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Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Ohio is located in the Midwestern region of the United States. In terms of area, it is a smaller mid-sized state, but is one of the most densely populated. It is the seventh highest populated state in the entire U.S. The state’s name “Ohio” is derived from the Iroquois word “ohi-yo'” which translates to “great river.” It is officially nicknamed the “Buckeye State” in reference to the Ohio buckeye tree; residents in this state are sometimes referred to as “Buckeyes.”

Other unofficial nicknames include: “The Mother of Presidents,” “Birthplace of Aviation,” and “The Heart of It All.” Ohio is widely regarded as an important state in presidential elections due to the fact that it occupies 16 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is widely regarded as one of the best states for business climate and is home to many of the top schools (both high schools and colleges) in the nation. The economy in Ohio is fueled by transportation, business, manufacturing, finances, technical services, and the state lottery system.

Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Most individuals know that you cannot legally operate any motor vehicle in this state without some sort of protection. The protection that you need will be satisfied when you establish financial responsibility. This basically means that you will need to make sure that you either get liability insurance or have other funds that can be used in the event of an accident to cover damages that you cause.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, you have a variety of options when it comes to establishing responsibility. The most common way to establish responsibility is to get a valid liability insurance policy. If you would rather pursue alternatives to liability insurance, you have the option of making a cash deposit or getting a surety bond.

  • Liability Insurance: The easiest way to establish responsibility is to get liability coverage from a state-licensed provider.
  • Cash Deposit: You have the option of making a cash deposit or getting government bonds for the amount of $30,000 through the Ohio Treasurer.
  • Self Insurance: If you have more than 25 vehicles registered under your name or a company, you can get self-insurance. This option is geared towards owners of fleets and businesses.
  • Surety Bond: You can obtain a surety bond for the amount of $32,500 from a licensed agency. You also have the option of obtaining a BMV-issued bond with at least $60,000 of real estate equity.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

Below are various definitions for different 2-wheeled vehicles in the state of Ohio. If you are unsure about the classification of your vehicle, read the definitions. If you are still confused as to whether your vehicle fulfills a specific classification, you can call the Ohio BMV at the following number: (614) 752-7500. They have trained representatives to help answer any questions you may have.

  • Motorcycle: Any motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider that travels on not more than 3 wheels in contact with the road.
  • Moped (Motorized Bicycle): Any motor vehicle with two tandem wheels (or one front and two rear wheels) which is capable of being pedaled. The helper motor must not exceed 50 cc piston displacement and it must not exceed 1-brake horsepower. The vehicle should not exceed 20 mph on a level surface. Note: If it exceeds 20 mph, it is considered a motorcycle.
  • Motor Scooter: These are considered motorcycles by definition in the state of Ohio. All laws that apply to motorcycles also apply to motor scooters.

Ohio Motorcycle Minimum Insurance Requirements

Below is the amount of liability coverage you will need if you plan on riding your motorcycle in this state. As you can see, you are required to get at least a “25/50/25” liability policy. These are the bare minimums that you must have before you can drive on public roads.

Liability Insurance:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person

  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $25,000 property damage per accident

Keep in mind that it may be a smart decision to get more than the bare minimum amount of coverage. In a severe accident, the costs to reimburse others for damages can be expensive and may exceed the minimums. In the event that the minimum limits are exceeded in an accident, you will be responsible for paying the rest from your own finances. You also have the option of increasing your limits – which could help protect your assets if you are ever “at fault” for an accident.

Ohio Motorcycle Laws: Safety & Licensing Requirements

Each state has specific rules that must be followed pertaining helmets, eye protection, and licensing. It is important that all drivers understand what they need to do in order to maximize their personal safety on the roads.

  • Helmets: All individuals that hold a novice license and/or are under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets; this includes passengers as well. If the driver is under 18, all passengers (regardless of age) are required to wear helmets. Helmets must be in compliance with the FMVSS 218 standard.
  • Eye Protection: All individuals are required to wear protective eye-wear (e.g. goggles) unless the motorcycle has a windshield that protects the eyes.
  • Headlights: Drivers are NOT required to use headlights during the daytime.
  • License: All drivers must obtain a motorcycle license or endorsement before operating their vehicle. In order to fulfill licensing requirements, you must take a Basic Rider Course (if you are under 18 years of age) and/or pass Ohio BMV testing. Testing includes both a written and road test that must be passed.

Proof of Insurance / Responsibility in Ohio

Although many states have implemented insurance tracking systems, Ohio is not one of them. This means that you are required to carry proof of insurance or financial responsibility with you at all times while driving. If a police officer pulls you over and asks to see your insurance information, you will need to supply proof. Similarly, if you are involved in an accident, you will also need to provide some proof.

Insurance Identification Card: When purchasing a liability policy from a licensed carrier, they will issue you an insurance ID card. This card contains policy information under your name and for your vehicle. This is considered acceptable proof of insurance.
BMV Certificate: If you have obtained a surety bond, made a cash deposit, or self-insurance, you should be issued a certificate from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Keep this with you at all times while driving as proof of coverage.

Penalties for Lack of Insurance / Responsibility

What will happen if you are pulled over, but don’t have insurance? In the event that you are caught without adequate insurance, you will be penalized. Various penalties include license suspension, registration suspension, fines, and loss of driving privileges. Penalties will be imposed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

  • Confiscation of Plates: Your license plates will be taken away and held until you serve a suspension period and get an insurance policy.
  • Immobilization of Vehicle: Your motorcycle will be taken to the pound or immobilized so that it cannot be driven until you have adequate coverage.
  • Loss of Driving Privileges: You may lose your ability to drive for up to 2 years.
  • License Suspension: Your license will be suspended and you will be unable to drive any vehicle during the suspension period.
  • Registration Suspension: Your vehicle’s registration will face suspension. The registration will need to be reinstated before it can be driven again.
  • Reinstatement Fees: In order to get your license and registration back, you will be required to pay reinstatement fees ranging from $150 (first offense) to $650 (third or subsequent violations).
  • SR-22 Form: You will need to file insurance via an SR-22 form for at least 3-5 years depending on the offense. This will allow the state to track you and make sure that you have sufficient coverage.

Note: All of these penalties can be avoided by making sure that you always have proof of insurance or financial responsibility at all times.

Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Companies

There are a variety of insurance providers that want your business in the state of Ohio. The best way to find one that best fits your needs and budget is to do a little bit of research. You should start by collecting quotes. You can use the form below (or at the top of the page) to enter your Zip Code – this will allow you to collect free quotes from top providers in your area. Once you have collected some quotes from leading providers, you will need to conduct a comparison to determine how much coverage you will be getting.

Narrow down your search to the company that is offering you the most coverage for your money. If one company has policy features that you like, and another doesn’t, go with the company that best fits your protection needs. If you’d like further assistance for choosing a company, you should read various reviews on this website. The reviews will help you determine which company is the most reliable and has the best overall service.

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