What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Delaware?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Failure to carry proof of insurance brings forth steep penalties in Delaware
  • Electronic proof of insurance is acceptable in Delaware
  • Delaware has recently made changes to mandatory minimum coverage amounts

Delaware, the First State, experiences a tremendous amount of traffic due to being situated in between the major cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Residents living in Delaware must be very careful when driving on the state’s road not only because of traffic but due to weather conditions during the winter months.

State police statistics prove why a cautious attitude is a smart attitude. 24,066 traffic accidents took place in 2015 alone.

Traffic reports show the importance of maintaining an effective auto insurance policy. If you are at fault for a traffic accident, lawsuits likely follow.

When hit by an uninsured driver or when you cause damage to your own car, an insurance policy lends financial assistance to cover losses.

Not every driver, however, takes the necessary responsibility to avoid an insurance lapse. Not renewing an auto insurance policy on time or missing scheduled payments and ignoring the grace period both may lead to lengthy insurance lapses.

Anyone involved in an incident whose insurance has lapsed is on his/her own. A lapse means no policy exists, which can be disastrous. Furthermore, not carrying insurance either through a lapse or other reason also violates Delaware state law.

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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance


Not every state imposes serious penalties on those who choose to drive without insurance. Delaware definitely falls under the category of jurisdictions that do not consider the violation to be a minor matter.

Steep fines demonstrate just how much Delaware wishes to deter uninsured motorists.

— First Offense

With a first offense, a driver convicted in a court of not carrying insurance must pay a fine of no less than $1,500. $1,500 reflects the minimum fine.

The amount could be higher, but less than the fine for a second offense. Also, driving privileges in Delaware would be suspended for six months.

— Second Offense

Those convicted of a second offense face a fine of $3,000. Another six-month license suspension would be imposed as well. For each subsequent offense within three years of the previous offense creates another $3,000 fine and a six-month suspension.

Other troubling issues arise when convicted of failure to provide proof of insurance. The subsequent fine, suspension, and notations on the DMV record cause insurance rates to skyrocket.

High-risk drivers may even find the number of insurers willing to cover them to diminish.

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What proof of insurance is accepted in Delaware?

Insurance companies provide their customers with a Proof of Insurance (POI) document. The documents are usually mailed with the full contract and billing invoice prior to a renewal.

POI documents can be requested at any time and could be transmitted online or through the mail. The documents do have an expiration date. Be sure the document being carried is not expired.

An expired document does not constitute acceptable proof of insurance even when the policy number for the old and new contracts is the same.

Drivers would have to go through the hassle of proving they carry insurance in court when unable to provide accurate information.

Another option does exist when asked for proof of insurance. In 2014, Delaware joined a long list of states in which electronic proof of insurance is acceptable.

Showing a copy of the POI document on a smartphone or other similar device is fine. Storing a copy of the document on a smartphone would be a wise move.

How to Get Insurance in Delaware


Probably the easiest way to purchase insurance in Delaware entails requesting several quotes online. The quotes detail all the coverage options available and at what price.

Please be mindful the following minimum insurance requirements are in effect:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury/death of 1 person in 1 accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury/death of 2 or more persons in 1 accident
  • $10,000 for property damage in any 1 accident

These limits were recently increased through a law signed by the governor in June of 2019. Previously, the minimums were $15,0000/$30,0000/$5,000.

Such figures were among the lowest in the entire United States. The amounts are still low, which is why drivers should seek to purchase a more-expansive policy capable of delivering necessary protections.

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