You may think that since you’re a safe driver, you can drive without insurance. Maybe you’ve never even been pulled over for a ticket, or perhaps you only drive a few miles a week. No matter the reason, driving without car insurance or proof that you’ve met your state’s financial responsibility requirements is illegal – and you could end up paying a hefty price if caught. Before you choose to drive without car insurance, you should research the risks. While penalties will vary by state, these are a few of the most common penalties as reported by the Consumer Federation of America.
Common Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
- Your driver’s license and vehicle registration could be suspended, meaning you can’t legally drive during your suspension period. If this happened, how would you get to work? It could cost anywhere from $10 to $200 to have your driver’s license reinstated, but you should consult your state’s DMV for a more accurate estimate.
- You could be required to certify your insurance with an SR22, meaning you have to submit proof to the state that you’ve met certain insurance requirements. While there’s no single set cost associated with an SR22 certification:
- There is often a fee associated with the SR22 certification;
- You’ll likely experience an increase in your car insurance premium;
- In some states you will have to pay your premium in full (in other words, you won’t be eligible for an installment pay plan);
- You may even find that your insurance company will not renew your insurance if it does not write SR22 policies;
- And you may not be accepted by all insurance companies.
- You could have to pay for a traffic ticket for a no insurance violation, in addition to the ticket costs for the reason you were initially pulled over.
- You could spend time in jail, have your license plate confiscated, or your vehicle impounded depending on where you live, reports the Insurance Information Institute.
Getting into a Car Accident as an Uninsured Driver
Car accidents can be stressful affairs, whether you’re an insured driver or an uninsured driver. If you’re the only driver and car involved in an accident, you’ll obviously have to pay for your own medical expenses and vehicle repairs out of your own pocket as an uninsured driver. If you cause damage to another person’s vehicle or cause them injury, though, you would be held liable for those costs. And without insurance, those costs can be steep.
The Bottom Line
You might think that you’re saving money by skipping out on car insurance, but in the long-term, it could cost you. Whether you’re in a minor fender bender or are pulled over for speeding, once you’re caught driving without insurance you could face many penalties, including costly fines, difficulty getting insurance, a suspended license, or even jail time. If your insurance company is willing to actively work with you to keep your rates low and also offers customized payment plans, why risk being an uninsured driver?
It’s time to see just how affordable car insurance can be; go ahead, get your free quote today.
For a more detailed overview of the penalties for driving without insurance in your state, consult your local DMV and the Consumer Federation’s “Penalties for Driving without Auto Insurance by State.”