What is the penalty for driving without insurance in North Dakota?

Driving without car insurance in ND is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine, 30 days in jail, one year of SR-22 requirements, and other penalties that escalate with each offense.

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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: Jan 21, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • North Dakota drivers can pay for a surety bond or CD in lieu of insurance
  • North Dakota drivers face up to 30 days in jail for driving without insurance
  • Fines for driving without insurance are as much as $5,000

Insurance is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and your family if you are involved in a car accident, which is why so many drivers spend time shopping around for the best policy.

It’s important your car insurance policy not only fits into the budget but that it also protects you in the most vulnerable time of your life.

Without car insurance, your family faces devastating financial blows if you are involved in an accident. North Dakota lawmakers understand the potential financial impact on families without insurance, which is why carrying insurance is a state requirement.

If you do not have an insurance policy for your vehicle in North Dakota you face fines and penalties. Car insurance requirements are strict, and you must have at least the minimum amount of coverage.

For some drivers, paying just the minimum is acceptable. Other drivers who finance their cars or lease their vehicles haven’t the option to pay for only the minimum. Check with your lender to find out what kind of coverage your policy must include.

Compare car insurance quotes for free today by using our rate comparison tool above.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in North Dakota

A Class B Misdemeanor is a serious charge in North Dakota, and that’s precisely what you face if you choose to drive without car insurance.

Whether you cancel your policy once you make that final car payment, allow your policy to lapse due to lack of payment, or simply forget to call and buy a policy when you buy a car, you’re breaking the law. This means you face fines and penalties for your crimes.

First Offense

The first time you are caught driving without car insurance, you are required to pay fines between $150 and $1,000. You won’t go to jail for your crime, but you will lose your license due to suspension.

Your license is suspended indefinitely. The only way to reinstate your license is to prove you have an insurance policy and pay a $50 reinstatement fee. You must provide a form SR-22 every month for one year to the state to prove your insurance policy is still valid.

The only other fees for first-time offenders include a $10 fee for taking your driving test again and $20 in court fees.

Second Offense

If you are caught a second time driving without insurance in the 12 months following your first offense, the penalties are much more severe:

  • Fines increase from the amount you paid the first time. Now you’re paying anywhere from $300 to $5,000 for your crime.
  • You spend 30 days in the local jail
  • You lose the plates from the back of your car
  • Your license is indefinitely suspended and you can get it back by purchasing and proving you have insurance, paying the $50 reinstatement fee, and providing form SR-22 every month for one year

The same driving test and court fees apply to each subsequent offense, too.

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Car Insurance Requirements in North Dakota

No one wants to pay thousands of dollars in fines, retake the driving test, or face time in jail. All you must do to avoid this is buy insurance for your vehicles.

Each car registered in your name must carry the state minimums, which includes bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage.

You must have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident worth of bodily injury protection. Your property damage coverage must be at least $25,000, and your personal injury protection coverage must be worth at least $30,000 per person.

Your uninsured motorist coverage must be worth $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If you don’t meet these requirements, your insurance policy is invalid.

Car Insurance Alternatives in North Dakota

If you choose not to purchase a car insurance policy in North Dakota, you do have a few additional options. You can forgo your policies if you choose to pay for a surety bond or a certificate of deposit with the Bank of North Dakota. These are acceptable alternatives statewide.

The requirements for a surety bond must be met.

You can purchase this bond with any company that offers it, but it must include the stipulation that you will reimburse the surety company any amount of money they pay out in case of an accident caused by you in your vehicle.

This bond is designed to pay medical bills, repairs, and even damages to the other driver if they make the decision to sue and you are the at-fault driver. You must repay the money they provide.

The Bank of North Dakota offers certificates of deposit (CDs) in the amount of $25,000. If you can afford to pay for one, you can go without car insurance.

All you need is proof of your CD to provide in case of an accident, and the money in the account is used to cover the cost of damages, medical bills, and repairs. The CD must be purchased through the Bank of North Dakota.

Protecting Yourself, Your Car, and Your Finances in North Dakota

If you own your car outright, you can pay for only the minimum coverage. If you finance or lease a vehicle, the company with which you finance does require you carry full coverage.

Your lender checks your insurance each month, and they will issue a policy in your name for the vehicle if you fail to provide your own. It won’t be affordable.

The best way to protect yourself, your car, and your finances is to shop around for the best policy. Know what kind of coverage you need, and find a company with the best rates.

Ask for discounts that apply to you, check your credit to ensure there are no mistakes on your report that lower your score, and start shopping for new rates. If you have good credit, a clean driving record, and a safe car, you will get the best quotes.

Compare rates using our free tool below. You might be surprised by how much you could save on the coverage you need.

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