How does my suspended license affect auto insurance?

Car insurance with a suspended license will likely have higher rates. Some companies may not want to cover you with a suspended license, but it is possible to find coverage. Read on to learn more about your options.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 13, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Having your driver’s license suspended can affect insurance rates and coverage 
  • Some exceptions might still allow you to drive 
  • In many cases, having a suspended license won’t result in losing insurance coverage, but the decision is up to your insurance company

Having your driver’s license can severely disrupt your life, and it’s natural to wonder, “How does license suspension affect insurance?” While you can get auto insurance with a suspended license, it may be harder than before the suspension. It’s also important to understand the exceptions that can make it possible for you to still do some driving even if your license is suspended. Read on to learn more.

Will a suspended license affect auto insurance?

In some cases, it may be hard to get insurance if your license has been suspended, particularly if the suspension is the result of multiple at-fault accidents, driving under the influence, or other behaviors that make insurers feel you’re a risky driver. Also, there’s a chance your current insurer may cancel your policy because they feel you’re an unsafe driver and too much of a liability to cover. 

However, if you already have auto insurance when your license is suspended, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose it automatically. It’s up to your insurer’s discretion, and it’s very common for insurers to keep you as a customer even if you have a suspended license. It’s important to note, though, that in most cases you can’t drive with a suspended license, regardless of whether you still have insurance.

This table shows you the penalties for each state for driving without auto insurance. Use the search box to find your state.

Penalties by State for Driving Uninsured
StateFirst Offense Driving Uninsured
AlabamaFine: Up to $500; registration suspension with $200 reinstatement fee
AlaskaLicense suspension for 90 days
ArizonaFine: $500 (or more); license/registration/license plate suspension for three months
ArkansasFine: $50 to $250; suspended registration/no plates until proof of coverage plus $20 reinstatement fee; court may order impoundment
CaliforniaFine: $100-$200 plus penalty assessments. Court may order impoundment
ColoradoFine: $500 minimum fine; 4 points against your license; license suspension until you can show proof to the DMV that you are insured. Courts may add up to 40 hours community service
ConnecticutFine: $100-$1000; suspended registration/license for one month (show proof of insurance) with $175 reinstatement fee
DelawareFine: $1500 minimum fine; license/privilege suspension for six months
FloridaSuspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $150 fee for first reinstatement
GeorgiaSuspended registration with $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee. Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes due
HawaiiFine: $500 fine or community service granted by judge. Either license suspension for three months or a required nonrefundable insurance policy in force for six months
IdahoFine: $75; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.
IllinoisFine: minimum of $500; License plate suspension until $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proof
IndianaLicense/registration suspension for 90 days to one year
IowaFine: $500 if in accident; Otherwise, fine: $250; community service in lieu of fine. Possible citation/warning if pulled over plus removal of plates and registration possible when pulled over without insurance and reissued upon payment of fine or completed community service, proof of insurance, and $15 fee; possible impoundment when pulled over
KansasFine: $300 to $1000 and/or confinement in jail up to six months; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $100
KentuckyFine: $500 to $1000 fine and/or sentenced up to 90 days in jail; license plates and registration revoked for one year or until proof of insurance is shown
LouisianaFine: $500 to $1000; If in car accident, fine plus registration revoked and driving privileges suspended for 180 days
MaineFine: $100 to $500; suspension of license and registration until proof of insurance
MarylandLose license plates and vehicle registration privileges; pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance — $150 for the first 30 days, $7 for each day thereafter; Pay a restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle's registration
MassachusettsFine: $500 to $5000 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or less
MichiganFine: $200 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or less; license suspension for 30 days or until proof of insurance; $25 service fee to Secretary of State
MinnesotaFine: $200 to $1000 (or community service) and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days; License and registration revoked for no more than 12 months
MississippiFine: $1000; driving privileges suspended for one year or until proof of insurance
MissouriFour points against driving record; driver may be supervised; suspended until proof of insurance with $20 reinstatement fee
MontanaFine: $250 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 days
NebraskaLicense and registration suspension; reinstatement fee of $50 for each; proof of insurance to remain on file for three years
NevadaFine: $250 to $1,000 depending on length of lapse; registration suspension — until payment of reinstatement fee and, depending on circumstances, an SR-22 (proof of financial responsiblity) if lapsed more than 90 days; reinstatement fee: $250
New HampshireNot a mandatory insurance state. Proof of insurance may be required as the result of a conviction, crash involvement, or administrative action. If you are required to file proof of insurance and vehicles are registered in your name, you will be required to file an Owner’s SR-22 Certificate of Insurance.
New JerseyFine: $300 to $1000; license suspension for one year; pay surcharges for three years in the amount of $250 per year
New MexicoFine: up to $300 and/or imprisoned for 90 days; license suspension
New YorkFine: up to $1500 if involved in accident plus $750 civil penalty; license and registration suspension – revoked for one year; suspension of license if without
insurance for 90 days; suspension lasts as long as registration suspension; Suspension of registration: equal to time without insurance or pays $8/day up to thirty days for which financial security was not in effect, $10/day from the thirty-first to the sixtieth day $12/day from the sixtieth to the ninetieth day and proof of security is provided. Or for the same time as the vehicle was operated without insurance.
North CarolinaFine: $50; registration suspension until proof of financial responsibility but 30-day suspension if in car accident or knowingly driving without insurance; $50 restoration fee plus license plate fee
North DakotaFine: up to $1500 and/or 30 days in prison; 14 points against license plus suspension; Proof of insurance must be provided for one year; license with a
notation requiring that person keep proof of liability insurance on file with the department. The fee for this license is $50, and the fee to remove
this notation is $50.
OhioLicense/plates/registration suspension until requirements are met and $100 reinstatement fee is paid; maintain special high-risk coverage on file with the BMV for three to five years; If involved in accident without insurance: all above penalties and a security suspension for two plus years and an indefinite judgment suspension (until all damages are satisfied)
OklahomaFine: $250; jail time up to 30 days; license suspension with $275 reinstatement fee. Police can seize license plates and assign temporary plates and liability insurance — in effect for 10 days and can also impound the vehicle. The cost of the temporary coverage is added to the administrative fee and any fines paid for plates to be returned. If car impounded, owner must also pay towing and storage fees.
OregonFine: $130-$1000 ($260 is the presumptive fine); If involved in accident — at least a one year license suspension; proof of financial responsibility required for three years
PennsylvaniaRegistration suspended for three months (unless lapse was for less than 31 days and vehicle not operated during that time); $88 restoration fee plus proof of insurance required to get it back; $500 civil penalty fee is optional in lieu of registration suspension plus $88 restoration fee — can only use this option once within a 12-month period
Rhode IslandFine: $100 to $500; license and registration suspension up to three months; reinstatement fee: $30 to $50
South CarolinaFine: $100-$200 or 30-day imprisonment; failure to surrender registration and plates when insurance lapses; license/registration suspended until proof of insurance plus $200 reinstatement fee
South DakotaFine: $100 and/or 30 days imprisonment; license suspension for 30 days to one year; filing proof of insurance (SR-22) with the state for three years from date of conviction. Failure to file proof will result in suspension of vehicle registration, license plates, and driver license.
TennesseePay $25 coverage failure fee within 30 days of notice; if not paid, then an additional $100 coverage failure fee with suspension or revocation of registration plus reinstatement fee of no more than $25
TexasFine: $175 to $350 fine; plus, pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements)
UtahFine: $400; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement fee
VermontFine: up to $500; license suspended until proof of insurance
VirginiaFine: may pay $500 Uninsured Motorists Vehicle fee to drive without insurance at your own risk. If this fee is not paid in lieu of insurance, all driving and vehicle registration privileges will be suspended until a $500 statutory fee is paid, proof of insurance is filed for three years, and a reinstatement fee (if applicable) is paid
WashingtonFine: Up to $250 or more
West VirginiaFine: $200 to $5000; license suspended for 30 days with reinstatement fees, unless there's proof of insurance and $200 penalty fee
WisconsinFine: up to $500
WyomingFine: up to $750 fine and up to six months in jail
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The penalties are stiff and mean that driving without insurance is simply not an option.

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Will a suspended license make my insurance rates go up?

In many cases, if your license gets suspended, your insurance rates may go up. Typically, a license suspension is due to risky driving behavior. Raising your rates is the insurer’s way of reducing the risk of covering you and other drivers that may be more likely to get into accidents in the future. Finding cheap high-risk auto insurance isn’t easy, so if your license was suspended for reckless behavior, it will be difficult to find good rates.

If you choose to drive with a suspended license, this may also affect your auto insurance. Like other risky behaviors, this can give them the right to either raise your rates or cancel your coverage. The decision may vary from one insurer to another, so it’s best to ask your provider directly.

Let’s look at how your driving record affects your auto insurance rates. Just one ticket raises your rates substantially. A suspended license will raise them even more.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Based on Driving History
Insurance CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One AccidentAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding ViolationAverage Annual Rates with One DUI
Allstate$3,819.90$4,987.68$4,483.51$6,260.73
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$3,025.74$4,330.24
Farmers$3,460.60$4,518.73$4,079.01$4,718.75
GEICO$2,145.96$3,192.77$2,645.43$4,875.87
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$5,701.26$7,613.48
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,396.95$3,113.68$4,543.20
Progressive$3,393.09$4,777.04$4,002.28$3,969.65
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,186.01$3,636.80
Travelers$3,447.69$4,289.74$4,260.80$5,741.40
USAA$1,933.68$2,516.24$2,193.25$3,506.03
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Why do licenses get suspended?

While the details may vary from state to state, there are basic reasons why the authorities might suspend your driver’s license.

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
  • Unpaid traffic tickets or an excess of points
  • Reckless driving charges
  • A lapse in auto insurance

Suspension may be definite (with an end date) or indefinite (requiring a payment, action, or another qualifying factor). This is different from your license being revoked in that it’s temporary.

What exceptions are there to a suspended license? 

While the courts realize that while the law sometimes requires a person’s driver’s license to be suspended, the day-to-day reality of not having a driver’s license can have a catastrophic impact on their livelihood and family. It can seriously limit your ability to perform essential activities such as work, school, shopping, and necessary errands.

Because of this, the courts sometimes grant exceptions for drivers with suspended licenses. This would allow you a measure of relief from the suspension so you can drive for essential activities. 

  • A hardship license- Also called a restricted license, if your license has been suspended, a hardship license allows you to drive a limited distance. That way, you can take care of family or personal obligations within that distance.
  • Work or school exception- Rather than limiting the distance, as with a hardship license, this exception allows you to drive to and from work or school. If you’re caught driving for any other reason, the exception would likely be withdrawn.
  • Medical exception- If you or a member of your family has a health condition that requires periodic medical appointments, surgery, or therapy, the court may provide an exception to allow driving for those purposes. Again, if you’re caught driving for other purposes. the court would likely cancel the exception.

Because these exceptions require you to be insured, some insurance companies will provide you with coverage appropriate to your specific suspension and exceptions. For example, if your current policy does not provide coverage, or if you need to purchase new insurance, you may be able to get high-risk insurance for the period of your suspension.

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Getting Car Insurance After Your License is Suspended

If your license is suspended, you do not have a valid driver’s license and therefore cannot buy insurance. But your existing policy likely won’t be canceled, and if the court allows exceptions, you may still qualify for some degree of coverage. Even if your insurance company allows you to keep the policy without a hardship license or similar exception, you won’t be listed as a covered driver. 

It’s best to avoid suspension entirely. However, if your license is suspended, talk to the court about possible exceptions. You can also talk to your insurance provider to ensure that your coverage is suitable and doesn’t lapse.

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