The Buckeye State, just like any other state in the U.S. requires all its licensed drivers to have their vehicle registered in order to drive on public roads. Ohio has close to nine million licensed drivers, with a little over 406,000 registered motorcycles. In Ohio, you have 90 days before your vehicle tags are expired to renew your registration.
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Ohio has required a front plate since 1908, except 1944-1946 when OH wanted to conserve steel for the war effort
Ohio license plate and sticker
A registration in OH includes the registration certificate, license plate, and a county sticker. Although you can register in any county, the county sticker must indicate the county of residence, not the county of issue. By July 1, 2020, Ohio drivers no longer had to tag their vehicles with two license plates. Thanks to House Bill 62, Ohioans now only need one. The license plate must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. But for commercial tractors in OH, the plate must be placed on the front.
There are 19 states that don’t require a front license plate, including Florida and Delaware
Expired registration and untagged vehicles in OH
State laws impose fines and penalties for untagged vehicles. License plates must be properly displayed. In the midwestern region of OH, an expired registration is a misdemeanor offense carrying a fine of up to $150, but with all the fees involved, that fine becomes about $250. An expired Ohio driver’s license can cost you up to $1000.
Ohio registration at the BMV: what to bring
By July 1, 2021 all driving Ohioans had to renew their registration. The deadline for OH drivers who got a COVID-19 reprieve was up. Licensed drivers with an expiration date on or after March 2020 on their driver’s license, ID, or vehicle registration needed to renew by July 1st. If you choose to get your OH tags from the BMV, you need to go to a local deputy registrar license agency.
A quick search on the BMV’s website can tell you what branch is in your county and closest to you. You still have to go in person.
To renew your registration with the Ohio BMV, you need:
• Your OH driver license
• If your car or other vehicle is leased, you need to bring with you your lease agreement and power of attorney documents
• If you live in one of the seven E-Check counties, then you need to the emissions inspection certificate for proof smog test was done
• Proof of auto insurance or sign off on proof of financial responsibility (more on that below)
If you live in Cuyahoga, Geauga, or Portage counties you need an E-Check certificate in OH
Ohio tags online
If you rather save time and not have to wait for your turn to get tags done, get your vehicle registration online with eTags. You won’t have to go to a deputy registrar license agency. Instead, just a few clicks on your computer or cellphone and your OH tags will be on your way, right to your doorstep.
SEE ALSO VEHICLE REGISTRATION ONLINE; 5 COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED
With eTags, that “doorstep” doesn’t have to be filed with the BMV. Your vehicle registration paperwork can be shipped to anywhere in the U.S. So if you’re away from home, or rather get your tags at your business location, it’s no problem with eTags online. Getting your registration renewal online also means you get a downloadable registration that you can use temporarily (for instant digital proof) until you get the documents in the mail.
Simply enter your license plate number, year and make of your vehicle and you’re well on your way to renewing your Ohio registration.
Ohio auto insurance
Don’t forget, to renew your registration in the Buckeye State you need to have car insurance coverage. The average price for insurance in OH is about $130 per month. The minimum requirements include bodily injury and property damage liability coverage:
• $25,000 for injury/death of one person
• $50,000 for injury/death of two or more people
• $25,000 for property damage in an accident
By June 2021, OH had about 300,000 untagged vehicles on the road
Auto insurance alternative for proof of financial responsibility
Leased vehicles may require more auto insurance as comprehensive and collision coverage is common. Car insurance is the most popular way to satisfy the proof of financial responsibility, but there are alternatives in OH. For example, a cash, cashier’s check or bond deposit of $30,000 to the Treasurer of State.
The BMV will issue you a certificate so that the deposit pays for any claim against you. You can also file a real estate bond in the same amount to guarantee that you can pay. But you have to get two other people who own real estate in Ohio with equity equal to $60,000. Surety bonds are another option for proof of financial responsibility so is self-insurance if you own over 25 cars.
As of January 2020, hybrid and electric vehicle owners in OH are paying extra for registration renewal. $100 more for standard, gasoline-hybrids and $200 more for EVs and plug-in hybrids
Fines and penalties for the uninsured
If you don’t have auto insurance in Ohio, you can lose your driver’s license until coverage requirements are met. On your second offense, you can lose your license for an entire year, and two years on additional offenses. You can lose your tags and registration as well as pay up to $600. If you don’t surrender your driver’s license or tags that can cost you a penalty of $50. You may also have to get a special high risk insurance on file with the BMW for three to five years.