How do I check when my auto insurance is due?

Auto insurance premiums are usually due once every six months or once each year. The best way to check on your auto insurance expiration date is to contact your provider or agent.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

Full Bio →

Written by

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...

Full Bio →

Reviewed byDaniel Walker
Licensed Insurance Agenthttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/aiorg-live/d98a9f52-daniel-walker.png

UPDATED: May 21, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Managing your car insurance policy online or with an app can help determine when premiums need to be paid
  • The auto insurance expiration date is either once every six months or once every year
  • When the policy is up for renewal, the company will review information on the policy and assess the risk to calculate new premiums based on the company’s most current rate filing
  • If you have a grace period, your coverage will typically stay active for up to 30 days after the payment due date has passed

When you buy auto insurance, your insurance carrier will bill you in advance for the coverage that it provides. As long as you pay your premiums on time, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your coverage protects you.

Unfortunately, paying a few days late could end up in policy termination. If you’re not sure of when your car insurance is due, we’ve gathered what you need to know.

When your policy is coming to an end, It’s a great time to start comparison shopping to make sure you have the right coverage at the right price. Enter your ZIP code in our FREE tool to get started today!

Policy Expiration

Each policy is only good for so long. Generally, auto insurance policies last for six or 12 months. The length of the policy will depend on the insurer. If you don’t renew your policy or change companies before your policy expires, it can lead to fines, damages not being covered, and higher rates when you do get another policy.

How can I check my auto insurance expiry date?

There are many different ways to find out when your policy expires. Some of the easiest ones are:

  • Check the paper insurance cards in your vehicle
  • Check the policy itself
  • Call your agent
  • Look online at your coverage

With so many ways to access your policy, you should know how to check if an insurance policy is valid.

Knowing how to find your car insurance policy number online will save you time. It will also lead you to all of your policy details, including the expiration date.

What happens if my auto insurance expires?

Driving without insurance is not a reasonable option. When it comes to the government, car insurance is a requirement. Most states require a driver to carry insurance but the coverage amount varies by state.

Most law enforcement can check if a car is insured by plate number and know how to find out if a vehicle has insurance. There are stiff penalties for driving uninsured.

Let’s look at just what happens if you drive with no auto insurance. Use the search box below to find your state.

Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance
STATEFIRST OFFENSESECOND OFFENSE
AlabamaFine: Up to $500; registration suspension with $200 reinstatement feeFine: Up to $1,000 and/or six-month license suspension; $400 reinstatement fee with four-month registration suspension
AlaskaLicense suspension for 90 daysLicense suspension for one year
ArizonaFine: $500 (or more); license/registration/license plate suspension for three monthsFine: $750 (or more within 36 months); license/registration/license plate suspension for six months
ArkansasFine: $50 to $250; suspended registration/no plates until proof of coverage plus $20 reinstatement fee; court may order impoundmentFine: $250 to $500 fine — minimum fine mandatory; 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 impoundmentFine: $200-$500 within three years 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$1,000 minimum fine and license suspension for 4 months; 4 points against your license. 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 feeFine: $100-$1000; suspended registration/license for six months (show proof of insurance) with $175 reinstatement fee
DelawareFine: $1500 minimum fine; license/privilege suspension for six monthsFine: $3000 minimum fine within three years; 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 reinstatementSuspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $250 fee for second reinstatement
GeorgiaSuspended registration with $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee. Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes dueWithin a 5 years: Suspended 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 monthsFine: $1500 minimum fine within five years; either license suspension for one year or a required non-refundable insurance policy in force for six months
IdahoFine: $75; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.Fine: $1000 maximum fine within five years and/or no more than six months in jail; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.
IllinoisLicense plate suspension until $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proofLicense plate suspension for four months; $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proof
IndianaLicense/registration suspension for 90 days to one yearWithin three years: license/registration suspension for 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 overN/A
KansasFine: $300 to $1000 and/or confinement in jail up to six months; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $100Fine: $800 to $2500 within three years; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $300 if revoked within previous year, otherwise $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 shownWithin five years: 180 days in jail and/or $1000 to $2500; 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 daysN/A
MaineFine: $100 to $500; suspension of license and registration until proof of insuranceN/A
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 registrationN/A
MassachusettsFine: $500 to $5000 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or lessWithin six years: License/driving privileges suspended for one year
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 StateN/A
MinnesotaFine: $200 to $1000 (or community service) and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days; License and registration revoked for no more than 12 monthsN/A
MississippiFine: $1000; driving privileges suspended for one year or until proof of insuranceN/A
MissouriFour points against driving record; driver may be supervised; suspended until proof of insurance with $20 reinstatement feeFour points against driving record; driver may be supervised; suspended for 90 days with $200 reinstatement fee
MontanaFine: $250 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 daysFine: $350 and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 days — within 5 years; license and registration revoked until proof of insurance and payment of reinstatement fees within 90 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: $250Fine: $500 to $1000 depending on length of lapse; registration suspension — until payment of reinstatement fee and, depending on circumstances, SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility) if lapsed more than 90 days; Reinstatement fee: $500
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.N/A
New JerseyFine: $300 to $1000; license suspension for one year; pay surcharges for three years in the amount of $250 per yearFine: up to $5000; two-year license suspension; 14-day, mandatory jail term, and an additional mandatory 30 days of community service
New MexicoFine: up to $300 and/or imprisoned for 90 days; license suspensionN/A
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.N/A
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 feeFine: $100 within three years; 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.Fine: up to $1500 and/or 30 days in prison; 14 points against license plus suspension; license plates impounded until proof of insurance (provided for one year) plus $20 reinstatement fee; 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)License/plates/registration suspension for one year; $300 reinstatement fee; maintain special high-risk coverage on file with the BMV for three or 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.N/A
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 yearsN/A
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 periodN/A
Rhode IslandFine: $100 to $500; license and registration suspension up to three months; reinstatement fee: $30 to $50Fine: $500; license and registration suspension up to six 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 feeFine: $200 and/or 30-day imprisonment — within 10 years; 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.N/A
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 $25N/A
TexasFine: $175 to $350 fine; plus, pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements)Fine: $350 to $1000; pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements); suspend the driver's license and vehicle registrations of the person unless the person files and maintains evidence of financial responsibility with the department until the second anniversary of the date of the subsequent conviction; Impoundment: for 180 days and cannot apply for release of car without evidence of financial responsibility and impoundment fee of $15/day.
UtahFine: $400; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement feeFine: $1000 — with three years; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement fee
VermontFine: up to $500; license suspended until proof of insuranceN/A
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 paidN/A
WashingtonFine: Up to $250 or moreN/A
West VirginiaFine: $200 to $5000; license suspended for 30 days with reinstatement fees, unless there's proof of insurance and $200 penalty feeFine: $200-$5000 fine and/or 15 days to one year in jail — within five years; license suspended for 90 days and registration revoked until proof of insurance
WisconsinFine: up to $500N/A
WyomingFine: up to $750 fine and up to six months in jailN/A
Get Your Rates Quote Now

In addition to any damages caused in an accident, these penalties are tough. Not keeping your auto insurance up to date can cost you big money.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Understanding Your Auto Insurance Contract

Your car insurance contract determines exactly what is covered in the event of an accident. It is very important that you understand what is in it so that you don’t expect coverage that you don’t have.

What is my auto insurance contract?

Your contract is an agreement with your auto insurance carrier that tells you specifically what is covered, at what rate, and for how long. Your insurance company is legally obligated to fulfill whatever is in the contract.

One of the most important pieces of your contract is the insurance coverage that you are choosing. This will determine what your insurance company is responsible for.

This video explains the basic coverages that are available.

Each company offers different coverages at different policies. It’s important that you get quotes from multiple companies to get the very best coverage at the cheapest rate.

What information is in my auto insurance contract?

Your contract will tell you how to use your coverage. Exactly what coverage you have available to you, any discounts added to your account, the cost of the coverage, and when your policy expires will be listed in the contract.

Anything not listed in the contract is not covered. For example, if you choose liability-only coverage, the damages to your car from an accident you caused wouldn’t be covered.

The amount of money that you must pay is dependent on your risk class and how much you are billed for the new policy term. Your auto insurance rates will vary based on a lot of factors. One of the biggest is the type of coverage that you choose.

This table breaks down average annual rates by coverage type for some of the best-rated companies.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates By Coverage Type
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates for High CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates for Medium Coverage
Allstate$5,139.02$4,628.03$4,896.81
American Family$3,416.40$3,368.49$3,544.37
Farmers$4,494.13$3,922.47$4,166.22
GEICO$3,429.14$3,001.91$3,213.97
Liberty Mutual$6,356.04$5,805.75$6,058.57
Nationwide$3,505.37$3,394.83$3,449.80
Progressive$4,350.96$3,737.13$4,018.46
State Farm$3,454.80$3,055.40$3,269.80
Travelers$4,619.07$4,223.63$4,462.02
USAA$2,667.92$2,404.11$2,539.87
Get Your Rates Quote Now

You can see that higher coverage equals higher rates. But your risk is less since more possibilities are covered. That’s why it is extremely important to fully understand what is and is not covered in your policy.

What is an auto insurance term?

Auto insurance policies are sold in terms. The term is how long the contract is valid after you sign up for insurance and you select an effective date. Each company will control the length of the term offered.

How long are auto insurance terms?

In most states, you’re free to buy either a six-month policy or a 12-month policy. The longer the policy term, the longer the rates are locked in.

When your term comes up for expiration, your insurance company will underwrite your policy and determine how much your renewal premiums will be.

Companies can either decide to extend a renewal offer or set the policy up for non-renewal. Either way, you will receive a notice in the mail between 30 and 45 days in advance explaining the company’s decision.

How can I access my auto insurance contract?

There are several ways to get your auto contract:

  • You should get a paper copy when you sign
  • Many companies allow you to access your account and policy online
  • Some companies even have an app that allows you quick access as needed. You can also pay your bill and add coverage.

With so many ways to access your policy, you should always know what’s in your policy and when it ends.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Policy Payment Options

Most companies offer you several different payment options. You will generally have the option of paying the whole thing upfront or paying in installments.

Do I have to pay the full term amount upfront?

When you apply for insurance for the first time with a carrier, you can pay your premiums in full and you won’t have a payment until the end of the term. If you pay your premiums in full, your next payment won’t be due until your renewal date

The only exception is if your premiums change after the application has been underwritten and issued. If you’re misquoted, you will receive a bill for the balance due.

Will companies set up a payment installment plan?

In the past, insurance companies only accepted full payments. Now, most companies offer their customers the option to set up a payment plan so that they can pay a portion of the premiums instead of the entire balance.

If you set up a payment plan, you need to keep up with your due dates so that your policy doesn’t cancel for non-payment.

So, what payment plan options are available? There are a few different options to choose from if you’re setting up a payment plan. It’s important to choose the option that you can afford, but don’t forget to ask about installment fees. If the carrier charges a high fee, try to keep the installments to a minimum.

Common alternatives to paying in full include:

  • Semi-annual – Pay every six months on an annual policy
  • Quarterly – Pay once every three months
  • Monthly – Pay an installment on the same day each month (manual payments or EFT payments)
  • Five Pay Plan – Pay two months down and then four monthly installments

If you set up an installment payment plan, you can often request that your payments be due every month, every quarter, or another schedule that works for you both.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens if I miss a payment?

When you first buy auto insurance, it’s easy to keep track of when your premium payments are due. After you’ve been with a carrier for several terms, you can easily start to confuse due dates and expiration dates.

If you don’t know when your payment is due and you miss a payment, your coverage will be terminated for non-payment. If the policy cancels and you have a loss, the insurance company won’t pay for the claim.

If you want to reinstate the policy, you have to pay what’s due plus a fee. If your car insurance expired, there will still be a gap in coverage that you must account for with the state.

When you are looking for coverage, companies can run a car insurance history report. This report will check vehicle insurance history to show if you have lapsed coverage or didn’t make your payments. This can lead to higher rates.

Do auto insurance companies off grace periods for payments?

Many car insurance policies offer grace periods. A grace period is the amount of time that you have to pay your premiums after the due date without your coverage being terminated.

Before you rely on a grace period, you need to find out how many days you have to make a payment. Most grace periods are between one day and 30 days.

Check your last premium invoice to see when your payment is due. If you’ve paid in full, check your ID cards to see when your term expires.

 

Since rates change often, the end of your policy is the perfect time to consider shopping around. To compare premiums, use our FREE online rate tool and request instant quotes today. Enter your ZIP code now to get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected some of the most commonly asked questions and answered them for you.

When should I cancel my auto insurance based on the payment due date?

If you want your cancellation date to be the date your policy expires, you will want to talk to your insurance company. The company can ask for your cancellation notice in writing, but some companies will accept just a phone call. Your company will tell you how far in advance you need to give notice.

You can also cancel your policy before it expires. In that case, your company would usually refund any amount of your payment that wasn’t used.

How can I check if my insurance policy is valid?

If you have concerns, you can always call your insurance company. They will be able to tell you if your policy is up to date or if it has expired.

Can I check my auto insurance due date online?

Yes, depending on the company. Most larger companies will have a website that allows you to check your policy, make payments, and even make changes to your policy online.

Will my insurance renew automatically?

Many times, yes your policy will renew automatically. You should still get a notification that your policy is about to expire and that the company chooses to renew it. This is a great time to compare rates to make sure you are getting the best deal around.

How does the insurance company determine my due date?

Typically, the due date is set by the terms and payment plan you agree on. For example, if you choose a one year term and pay in full at the start, you would not have another due date until the following year.

 

FREE Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption