Driving Without Valid / Sufficient Insurance
In every state, drivers are required to demonstrate the ability to pay up to a certain amount to cover their liability if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. These laws are sometimes called "financial responsibility" laws; while not all states specifically require that drivers carry liability insurance from an insurance company, they all require some form of proof of financial responsibility.
In states that do not specifically require motor vehicle drivers to show proof of liability insurance in order to comply with "financial responsibility" laws, other acceptable forms of proving responsibility include:
- Self-insurance certification
- Certificates of deposit
- Surety bonds
Laws in most states differentiate between driving a vehicle that is not insured (or without adequate financial responsibility), and driving a vehicle without proof that the vehicle is insured (i.e. when a driver of a properly insured vehicle fails to carry proof of a valid insurance policy).
Sufficient Insurance: State Laws
Below, you will find a list of all 50 states, along with links to each financial responsibility law. Following the chart is a list of penalties that may be imposed if you fail to abide by the laws in your state.
Across all states and D.C., penalties for a first-time offense for driving without insurance range from the imposition of a $100 fine to a one-year driver's license suspension. While penalties for driving without insurance vary from state to state, these are some of the other most common penalties:
- Having your driver's license suspended.
- Having your vehicle registration suspended.
- Receiving a traffic ticket for a no-insurance violation.
- Requiring you to file an official document (called an SR-22 form) confirming that you have at least the minimum insurance coverage required by your state. Some states might impose this only if you cause an accident while driving without insurance; others may impose it simply for driving uninsured.
Legal Advice on Financial Responsibility Laws
Penalties for driving without enough car insurance can be steep. Each state has its own set of penalties, so check with your state's DMV for details and speak with a local traffic ticket lawyer to learn more.