate that shows you have purchased the minimum amount of car insurance required by your state. An SR-22 is typically required for high-risk drivers and those with a suspended license. Bankrate explains how to get an SR-22 in Ohio, the costs associated with it and its impact on your driving record.


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What is SR-22 insurance?

An SR-22 is not an insurance policy but a certificate of financial responsibility that may be required for high-risk drivers in Ohio. Often referred to as an SR-22 bond or SR-22 form, it is usually requested when a driver’s license has been suspended, and serves as proof of financial responsibility to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) that a driver meets the minimum liability coverage requirements for auto insurance. In Ohio, the form proves that the driver has purchased at least $25,000 for bodily injury liability, $50,000 for bodily injury liability of two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage liability coverage per accident.

The reasons an SR-22 form may be required vary, but could include when a driver:

  • Is charged with a DUI/DWI
  • Is caught driving without insurance
  • Has too many at-fault accidents or moving violations in a short amount of time
  • Fails to pay child support
  • Gets charged with negligent or reckless driving

Obtaining an SR-22 form is a fairly easy process. Drivers who require one first need to contact an auto insurance company that is licensed to do business in the state of Ohio. After going through the standard application process and qualifying for coverage, drivers pay a fee so that the insurer can file the SR-22 with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles on your behalf. It takes about 72 hours to process, so be sure to plan ahead for the time needed to process the required paperwork.

If you have been convicted of a major violation, it’s possible you could see an increase in auto insurance premiums. If a carrier decides to cancel your coverage or increase your rates, you may need to shop around and switch to a new auto insurance carrier to ensure you maintain consistent coverage.

SR-22 Ohio alternatives

A driver who was required to obtain an SR-22 in Ohio may be required to obtain an alternative type of form if they move states. Whether another form type is required will depend on previous or current convictions. The table below outlines what other forms may be required.

Form States issued Required insurance minimums
SR-22 All states except Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania Standard liability
SR-19 California and Texas Standard liability
SR-21 Florida, Georgia, Indiana Standard liability
SR-22A Georgia, Texas, Missouri Standard liability, but must prepay 6 months of insurance
FR-44 Florida and Virginia Double the liability limits
SR-50 Indiana Standard liability
  • SR-19: There are two variations to an SR-19 and it depends on which state you live in. In Texas, it is a payment agreement between an at-fault driver who does not have insurance and the injured party. In California, the form verifies the other driver does not have insurance, but it is filed by the injured party instead.
  • SR-21: This form certifies the driver had insurance on the day of an automobile accident. It is typically requested when there is bodily injury, death or property damage exceeding $1,000.
  • SR-22A: This form is usually required after a driver has received multiple convictions of driving without insurance (DWI). Both a form and six months of insurance prepayment are required.
  • FR-44: In Florida and Virginia, the FR-44 is required for drivers with multiple convictions, typically a DUI or other high-risk behaviors, to show financial responsibility.
  • SR-50: This form required by Indiana shows the driver has obtained the minimum liability requirements by the state. Indiana requires this when a driver has had two moving violations within a year or a moving violation occurs after a DWI conviction.

Non-owner SR-22

There are some instances in which Ohio drivers need SR-22s, but do not own a vehicle. For example, if a driver gets pulled over for drunk driving while borrowing a friend’s car, they may be required to get an SR-22. To satisfy the SR-22 requirement, drivers in this situation would need to purchase a non-owner insurance policy.

A non-owner insurance policy protects a driver’s liability when operating a vehicle that is borrowed from a friend or family member. Typically, non-owner insurance includes:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage
  • Property damage liability coverage
  • Medical payments or PIP coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist liability coverage

Non-owner insurance ensures that the driver meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. However, it does not offer protection for the borrowed vehicle. Because a non-owner policy covers the driver rather than the car, there is no option to add collision or comprehensive insurance.

FR-44 in Ohio

Florida and Virginia are the only states that use an FR-44 form as an alternative to the SR-22, which means the FR-44 form is not an option for drivers residing in Ohio. The FR-44 is similar to an SR-22, except it is required for drivers with a DUI or DWI conviction.

SR-22 Ohio insurance costs

SR-22s on their own do not impact or increase your insurance rates, but the cost to obtain the form varies by state and insurance company. An SR-22 filing may cost about $25, on average. In most cases, drivers are required to pay the cost upfront before their certificate can be filed.

After filing an SR-22 in Ohio, drivers whose licenses have been revoked or suspended are also typically required to pay a license reinstatement fee. Reinstatement fees in Ohio vary based on the type of license suspension and range from $15-$650. The state offers payment plans for people who have at least $150 in reinstatement fees and cannot afford the full cost upfront.

In addition, Ohio drivers who have an SR-22 on their motor vehicle record will also likely face higher car insurance rates due to their high-risk driving history. High-risk drivers are more likely to file insurance claims in the future, so insurance companies compensate for the added risk by raising the monthly or annual premiums.

Frequently asked questions

    • After a first offense, Ohio drivers will have an SR-22 requirement on their record for three years. For a second or third offense within a five year period, an SR-22 requirement will stay on their record for five years. Once the term is up, the certificate requirement will be removed from the driver’s record by the Ohio BMV.
    • The first step to obtaining SR-22 insurance in Ohio is to contact an insurance company licensed to do business in Ohio. Once you select an insurer, you must fill out the application. Once the necessary fees are paid, the insurance company will file the form with the BMV on behalf of the driver.
    • SR-22 insurance in Ohio is not an actual insurance policy. Instead, it is a form filed by a licensed insurance company in Ohio with the Ohio BMV on behalf of the driver. The cost to file the form depends on the insurance provider, but is generally around $25. Additionally, the state of Ohio may charge a license reinstatement fee once the form is received, which ranges from $15 to $650.
    • Insurance companies are required to give a driver advance notice of cancellation. If this happens and you have an SR-22 form you’re required to obtain in a state, you should shop around for new coverage as soon as possible. The new insurance company will need to file a new SR-22 form prior to the cancellation of the old policy. If you let insurance coverage lapse for any reason, your license could be suspended.