License Suspension: Your Right to an Administrative Hearing

License Suspension: Your Right to an Administrative Hearing

Drivers can face license suspension for many reasons. You may face suspension because you couldn’t immediately prove you had insurance. If so, you can request a hearing.


If you can’t show proof of financial responsibility you will lose your license and registration for a minimum of 90 days. The length of the suspension is:

  • 90 days for a first offense;
  • one year for a second offense involving an incident or offense in which insurance was required but was not in effect; and
  • two years for third or later offenses within a five-year period.

To regain your license and registration, you must:

  • Serve out the suspension time;
  • File and maintain Financial Responsibility Insurance (Form SR-22 or Bond) for three years on a first offense, and five years on a second or later offense;
  • Pay a Reinstatement Fee.
  • Pay a $50 surrender fee. If the BMV receives your registration, license plates and driver license before the suspension starts, this fee may be deducted from the amount owed. There is no fee reduction if your license was expired or revoked or you never had a license.

The BMV destroys all driver licenses and license plates it receives. You must buy a new driver license and license plates after all requirements are met.

The BMV can issue registration privileges and new license plates before the end date of the suspension if the fees are paid and Financial Responsibility Insurance is filed.

Any driver or owner may request an Administrative Hearing (see below) before the suspension takes effect or at any time during the suspension period.

For additional information concerning exemptions, inoperable or seasonal vehicles, contact the BMV Columbus Office at (614) 752-7700.


A Security Suspension can happen following an accident if property damage is more than $400.00. Or if a personal injury claim is filed in a State Crash Report. Security suspensions are limited to two years from the date of an accident. An uninsured motorist must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Send a release signed by all parties showing the damages have been paid in full; or
  • Send a notarized installment agreement signed by all parties showing payment arrangements have been made. (If payments are not made, there is two year suspension. You must show a full release or a deposit for the remaining balance.); or
  • Deposit the amount of damages with the BMV. $500.00 is the minimum for personal injury. BMV will hold the deposit for two years from the date of accident. The injured party may file in court. If the BMV receives a court order, it will send the deposit to the court. If no court action is taken, the BMV will return the money to you at the end of the two year time; or
  • File for Bankruptcy and include this claim. Send your Discharge to BMV.

Any driver or owner facing a Security Suspension can request an Administrative Hearing.


You can request a hearing at any time after you receive the "First Notice of Suspension." You must request the hearing in writing. Send the request to the address listed on the suspension notice. Send a $30 check or money order for the hearing fee payable to "Treasurer, State of Ohio." You must send the fee with the hearing request. The fee will be refunded if your suspension is overturned. The purpose of the hearing is to decide whether:

  • you had financial responsibility; or
  • you meet one of the exemptions.

This article is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice.Prepared by Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. Updated May 2012. CE-93-F252-CLAS

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