Policeman writes a ticket for a car he pulled over.

—Your friends at Direct Auto & Life Insurance want you to know that Mississippi police officers have the electronic ability to spot uninsured motorists to get them off the road, and as of April 13, 2018, the penalty for not having insurance has been increased from a civil violation to a criminal offense.

Authorities began to enforce the use of a statewide electronic insurance verification program in September of 2017 to instantly check whether someone has car insurance using the vehicle’s VIN number.1 Other states such as Tennessee and Alabama, use similar programs to validate insurance. For example, both states penalize uninsured drivers who are unable to show proof of insurance when they try to renew their registration or are pulled over by police.

What are the required minimum Mississippi car insurance requirements, or the liability limits?

According to Mississippi law, drivers must have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for Bodily Injury Coverage, and $25,000 per accident in Property Damage. Learn more about Direct’s Minimum Limits HERE.

Why is Mississippi looking to crack down on uninsured drivers?

The state estimated that 25-30% of drivers are currently uninsured, which is one of the highest rates in the country!  More uninsured drivers mean there are higher rates of insurance for those who do follow the law and buy insurance.  In some cases, someone with insurance may have to pay for the accident out of their own pocket if they don’t have the right coverage. An unfair disadvantage to those who pay for insurance, the state is looking into enforce the rules.

What are the consequences for driving without insurance?

  1. It’s against the law and uninsured drivers could lose their right to drive (have their driver’s license taken away), ability to own a vehicle, face jail time, or more.
  2. The cost of a car accident could be more than actually paying for car insurance itself.
  3. Both uninsured and insured drivers could incur higher insurance premiums.

What does this mean for motorists who are driving without insurance?

Law enforcement is now able to electronically verify your insurance status in real time, making it easier and quicker for them to enforce the law. Individuals who are caught driving uninsured in Mississippi may face criminal charges.

What are the current penalties for driving without proof of insurance in Mississippi? 2

  • A Criminal Record: As of April 13, 2018, driving uninsured is now a misdemeanor crime
  • Fine:  $100 fine
  • Additional Fees: You could be assessed up to $400 in addition to the $100 fine
  • Driver’s License Suspension:  1 year or until you can show proof of liability insurance, and payment of all fines, assessments and driver license reinstatement fees.
  •  (April 2018).

Is Driving Without Insurance a Civil Violation or a Criminal Offense?

Until April 13, 2018, driving without insurance was considered a civil offense. The change in Mississippi’s law, specifically to the Mississippi Code of 1972, made it a criminal offense to drive without liability insurance. Therefore, to avoid heftier penalties, it is strongly recommended to not only buy mandatory insurance, but also to ensure you can always show proof of insurance, or your insurance card, when driving.

How can drivers make sure they are abiding by the Mississippi law? How can drivers show proof of insurance if they’ve misplaced their insurance card?

First and foremost, drivers should maintain proof of coverage at all times. Drivers who are insured through Direct Auto & Life Insurance have digital access to their temporary insurance ID card 24/7, with the option to print or access it through our MyAccount page on our website. Also, the coverage should be at least the minimum required coverage in Mississippi. To learn more about how to use MyAccount check out Your Guide to MyAccount in our learning center guide or our infographic Reintroducing MyAccount!

Where can drivers get affordable car insurance today?

Direct Auto & Life Insurance makes car insurance affordable and available for everyone. Our minimum limits start at just $29 a month in Mississippi. Minimum Limits only protects the other driver in an accident. For protection from additional unexpected costs from the accident, drivers may want to consider more coverage. Either way, Direct can help find the right coverage for anyone! Call 1-877-463-4732 and let us help you decide the best choice for your auto insurance needs. At Direct Auto & Life Insurance, you get a low rate, flexible payment plans and the great services you want, regardless of your insurance history.

Direct Auto & Life Insurance’s Learning Center can help answer any questions you have about the insurance requirements in your state. For more information, Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) to speak to one of our licensed agents or visit one of our local stores.

Related Information:

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TN Joins Growing Number of States Enforcing Stricter Insurance Laws, Will Tow Uninsured Drivers on the Spot

Insurance 101: What Exactly Does Liability Car Insurance Cover?

 

1 MS Criminal Information Center

2 Lexis Nexis

3 http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/uninsured-motorists

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