Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

The penalties for driving without car insurance include $500 fines and license suspension. If you can't afford the $48/mo average liability coverage rates, consider public transportation.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you are driving without insurance coverage, you could face serious penalties, fines, and even jail time
  • If you cannot afford coverage, you need to find another method of transportation, such as carpooling or public transportation
  • You should always compare various rates to one another to ensure you are getting the best deal

Driving without coverage in most states is illegal, and if you’ve been caught driving without coverage, you’ve probably faced an assortment of penalties.

If this has happened to you, there are a few ways to keep your car on the road with proper coverage. It is also possible to unravel the mess you may have gotten yourself into with car insurance penalties, an SR22, and lawyer’s fees.

Armed with good information, you can reinstate your license and regain your freedom sooner than you think.

Enter your ZIP code to receive car insurance quotes from multiple companies today!

It’s the Law!

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court

Most states in the U.S. require some form of car insurance coverage for every driver on the road.

If you cannot produce proof of insurance when stopped by law enforcement, you are in violation of most state laws. Unfortunately, everyone does not comply with these laws.

At the very least you can be issued a ticket, and a summons to appear in court.

It is more important to be able to get from point A to point B–despite the risk–for some people. Life is a constant struggle for many Americans; however, that does not minimize the chances of an accident while driving.

It could be the other guy who drives aggressively or texts while driving. Consequently, innocent people often pay the price.

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Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance

On your court date, the judge usually imposes a fine and may possibly suspend or revoke your license in some cases.

Many states cap the amount of the fine to $500. Other states like New York may fine up to $1500, while your car may be impounded in another.

Repeat offenders have sometimes been convicted and sentenced to a year in jail. SR22 is imposed after most violations, and to keep driving privileges, you must keep coverage for three years without lapse or your license will be suspended again.

In more extreme cases where an accident occurs, the severity of the situation changes. If you are the driver with no insurance, you could be responsible for injuries and punitive damages in addition to damages to the other vehicle. More severe outcomes could result in jail time.

How to Rectify a Car Insurance Penalty

You can rectify or correct your car insurance penalty. Insurance may be expensive while doing so, but you can keep your rates low by maintaining the minimum liability coverage. If there is a lien on the vehicle, full coverage may be required.

Increasing the deductible will lower your premiums. You can also take a safe driver’s course to lower the points on your driving record. After the three-year requirement is met, you can convert to a policy that is more affordable.

How to Avoid a Car Insurance Penalty

The best way to avoid a car insurance penalty is to maintain coverage on your vehicle.

If insurance is just not in the budget, maybe carpooling with your spouse or public transportation is an option temporarily.

In that case, you can give your plates to the DMV as proof that you are not operating the vehicle illegally.

When you purchase a vehicle, some states like Virginia will allow you to pay an uninsured motorist fee. You are still responsible for any damages to another vehicle, but you are not driving illegally.

You must renew it annually before it expires, and eventually acquire liability insurance.

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Shopping for Car Insurance Coverage

Car insurance can be affordable so that you can remain penalty-free. It is hard for young drivers with credit blemishes, or a driver who had a couple of bad experiences. Insurance companies determine rates by:

  • ZIP code (location)
  • Age
  • Credit
  • Make and model of vehicle
  • Driving record

Several other factors are taken into consideration as well. There are carriers that will allow you to make low down payments with affordable premiums.

Even a person of maturity with a family, a couple of cars, and a high insurance premium can avoid falling behind by making some adjustments to the existing policy or changing the existing insurance carrier.

A little online research may lead you to some surprising rates with reputable car insurance companies who help high-risk drivers stay on the road.

To get online car insurance quotes from multiple providers, enter your ZIP code now!

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