Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

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The following is an exported forum post from our discontinued forum. If you would like to reply to this old forum post, please post a comment below.

I got caught driving without insurance in Mass

The police stopped me for speeding and at that time my insurance had JUST expired (my luck sucks)

You guys have any tips for me?  The police officer said I needed to go to traffic court to get this issue resolved.

What is gonna happen to me?  Should I get a lawyer?

Our Answer

Drivers in every state in America are required to have car insurance to legally drive on public roads. If you do not have car insurance, then you are not allowed to drive.

Fortunately for you, a police officer caught you driving without insurance. Some people don’t realize their insurance is lapsed until after they cause a serious accident.

You might cause serious injuries to another driver and vehicle, for example, only to make an insurance claim and realize you now owe $300,000 out of pocket in medical expenses, pain and suffering, and vehicle repairs.

With that in mind, paying a small traffic fine doesn’t seem too bad for you. It certainly could have been worse.

So what happens when you get caught driving without insurance in the state of Massachusetts?

Under Massachusetts law, driving without insurance is a civil motor vehicle infraction (CMVI). Drivers caught driving illegally without insurance could face a $5,000 fine, up to one year in prison, and loss of driving privileges for one full year. Drivers will also be required to pay a minimum fee of $500 to the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP), a state-run car insurance pool.

Since this is your first offense, you’ll most likely pay a $500 fine along with additional fees for a total of around $1500. If this is your second offense or more, however, then you face stiffer penalties:

First Offense:

  • $500 fine
  • Additional $500 payment or one full year premium of compulsory insurance (whichever is larger)
  • $45 late fee and $25 filing fee if you choose to request a hearing
  • Driver’s license and registration suspended for 60 days (must pay $500 fee to reinstate license and registration)
  • Up to one year in prison

Second Offense and Higher:

  • $500 to $5,000 fine
  • Additional $500 payment or one full year premium of compulsory insurance (whichever is larger)
  • $45 late fee and $25 filing fee if you choose to request a hearing
  • Driver’s license and registration suspended for one year; $500 fee to reinstate
  • Up to one year in prison

The ‘additional $500 fee’ is paid towards the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP). You may have to pay just $500. Or, you may have to pay considerably more than that. If one year’s worth of compulsory car insurance is more than $500, then you will pay that amount instead. Unfortunately, these premiums are calculated based on the highest risk factors – not your actual profile.

Ultimately, all of this means you can expect to pay a minimum of $1,500 for driving without insurance in your situation. It’s unlikely that you will face prison time for your first offense. Repeated offenses, however, can lead to jail.

You May Be Able to Dispute your Fine

You can choose to dispute a civil motor vehicle infraction (CMVI) citation – including a citation for driving without insurance.

If you wish to dispute your fine, then you need to request a hearing within 20 days. To request a hearing, you need to pay a $25 filing fee to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

If you do not respond to the citation or request a hearing within 20 days, then you will be considered guilty of the citation. You will also be charged a late fee of $45 on top of any existing fines linked to the citation.

If you fail to pay the citation and the late fee, then your driver’s license could be suspended.

You may be able to challenge your citation if you can prove you had legitimate car insurance at the time you were pulled over.

Make Sure You Have the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements for Massachusetts

Moving forward, you’ll want to make sure you have the minimum required car insurance for drivers in Massachusetts. You are required to have $20,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $40,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, $8,000 or personal injury protection, $5,000 of property damage, $20,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person, and $40,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident.

Since driving without insurance is considered a moving violation, it will be tracked by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The citation will affect car insurance premiums in the future. You may pay higher rates because you were caught driving without insurance. Massachusetts insurance companies assume you’re a high risk driver.

Good luck dealing with your citation. Remember: avoid car insurance lapses in the future by signing up for automatic payments.

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Other Answers

Answer 1

You will most likely end up paying the fine for not having insurance while driving.. often times you have to pay for each day you drove without insurance.

In Mass (specifically), you will get at least a $500 fine and you might have you license suspended for 60 days by the RMV.

Car insurance in Massachusetts is often very expensive because the roads are highly regulated (not to mention the roads being very small, crowded, confusing, and poorly maintained).  This leads to very high insurance premiums.