Filing Bankruptcy May Help You Get Your License Back
It never ceases to amaze me how many people drive without insurance. A common situation I see involves people who have gotten into an accident without having insurance. When there are damages, typically the other party's insurance company pays their insured customer and seeks reimbursement from the driver at fault. If the person is unable to pay, the uninsured driver can lose his license until the amount is satisfied. This is where bankruptcy comes in.
First off, coverage can be expensive, but it's required. If a person purchases automobile insurance, the State of Ohio requires the person to purchase Bodily Injury Liability Coverage as well as Property Damage Liability. In Ohio the required minimum for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is $25,000 per person injured in any one accident and $50,000 for all persons injured in any one accident. The required minimum for Property Damage Liability Coverage is $25,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
So what is the penalty for driving without the proper amount of insurance? Failure to provide proof of financial responsibility, when required, will result in the following civil penalties imposed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles:
■Lose driving privileges for a minimum of ninety (90) days and up to two (2) years;
■License plates and vehicle registration suspension;
■License plate reinstatement fees for first violation, second violation, and third or subsequent violation (There is an additional non-voluntary surrender fee for failing to surrender the license, plates or vehicle registration to the BMV);
■Require filing with the BMV (SR-22 or bond) to continuously maintain proof of financial responsibility for a minimum of three (3), up to five (5) years from the date of the suspension of operating privileges;
■Vehicle immobilization and confiscation of plates for 30 to 60 days for violating FR suspension. Third and subsequent offenses could result in vehicle forfeiture and a five (5) year suspension of vehicle registrations.
Driving and registration privileges cannot be restored until all requirements of the suspension have been met. If you think this is bad, consider what can happen if you get in an accident. If you are involved in an auto accident without insurance or other proof of financial responsibility, additional penalties may apply. You may have a security suspension for two years or more and a judgment suspension for an indefinite period until the judgment is settled. These suspensions can involves several thousand dollars and people can often lose their license for years. This is where bankruptcy can come in.
Assuming there are no other holds on your license, filing for bankruptcy will allow you to get your license back immediately. As long as there were no drugs or alcohol involved, the amounts owed to the insurance company can be discharged through bankruptcy. In fact, the Ohio Revised Code even provides that your reinstatement fee can be discharged in bankruptcy (ORC 4510.10(G)). As soon as your case is filed, you can take your paperwork to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get your license reinstated. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will provide you with the appropriate paperwork and guide you through the process.
I'm an experienced Ohio bankruptcy attorney who has managed or filed over 2,000 cases throughout Northern Ohio. For more information on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, call me at 330-605-3508 or visit my website at http://www.ohiobankruptcyrelief.com/.