Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Alabama is like most states and has a mandatory car insurance law in place that all drivers must comply with
  • If you drive without the required limits of coverage in Alabama, you could be cited and convicted of a Class B misdemeanor
  • If your car is registered in Alabama and you have continuous coverage from a carrier in Alabama, you won’t face penalties
  • If you allow your coverage to lapse, you could be fined up to $500 for the first offense and $3000 for the second
  • Driving without insurance in Alabama is a serious offense that could lead to vehicle impoundment and other fees

If you live in Alabama and you own your own car, you’re going to have to familiarize yourself with the Mandatory Liability Insurance Act.

Out of all of the legislation that pertains to motor vehicle ownership, none is more important than the legislation on compulsory insurance requirements. Just one slip up and you could lose your registration, your car, and lots of your money.

If you find out that you have been uninsured for even just a few days, there’s a chance that you’ll be penalized. This could be the case even if you’re not caught by law enforcement.

Knowing the penalties for being uninsured might help you make a bigger effort to avoid disobeying Alabama insurance laws.

Get insurance today so you’re not breaking the law! Enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above to compare car insurance rates side-by-side for free.

Here’s what you should know about the penalties for driving without insurance in The Heart of Dixie:

Table of Contents

How to Avoid Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Alabama

The only way to avoid being penalized by a police office, a local judge, or the Alabama Department of Revenue is to continuously hold car insurance.

Continuously means that you have a policy that’s been in effect since the car was registered in your name and that there are no lapses to report. A lapse is a period of time when there’s no coverage because the policy canceled or non-renewed.

You should always focus on structuring your policy properly. In Alabama, the name that’s on your vehicle registration should match the name that’s on your car insurance.

When the names don’t match, the online electronic verification system won’t be able to match your insurance policy to your vehicle registration. If this happens, you may be fined.

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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

State officials in Alabama take violation of insurance laws very seriously since the state is ranked seventh on the list of states with the highest number of uninsured drivers.

With over 19 percent of the drivers on Alabama roads being uninsured, it only makes sense for the courts to stiffen up on the fines to deter people from breaking the law. The penalties get worse if you have multiple offenses:

First Offense

The first time you are cited by law enforcement for driving without insurance, you will be ordered to appear for a mandatory court date.

If you’re convicted of the offense that you were cited for, you’ll be ordered to pay a $500 fine solely for the driving without insurance infraction. After you’re convicted, the DMV will also suspend your registration and you’ll be required to pay a $200 reinstatement fee.

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Second Offense

The penalty for a second offense is much more costly. The first time around, you don’t have to serve a suspension period as long as you can afford to reinstate your tags. The second time around, you have to learn the hard way.

When convicted of a second offense, you will have to serve a four-month registration suspension period no matter what. After the period is up, you must pay a $400 reinstatement fee to the DMV.

The penalties don’t stop are a suspended registration and a fine. You also have to worry about the fine that you have to pay for the ticket. The judge is allowed to assess a penalty of up to $1000.

If they deem necessary, you could even lose your license for up to six months and still be ordered to pay the costly fine.

What proof of insurance is accepted in Alabama?

When one in every five drivers in the state is uninsured, it’s no surprise that officers will ask you for proof that you’re insured. By law, you must be able to furnish proof of insurance if you’re asked to by an officer.

Since drivers are required to show registration and insurance when pulled over, you could be cited for being uninsured even if you have coverage but forgot to put the proof in the car.

You can either provide the officer with a physical auto insurance ID card issued by an Alabama insurer or you can show the officer a copy of your ID card on an electronic device.

Some states don’t accept electronic proof but Alabama has written this as acceptable in the motor vehicle code.

How to Get Insurance in Alabama

Alabama has a tort insurance system. This means that you must have coverage to pay for damages that you cause while driving your car. By law, that includes liability protection to pay for damages to others. Here’s a breakdown of what coverage is mandatory in Alabama:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – $25,000 for bodily injury per person, up to $50,000 for the total bodily injury per accident
  • Property Damage Liability – $25,000 per accident for property damage repairs

You must carry at least the limits required by law to avoid being penalized. If you want to switch insurers or bind insurance coverage, now is the time to shop the market. The easiest way to find a deal is to request multiple quotes on a comparison tool online.

Enter your ZIP code below and compare Alabama car insurance rates today!