The program that has been administered by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) since 1998 to randomly check to ensure that Ohioans are complying with the state’s financial responsibility laws has ended. Effective July 3, 2019, the BMV will no longer require proof of financial responsibility through a random selection verification process.
Earlier this year, language to eliminate the program was inserted by the Senate Transportation Committee to the state transportation budget to eliminate the verification program. This program had been a target for elimination by some legislators for years as it became increasingly ineffective at catching uninsured drivers, and thus was viewed by some as burdening responsible drivers who comply with the law.
OIA is the only organization that weighed in on the elimination of this program. In our testimony, we emphasized that the last Financial Responsibility Study Committee Report issued in 2014 recommended REPLACING the BMV’s random selection program – not simply eliminating it. Furthermore, we made clear that we do have concerns about not replacing this program with a more robust auto insurance verification system that capitalizes on the technological advances that have become available in the last several years. To date, an effort to do so has yet to get underway, yet more than half of the states have passed laws and begun to develop and implement online auto insurance verification systems to identify uninsured motorists.
WHAT CHECKS REMAIN?
With the elimination of this program, the checks that remain for financial responsibility include traffic stops and individuals affirming that they have proper financial responsibility when they apply for a permit/license or they register a vehicle.
IMPACT ON YOUR CLIENTS
According to the BMV, Ohioans with random selection suspensions prior to July 3, 2019, will still be required to provide proof of insurance or comply with the reinstatement requirements. In order to cancel a random selection suspension, the individual must provide proof of liability insurance coverage listing the selected vehicle in effect for the requested verification date. The individual may submit a copy of his or her automobile insurance policy declarations page, insurance identification card or a letter on insurance company letterhead and signed by the agent indicating liability insurance was in effect.
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?
Contact Carolyn Mangas, OIA’s Government Affairs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.