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Penalties by State for Driving Without Insurance

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Click here to view our interactive map with penalties for each state

Things to remember...
  • Each state has specific penalties for driving uninsured or without proper proof of financial responsibility
  • Fines for driving uninsured range anywhere from $75 to $5,000
  • There are ways to lessen or even have the charges dismissed against you
  • Getting caught driving without insurance could keep you from receiving affordable auto insurance rates in the future

In the United States, every state requires proof of financial responsibility for you to drive a car.

While most states require specific amounts and types of auto insurance coverage, there are three states — Arizona, New Hampshire, and Virginia — that will allow drivers like you to prove financial responsibility in other ways.

Regardless of where you live, each and every state has a minimum amount of required auto insurance.

Even in the three states mentioned above, purchasing your state’s minimum required auto insurance coverage is always a better option than choosing to drive uninsured and incur the full costs of any potential damages or injuries.

In addition to having minimum requirements for auto insurance, each state also has specific penalties for driving uninsured or without proper proof of financial responsibility. Depending on the state, these penalties may include:

  • Points against your driving record
  • Fines and reinstatement fees
  • License and/or registration suspensions
  • Car impoundment
  • Mandatory high-risk auto insurance coverage
  • Mandated community service
  • Jail time

Keep reading to discover the penalties you could receive, should you choose to drive without insurance where you live. Also, read through some of our tips for lessening these consequences.

If you don’t have auto insurance, don’t wait any longer. Enter your ZIP code now to compare quotes from several companies!

Penalties by State for Driving Without Insurance

Penalities for Driving Without Insurance

Click here to view our interactive map with penalties for each state

To offer detailed information on penalties, we’ve created an interactive graphic with potential penalties for every state if you are caught driving uninsured.

It is important to note that we have only included penalties for first and second offenses. Keep in mind that if you are found guilty of more than two offenses, you could face even severer penalties.

Fines for driving uninsured range anywhere from $75 to $5,000, depending on the offense and where you live. The states with the most expensive fines, up to $5,000, are:

  • Massachusettes
  • New Jersey
  • West Virginia

Twelve out of the 50 U.S. states do not penalize you with fines for driving uninsured. These states include:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee

Instead of issuing fines for driving without insurance, these states offer punishments that include:

  • Points against your driving record
  • Suspension of your license and/or registration
  • Fees for reinstatement of a license or registration
  • Mandatory SR-22 insurance

In Maryland, anyone caught driving uninsured is required to pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance: $150 for the first 30 days and then $7 for each day afterward.

It is also worth noting that if you get caught driving without insurance in Iowa, you can choose to participate in community service instead of paying the associated fees.

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Three Tips on Lessening the Consequences

After reading about the penalties you could face for driving uninsured, you may be wondering what your options are should you ever get caught driving without the proper coverage.

Believe it or not, there are ways to lessen or even have the charges dismissed against you for driving without insurance. However, this possibility will greatly depend on your state’s traffic code, your local law enforcement policies, and your unique situation. We recommend you seek legal advice.

#1 – Highlight Your Circumstances

AdobeStock_89662920-1600x1600Rather than disputing that an offense occurred, you may be able to argue that a specific circumstance existed in your case to excuse or justify the violation.

For instance, in Texas, the traffic code exempts vehicles — that are possessed solely for purposes of repair — from the insurance requirement.

Some states also provide exceptions for vintage cars that are not used for “regular transport.” If your vehicle fits this category, you may be able to lessen your penalties for driving uninsured.

#2 – Be Proactive

AdobeStock_49224633-1600x1600If you are caught driving uninsured, you may receive grace if you seek auto insurance coverage soon after.

Some states reward drivers who respond to a citation by quickly obtaining auto liability coverage. Even if your state does not react this way, it is possible that your local prosecuting office may have adopted this type of policy.

If you can show that you quickly corrected the problem and received the proper coverage, you may be eligible for a dismissal of or a reduction in fines and other penalties, which can lessen the eventual negative impact on your finances and your current and future insurance rates.

#3 – Mention that You Have the Proper Coverage

AdobeStock_40672072-1600x1600If you have always had auto insurance but simply forgot or misplaced your proof of coverage, you may be in luck! Many states and prosecuting offices will dismiss or reduce sentences upon verifying that you did have valid insurance at the time of your citation.

Make the Smart Choice

No matter where you live or what your circumstances are, driving without auto insurance is not a good idea.

Not only can driving uninsured negatively affect you in the present moment with all the possible penalties, but it can also potentially hurt your chances at receiving affordable auto insurance rates in the future.

If you are looking to insure yourself and your vehicle, compare at least three to four policies to find the best and most affordable auto insurance coverage!

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