Key takeaways

  • An SR-22 is not an insurance policy, but a certificate of financial responsibility that is required for high-risk drivers in Ohio.
  • The cost of an SR-22 in Ohio is relatively low, but additional charges like license reinstatement fees and potential insurance rate hikes may also apply.
  • Non-owner insurance policies are available for drivers who do not own a vehicle but still need to fulfill their SR-22 requirement.
  • The length of time that an SR-22 is required in Ohio can vary from three to five years, depending on the severity of the violation.

There are many reasons to drive safely and within the law, your own well-being and that of others being paramount. Still, finances are another strong incentive to practice safe driving and to maintain the legally required auto insurance minimums. In Ohio, drivers may face the added costs of an SR-22 if they commit serious infractions or drive without auto insurance. Other instances can lead to an SR-22 requirement, but these may be among the most common causes. To better understand SR-22 forms and their use, Bankrate explains when they are required and how they may impact drivers.

What is SR-22 insurance?

An SR-22, sometimes called an SR-22 bond or SR-22 form, is not an insurance policy but a certificate of financial responsibility that may be temporarily mandatory for high-risk drivers in Ohio, as well as several other states. It 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, that means the driver has purchased at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability for one person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability for two or more people and $25,000 in property damage liability per accident.

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Who might need an SR-22 in Ohio?

There are various reasons why a driver might need to obtain an SR-22 in Ohio, which may include:

  • DUI/DWI conviction
  • Driving without insurance
  • Accumulating 12 or more demerit points for traffic violations in the past two years
  • Failing to pay child support
  • Getting charged with negligent or reckless driving

Depending on the circumstances of your SR-22, you must maintain it for three to five years. During this probationary period, it’s possible you could see an increase in your 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.

Where can you get SR-22 insurance in Ohio?

An SR-22 isn’t actually insurance, although that is a common misconception; it’s simply an official form that proves you have the minimum amount of insurance required in your state. 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 BMV 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.

SR-22 Ohio alternatives

Once the Ohio judge’s gavel falls and determines you must have SR-22 insurance, there are no alternatives — that is, if you want to keep driving. You could obviously defer getting an SR-22 if you plan just to wait out the three- to five-year probationary period. But if you intend to maintain your driving privileges, you’ll need to find an insurance company willing to submit your SR-22 to the Ohio BMV on your behalf.

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.

How much does an SR-22 in Ohio cost?

It will cost $25 on average for the Ohio BMV to process an SR-22 form. However, there are some associated costs that are more painful on the wallet.

One of them is license reinstatement fees, which can range from $15-$650. An SR-22 requirement is typically linked to a driving violation that was penalized with a license suspension, so you’ll have to pay this fee before getting your driving privileges back. The exact cost of your reinstatement fee will vary based on the severity of your violation, but the Ohio BMV does offer payment plans for fees that exceed $150.

Another associated cost is the adverse downstream effects on your car insurance rate. Ohio drivers with an SR-22 are generally viewed as high-risk and more likely to file an insurance claim. The chart below shows how insurance premiums in Ohio can change based on driving activity.

Driver profile Average annual full coverage car insurance premium in Ohio
Clean driving record $1,529
Insurance coverage lapse $1,772
Speeding ticket $1,818
Accident $2,151
DUI conviction $2,825

Frequently asked questions

    • Ohio drivers needing an SR-22 for the first time must have one for three years. This probationary period increases to five years for repeat offenders. Once the term is up, the SR-22 will be removed from the driver’s record by the Ohio BMV.
    • The first step to getting SR-22 insurance in Ohio involves contacting an insurance company that is licensed to do business in Ohio and that states it is willing to provide SR-22s (not all carriers do). Once you’ve chosen a provider, they’ll ask you to fill out an SR-22 application and pay a processing fee. The insurance company will then submit the paperwork to the Ohio BMV.
    • An SR-22 isn’t technically insurance. Instead, it is a document processed by your insurance company and the Ohio BMV that proves high-risk drivers are legally insured. It only costs an average of $25 to file, but the associated license reinstatement fees can range between $15 to $650. The insurance rate hike following an SR-22 requirement should also be considered.
    • An insurance company can’t just cancel your coverage without giving you an advance notice. However, once the company informs you of the cancellation, you may want to shop around for new coverage as soon as possible. In order to maintain your driving privileges, you must avoid any lapses in coverage and have your new provider re-file your SR-22 with the Ohio BMV.
    • The cheapest car insurance company for one person won’t be the cheapest car insurance company for another. That’s because insurance companies use multiple factors to calculate your premium, including your gender (in most states, including Ohio), driving record, vehicle make and model and more. If you’re struggling to afford car insurance, consider starting with a few of our picks for the cheapest car insurance companies in Ohio and requesting quotes for the same coverage type and levels to compare. You might be surprised at how different your quotes are from each company.


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze April 2024 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2022 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), single speeding ticket, coverage lapse, single at-fault accident and single DUI conviction.