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Bureau of Motor Vehicles

myBMV > Suspension and Reinstatement > Common Traffic Violations Common Traffic Violations

Indiana law provides the courts and the BMV with the authority to suspend a motorist's driving privileges when certain traffic violations have been committed

Failure To Appear / Failure To Pay

Failing to respond to a citation issued by a law enforcement officer or not paying for a tickets after a judgment has been rendered may lead to the suspension of a your driving privileges. The suspension is indefinite and ends only when the court notifies the BMV that you appeared in court or paid for the offense.

Failure To Meet Insurance Requirements

Operating a vehicle without financial responsibility in effect is against the law. A motorist who operates a vehicle without financial responsibility in effect is subject to a 90-day suspension of driving privileges or a one-year suspension if it is a repeat violation within a three-year period. To prevent a BMV imposed suspension of driving privileges following a traffic violation or accident, the driver must have his or her insurance provider electronically submit proof of financial responsibility (Certificate of Compliance) directly to the BMV using the EIFS system. The insurance provider must note the vehicle involved and the date of the accident or ticket as requested by the BMV. If the driver is unable to provide proof of financial responsibility (Certificate of Compliance) to the BMV, the motorist must serve the suspension, pay outstanding insurance/reinstatement fees, and have his or her insurance provider electronically submit a SR22 - Proof of Future Financial Responsibility to the BMV in order to be reinstated. A court related suspension for no insurance can only be closed or removed from a driver record by order of the court.

A motorist appearing in court on a traffic violation may be requested by the court to prove insurance coverage on the date of the offense.

Upon receipt by the BMV of an accident report, a request for proof of financial responsibility will be sent to the motorist's mailing address as shown on the Official Driver Record.

Indiana motorists are required to provide proof of financial responsibility by having their insurance provider submit a Certificate of Compliance (COC) when they are involved in any of these situations below. The COC must cover the date for which proof of insurance is required. This date is indicated in the accident report or citation and the vehicle make and year must match.

  • An auto accident for which an accident report is received.
  • A traffic ticket within one year of receiving two other traffic tickets.
  • A serious traffic violation such as a misdemeanor or felony.
  • Any traffic violation by a driver who was previously suspended for failing to provide proof of financial responsibility.
    • Drivers are not relieved of the consequences for failing to provide proof of financial responsibility following a conviction if the conviction is ordered expunged, vacated, or otherwise removed, from the record.

In addition to the scenarios outlined above, the BMV may request proof of financial responsibility at any time. When a motorist receives a Financial Responsibility Verification request from the BMV, he/she must arrange for their insurance provider to complete the information for the request and submit the financial responsibility information (Certificate of Compliance) electronically to the BMV within 40 days. Failure to return the information will result in a suspension of the individual's driving privileges.

Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV)

Indiana’s HTV law provides serious penalties for drivers who have repeatedly committed traffic offenses over a ten (10) year period. The BMV uses the criteria in statute, which are summarized below, to determine whether a driver qualifies as a HTV.

Section A – Ten (10) Year Suspension: Two (2) Major Offenses Resulting In Injury or Death

A HTV is any person who, within a ten (10) year period, accumulates two (2) judgments resulting in injury or death. Below is a reference of some of the criminal offenses that will result in an HTV status being placed on your driving privileges, these include:

  • Reckless homicide resulting from operating a motor vehicle
  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle
  • A driver involved in an accident resulting in death or injury who fails to stop at the scene of the accident to provide information and assistance
  • Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death
  • Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more resulting in death

Drivers who accumulate two (2) judgments within a ten (10) year period of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death or operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content of eight-hundredths (.08) percent or more resulting in death will have their driving privileges suspended for life.

Prior to June 30, 2001, drivers who accumulate two (2) judgments within a ten (10) year period for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death or operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content of ten-hundredths (.10)  percent, and 210 liters of their breath, or more resulting in death will have their driving privileges suspended for life.

Section B – Ten (10) Year Suspension: Three (3) Major Offenses

A HTV is any person who, within a ten (10) year period, accumulates three (3) judgments including:

  • Driving while intoxicated or with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more
  • Prior to June 30, 2001, drivers who are convicted of operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content of ten-hundredths (.10) percent, and 210 liters of their breath or more
  • Prior to July 1, 1997, drivers who are convicted of operating a motor vehicle  while intoxicated resulting in death or operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content of ten-hundredths (.10) percent, and 210 liters of their breath or more
  • Reckless driving
  • Criminal recklessness as a felony involving the operation of a motor vehicle
  • Drag racing or engaging in a speed contest in violation of the law
  • Leaving the scene of an accident or failing to notify authorities of an accident when required
  • Resisting law enforcement under IC 35-44.1-3-1
  • Any felony under an Indiana motor vehicle statute or any felony in which the operation of a vehicle is an element of the offense
  • Operating a Class B motor driven cycle in violation of IC 9-24-1-1(b)
  • Any of the offenses listed in Section A

Drivers who, within a ten (10) year period, accumulate three (3) judgments from the above list will have their driving privileges suspended for ten (10) years.

Section C – Nine(9) Traffic Violations Plus One (1) Major Offense

A HTV under this section is subject to a five (5) year driving privilege suspension and has accumulated ten (10) or more traffic violations in a ten (10) year period, one (1) of which is a major offense as listed in Sections A or B or one (1) of the following:

  • Operating a motor vehicle while the person’s license to do so has been suspended or revoked as a result of the person’s conviction of an offense under IC 9-1-4-52 (repealed July 1, 1991), IC 9-24-18-5(b) (repealed July 1, 2000), IC 9-24-19-2, or IC 9-24-19-3
  • Operating a motor vehicle without ever having obtained a license to do so

For example, a person with nine (9) speeding tickets and one (1) reckless driving conviction in a ten (10) year period will be subject to a five (5) year suspension as a HTV.

Operating a Vehicle While Suspended as a HTV

Indiana law provides that a person who is convicted of operating a vehicle while suspended as a HTV may have his/her driving privileges suspended for a period set by the court.

Operating A Vehicle While Intoxicated

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated or with a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit is a criminal offense and has an immediate and significant effect on your privilege to operate a vehicle. If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a motorist committed an offense under IC 9-30-5, IC 9-30-6, IC 9-30-9, or IC 9-30-15, the officer may ask the motorist to submit to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in the person’s system. A motorist for whom a judge has found probable cause exists that he or she was operating a vehicle while intoxicated may face a suspension of driving privileges. A judge may, however, order that the motorist be required to operate only with an ignition interlock device in lieu of a suspension.

  • A motorist who fails a chemical test may have his or her driving privileges suspended for up to 180 days
  • A motorist who refuses to submit to a chemical test will face a suspension of driving privileges for up to two (2) years

A court may suspend a person’s driving privileges following a conviction for operating while intoxicated. The suspension periods may be longer for repeat offenders. Penalties for this offense may include conditions placed on your driving privileges, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

If the motorist is eligible, the court may issue an order for probationary, conditional, hardship or specialized driving privileges. The court may require the installation of an ignition interlock device, which mechanically tests the driver’s blood alcohol level before his or her car can be started, as a condition of the probationary, conditional, hardship or specialized driving privileges.

When a driver who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age is cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the Juvenile Court may recommend a suspension of his or her driving privileges.

Contact the BMV