ODPS | Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Welcome to the ODPS | Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Skip Navigation

Please Note: You are viewing the non-styled version of this Web page. Either your browser does not support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or it is disabled. We suggest upgrading your browser to the latest version of your favorite Internet browser.


ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Financial Responsibility Exemptions

ODPS | BMV | FR Exemptions

The Financial Responsibility Law exempts a vehicle owner from the requirement of maintaining financial responsibility when the owner provides clear and convincing evidence that he or she customarily maintains proof of financial responsibility and one of the following statutory exemptions is met:

                                        • The vehicle was inoperable;
                                        • The vehicle is operated only seasonally, and the date in question was outside the season of operation;
                                        • A person other than the vehicle owner or driver was at fault for the lapse of proof of financial responsibility through no fault of the owner or driver; or
                                        • The lapse of proof of financial responsibility was caused by excusable neglect under circumstances that are not likely to recur and do not suggest a purpose to evade the requirements of the Financial Responsibility Law.
  1. Customarily Maintains Financial Responsibility

First, you must provide evidence that you customarily (usually) maintain proof of financial responsibility (insurance coverage) for the selected vehicle or other vehicles you own. Acceptable proof may include:

                              • A copy of your automobile liability insurance card, or
                              • A copy of your automobile liability insurance policy declarations page, or
                              • A letter from your automobile liability insurance agency or company on the agent's or company's letterhead.

The provided document must include the start date and the end date of the coverage. If the document does not cover the proof of coverage date, it must cover dates shortly before your vehicle became inoperable. The Bureau may also consider proof that other vehicles you own were covered on the proof of coverage date. Also, under certain circumstances, we will consider coverage starting immediately after your vehicle was repaired and became operable again.

  1. Inoperable Vehicle

The BMV uses the following guidelines to determine whether or not a vehicle is inoperable and reserves the right to verify all information submitted:

                                                          • A vehicle cannot voluntarily be placed out of service to be exempt from financial responsibility requirements.
                                                          • A vehicle must have been inoperable for at least 30 days prior to the selection date.
                                                          • Proof of insurance must be provided up to the date the vehicle was disabled.
                                                          • Documents dated more than 90 days prior to the date of random selection must be accompanied with proof of insurance up to the time the car was disabled.
                                                          • Documentation must verify a valid disabling condition such as engine, transmission, clutch, fuel pump, or other major system failures. Routine maintenance items such as battery charge/replacement, oil change, flat tire, and similar minor problems are not considered a disabling condition.

The BMV will accept the following documents or a combination of the following documents to show inoperability:

                                                          • A signed statement from an auto shop on company letterhead stating the vehicle was inoperable for the minimum 30-day period prior to the selection date.
                                                          • Repair bill or estimate dated at the last 30 days, but less than 90 days, prior to the selection date.
                                                          • Dated receipts for the types of parts that would render a vehicle inoperable.
                                                          • Photographs clearly showing the vehicle's inoperable condition.
                                                          • A signed statement from a law enforcement official or warning letter indicating that parked, inoperable vehicles must have valid license plates, in addition to documentation relating to the vehicle's inoperability.
                                                          • A copy of a local ordinance or a copy of the lease or rental agreement requiring that vehicles must have valid license plates, in addition to documentation relating to the vehicle's inoperability.

The BMV will not accept documentation from the following:

                                                          • A business whose existence cannot be easily verified through an online search.
                                                          • Affidavits from the owner stating that the car was inoperable.
                                                          • Statements from an individual that the car was repaired at home by someone other than a certified mechanic, unless accompanied by additional acceptable documentation.
  1. Seasonal Vehicle
                                • A letter from an individual's insurance agent stating that the vehicle has a history of being driven seasonally and carries liability insurance only when in use.

  2. Owner Not at Fault for Lack of Financial Responsibility
                                • Lapse in insurance was caused by someone other than the vehicle owner.
                                • The vehicle was awarded to the other party in a divorce settlement, as indicated by the court documents.
                                  NOTE: This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

  3. Excusable Neglect
                                • Lapse in insurance was caused by exceptional circumstances that are unlikely to occur again. For example, the vehicle owner was hospitalized at the time the insurance bill was due to be paid.
                                  NOTE: This is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Other BMV Recognized Exemptions

  1. Vehicle Sold or Traded Prior to the Date of Random Selection
      • If the vehicle was sold or traded prior to the random selection date, an individual may submit the following:
                1. A copy, front and back, of the notarized title as proof of the sale.
                2. A copy of the sales contract of the new vehicle showing the trade-in.
                3. A notarized statement listing the date of the sale and the name of the buyer.

  2. Stored Vehicle
                                • Requires receipts from a paid storage facility.

  3. Vehicles Owned by Military Personnel
                                • Vehicle owners must be stationed outside of Ohio.
                                • Vehicle owners may provide a copy of their orders or other official documentation.
                                • Exemption does not apply to family members of covered military personnel.

  4. incarcerated Individuals
                                • A letter from the correctional facility or other official documentation.
                                • If the license plate of the vehicle was renewed during the term of incarceration, the vehicle is considered to be in use by a family member or another individual and will not be exempted from the program.

  5. Medical
                                • Individuals with medical problems are not exempt from the Random Selection Program because a family member or other individual may be using the vehicle.