Information based on actual events. Certain facts and identities have been change to protect privacy.
One day recently a client had called to remove a vehicle, we'll call the client Richard.
Now Richard had an older vehicle that had some mechanical issues and was no longer in driving condition. Because the vehicle couldn't be driven, Richard wanted to remove the vehicle from the policy and end coverage. This may seem like the perfect step to take but in all reality it may end up being a huge mistake. See, the State of Ohio requires that any and all registered vehicles maintain insurance coverage at all times. Our staff advised Richard of this requirement but Richard declined and requested to continue removing the vehicle. Not long after, Richard received a "random" letter of verification from the BMV to prove coverage on the vehicle that was no longer working. Being that Richard decided to remove the vehicle he ended up receiving an automatic irreversible license suspension from the BMV for failing to maintain coverage.
Don't be a Richard.
If the vehicle is not going to be sold the best thing to do is obtain a certified letter from a mechanic to provide to the BMV stating the condition of the vehicle or surrender the license plates to the Deputy Registrar. Alternatively, many folks decided to scrap out their old vehicles. Be sure to obtain proof from the scrap yard when they take possession of the vehicle.
The best time to remove a non-functional vehicle would be after following one of the above methods to clear the requirement for maintaining insurance coverage.
In summary, before you remove any vehicle from your policy:
If you sell it, keep proof that you sold it (bill of sale, copy of title, etc).
- If you scrap it, get proof that you scrapped (receipt from scrap yard, bill of sale, etc.)
- If it is mechanically disable, get proof that it is disabled (document from ASE certified mechanic stating non-functional)
- In any situation, you can surrender the plates and it alleviates the requirement for proof of financial responsibility
Please keep in mind, this is from an insurance perspective only. There are other laws that apply to vehicle ownership. Consult local, state, and federal laws for other conditions that apply.