Penalties For Driving Without Insurance

Every state in the USA has it’s own unique requirements when it comes to minimum auto insurance coverage needed. Likewise, each state has different penalties for drivers who are caught driving while failing to meet these minimum coverage requirements. Although these laws vary state by state, one thing is certain – Being caught driving without auto insurance is something that you do not want to happen to you! penalties for driving without insurance

You might think these penalties are severe, but remember – they are for your own good. Imagine what could happen if you get into a car accident without auto insurance. Or even worse – imagine what would happen if you severely injure or even kill somebody while driving without insurance. The penalties and fines for driving without insurance are harsh, but being caught in a worse situation could be a nightmare.

The Most Common Penalties For Driving Without Insurance

Like stated above, penalties for driving without automobile insurance vary state by state, but some of the more common penalties include:

  • Getting a ticket for failure to be insured – Getting one of these violations, and only this, is really the best-case scenario. You will definitely be fined a steep monetary amount, usually over $100, and your future insurance premiums will increase.
  • License suspension – This is a very common penalty for being caught without insurance. 60 or 90-day suspensions are the norms.
  • Vehicle registration suspension – Again, 60 and 90-day registration suspensions are standard for driving without insurance. In Texas, however, this suspension could last up to two years!
  • Need to submit an SR-22 form – Often, depending on the severity of your violation, you will need to submit an SR-22 form to your insurer once your license/registration is reinstated. Sometimes you will need to file an SR-22 even if you do not own your own vehicle. This is 100% sure to cause an increase in your insurance premiums.
  • Significant Monetary Fines – All these violations added up, in addition to trips to the DMV, renegotiation with your insurers, and legal fees, will be sure to take a large chunk of change out of your bank account. The good news is, avoiding all this is easy! Just make sure you always drive with adequate insurance coverage!

In the United States, a first-time offense for driving without insurance can range from $100 to having your license suspended for a year! Don’t let this happen to you. Keep in mind that these are only the more common penalties for being caught driving without enough insurance coverage. It is probably different in your state than it is in your neighboring state. To be sure of the legal repercussions in your state, check with your local DMV for details.

How To Make Sure You Always Have Enough Coverage

One of the many mistakes people make is that they accidentally let their policies lapse! This can happen to good people who just happen to forget to pay their insurance bill or renew their coverage. To make sure you never let your policy lapse, be sure to make your payments on time. You can do this easily by setting up automatic payments with your insurer. This way, payments will automatically be deducted from your bank account or credit card without you having to send in a check every month. Another option for our more forgetful readers is to make payments annually rather than monthly. By doing this, you only need to remember to pay once per year instead of 12 times per year.

(Note – Many insurers these days have grace periods to allow for occasional tardiness on a bill payment. Ask your insurance agent about these options. Typically they allow you up to 30 days to make a payment before they cancel your policy.)

Another big problem people have is not having enough insurance coverage in the first place! This seems quite inexcusable, but this often becomes the case for individuals who have recently moved or are traveling. Usually, they are covered with all the legal requirements in the state they came from and as soon as they leave and go to another state, they are under the minimum requirements. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, always contact your insurer before you decide to drive your vehicle into another state.

(If you are worried about currently not having enough insurance coverage, you most likely do not need to be. If you bought your insurance coverage in your current place of residence and haven’t moved or anything, you are most likely good to go. Insurance agents are obligated to sell you nothing less than the minimum required insurance for your state.)

What to do now

If you are driving without insurance or you are under-insured, please get a quick insurance quote from us to see if we can help you find a car insurance policy that you can afford. Whatever you do, you will not want to risk jail time or worse. We work with all uninsured drivers in the United States to get them the coverage they need at the lowest possible rates.


  Comments: 4

  1. I had liability insurance through the company that I brought my car through. Well I got into an accident and because they don’t give insurance cards out you just pay extra on your car payment and I was told that was not good enough and was marked as an uninsured driver even though I was paying extra and on top of that I got no call from and insurance agency the person keeps harassing me and now I got papers in the mail saying my license could be suspended. I work full time and I take my son to school. I’m so scared what do I do.

    • Andrew@4AutoInsuranceQuote

      Hi Desiree,
      It sounds like what you thought you purchased through the company wasn’t actually insurance. I’m not sure what you bought, but it sounds like there was a misunderstanding between what you thought you were buying and what you actually bought. Car dealerships never offer auto insurance, or if they do it’s with a separate agent who is on-site. At this point, you don’t have many options, other than try to talk with the DMV to hopefully allow you to keep your license. You might want to consult with an attorney to see what your legal options are.

    • I purchased a car and gave my step-mothers policy so the dealer could call and give the required car details to the insurance. Not sure what happened after that, but I was given temporary plates. Two weeks later I got into an accident and when I called insurance they told me the car was not on the policy. I paid cash and in full, when I called the dealership to ask what that was about, I was told they have nothing to do with my accident and couldn’t help. I drove off the lot with my brand new used car and now reading it’s a crime. What can I possibly do? I lost the car and facing a lot of bills that could have been avoided if I had insurance. Who do I contact for the irresponsible sale?

      • Andrew@4AutoInsuranceQuote

        Hi Reyna,
        Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do at this point. Even though you feel wronged by the dealership, and they certainly could’ve been more upfront about what was happening, it’s true they don’t really have any liability for any of this. Having the proper insurance in place when you drive a car off the lot is your responsibility, not theirs. Also, car dealerships can’t add vehicles to someone else’s policy anyways, only the named insured (owner) of the policy can do that. Furthermore, you would have needed your own policy since you bought the car, unless you also live with your stepmother, in which she would’ve needed to add it. It’s, unfortunately, a bad situation to be in right now, but there isn’t a whole lot you can do except try your best to get your license back.

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