What should I do if I’m caught driving uninsured?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Mar 3, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Every state has specific rules relating to car insurance minimum limits
  • The penalties of driving uninsured vary according to the state in which you live
  • The various states have different methods of tracking drivers’ insurance policies

If you are caught driving without insurance you should be prepared to pay a fine to your state. Multiple offenses can add up and even cost you your license or jail time.

So if you are caught without insurance, you need to pay the penalty and get coverage before you drive again.

Every state has rules about having car insurance on any registered vehicle.

Read on to learn exactly what happens if you get pulled over while driving without any car insurance coverage.

Find the best car insurance rates by entering your ZIP code in above for a FREE car insurance comparison!

It Depends on Where You Live


The first thing that will determine what your penalty might be is the state that you live in.

As mentioned above, every state has specific laws, but they sure aren’t the same from state to state.

For example:

  • In Florida, the fine for driving without auto insurance is $150 to $500 depending on the number of offenses. In addition, a person found driving without insurance will have their driver’s license, registration, and license plate suspended.
  • In Illinois, there is a minimum fine of $500 for driving without insurance with a maximum fine of $1,000. After the third offense, your license will be suspended.
  • In North Carolina, driving without auto insurance is a Class 2 misdemeanor. If drivers are caught without auto insurance, they can go to jail. Although a fine is usually issued for first offenders, the fines become more severe for repeat offenders and jail time will eventually be applied.

In order to determine what the fines are in your state, you can visit your state’s Department of Insurance website or Department of Motor Vehicles website.

How They Know You Don’t Have Coverage

Police officer

Every state has a system in place to help them determine when someone’s insurance has lapsed. Many states have moved to the electronic method.

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, you are required to purchase insurance before you leave the lot.

When a state runs things electronically, the insurance company that you buy your insurance from enters your info into the state’s insurance system.

If you cancel your insurance or default on your payments, the insurance company just presses a couple of keys, and the state is informed.

If you purchase a policy with a different company, then the system is updated, and nothing happens.

If, however, you don’t buy a different policy then a letter is generated by the electronic system to let you know you have 30 days to provide proof of insurance or your registration will be suspended.

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Why Auto Insurance Laws are Important

Having an accident costs money; it’s that simple. Nearly everyone who drives safely thinks that they won’t have an accident because they drive well.

The problem is that accidents are called accidents for a reason. Even the best drivers have caused accidents.

When you don’t have insurance, then you are creating a financial burden on someone else. Even if you live in a tort state, it takes time to recoup the costs using that method.

Auto insurance offers more than just protection for your vehicle; it offers protection against injury and loss of life.

Carrying comprehensive auto insurance covers your vehicle for more than just an accident. If your car is stolen, vandalized, or an act of nature damages or destroys it, then you are protected from that as well.

Insurance plays an important part of your financial stability.

How to Find Coverage


Getting an insurance quote is like getting an estimate. Using a quote tool allows you to get an estimate of what your insurance costs are going to be.

When you make a final decision, the insurance company will run your driving record before telling you the final amount.

The biggest benefit to using a free quote tool is your ability to compare quotes side by side. You will quickly get a real idea of what the cheapest rates are.

Our FREE quote tool is fast and easy to use. Try it today by entering your ZIP code below!

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