UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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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!
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.