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...

  • You must have insurance even if you own your car outright
  • You can face jail time if you are caught driving without insurance more than two times in five years
  • You can trade in your fines for community service hours if you are caught driving without insurance

Car insurance is not something anyone should drive without, and it’s not something people are permitted to drive without.

There are many factors associated with car insurance in Hawaii, including who you are insured with, what you drive, and whether you own your vehicle or finance the vehicle through a lender.

Hawaiian law includes a Compulsory Liability Insurance Law, and this law mandates all drivers purchase and maintain at least liability coverage minimums. Driving without insurance in Hawaii can result in major penalties.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your ZIP code above to get started.

Table of Contents

Hawaii’s Minimum Coverage Laws

Hawaiian drivers must carry insurance, but you are not required to carry full coverage unless you finance your car through a lender who requires it. If you own your vehicle outright, you’re permitted to have minimal coverage only.

This coverage includes:

  • Bodily Injury protection of $10,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury protection $40,000 per accident total for multiple people
  • Property Damage protection of $10,000 per accident
  • Personal Injury protection of $10,000 per accident

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First Offense Penalties in Hawaii

Is it illegal to drive without insurance in Hawaii? Hawaiian law allows you more than one chance to purchase car insurance when you are first stopped or caught in an accident without insurance. First-time offenders are given a multitude of punishments when they are caught without insurance in Hawaii.

The first is a fine of up to $500 for driving without insurance. If you cannot afford the fine, you are given the right to exchange it for community service hours ranging anywhere from 75 to 100 hours.

If you are a first-time offender without insurance, you face license suspension. Your license is suspended immediately for as many as three months. The only way to lift this suspension is to purchase insurance and provide proof to the local government.

If you do not provide insurance proof during this time, your license remains suspended.

Many people fail to realize they can afford insurance if they simply shop around to find the best rates and discounts, which can help them regain use of their license.

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Second-Time Offense Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

When drivers are pulled over or involved in an accident a second time in Hawaii, the penalties you face are more serious than they are the first time around. The first time is a warning to start shopping around for an affordable insurance policy.

The second offense is a warning that you face serious punishments for failing to take the first offense seriously.

Second-time offenders pay fines ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 in Hawaii. You can exchange this fine for community service hours. However, you’re now required to volunteer 200 to 275 hours of your free time to the community to avoid paying these hefty fines.

Your license is also suspended for one year, which is not reinstated early unless you can provide proof you purchased insurance during that year.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance a Third Time

If you fail to learn your lesson the first two times, you face serious punishment. Fines and the alternative community service hours remain the same for anyone caught driving without insurance in Hawaii a third time.

License suspension of one year or until you are able to prove you purchased insurance remain the same, but drivers pulled over more than twice without insurance are also subject to revocation of their registration plates.

It’s illegal to drive in Hawaii without registration and plates, which is one of the worst punishments for anyone driving without insurance. A third offense is considered a multiple conviction in Hawaii, which means you also face jail time of no more than 30 days.

Multiple convictions must happen within five years. If you were pulled over in 2015, 2016, and 2017 without insurance, it’s considered a multiple conviction because it happened within three years.

If you were pulled over in 2010, 2014, and 2017 without insurance, you’re only a second-time offender since the 2010 fines were more than five years old at the time you were pulled over the third time.

To avoid this kind of penalty, you need only purchase insurance. Do not allow the belief that you own your vehicle outright to override the law. You need insurance.

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What if I can’t afford insurance?

It’s not an uncommon question, and it’s a problem for many people. However, there are ways you can find affordable insurance when you drive in Hawaii. The first is to compare rates with different companies.

Just because one insurance company offers you an unaffordable rate doesn’t mean the rest will do the same.

The other option is to really find the good discounts that lower rates. For example, you might get a discount if you bundle your insurance policies, if you live close to work, or if you don’t spend much time in the car.

Ask about what discounts available to you so you can find affordable insurance.

Getting creative can help you afford car insurance by cutting other costs in the budget.

It’s also helpful for Hawaiian drivers to remember that it’s much more affordable to buy insurance and keep it than it is to allow the policies to lapse or go without paying.

Each company checks your record to ensure you pay your policies, and they are going to charge you more if you allow lapses or do not pay in a timely manner.

Driving with insurance is always more affordable than driving without. Get the best rate on the coverage you need by using our FREE comparison tool below.