Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance results in a fine of $100 to $5,000 depending on the state. State departments across the United States require drivers to carry liability car insurance—the minimum car insurance requirements. Driving without car insurance can lead to a suspended license, a revoked license, and prison time. Compare and shop around for cheap rates to avoid driving without auto insurance.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Driving Without Insurance Facts You Should Know

  • Driving without insurance is a misdemeanor in most states.
  • New Hampshire and Virginia are the only two states that don’t require drivers to carry auto insurance.
  • You can receive a fine of $100 to $5,000 depending on the state.
  • A gap in auto insurance coverage can increase your rates when you get an insurance policy.

Driving without insurance is one of the riskiest activities for a motorist in the United States. Drivers may find themselves paying a fine, getting their driver’s license revoked, or facing jail time when they drive without insurance. Penalties vary for each state. Therefore, driving without insurance in Texas, Florida, and Idaho carries different fines and various law enforcement responses.

In this guide, we’ll tell you what you can face if you’re caught driving without car insurance. You’ll also learn what minimum auto insurance coverages you need so you can avoid getting in trouble with the law and protect your finances.

Don’t get into a vehicle without insurance. Compare cheap auto insurance rates and avoid driving without insurance by entering your ZIP code in our FREE comparison tool!

What happens if you get caught driving without auto insurance?

If you’re caught driving without car insurance, several consequences can occur. Law enforcement officers will give a ticket for driving without insurance and tow your vehicle to an impound lot. In addition to your towed car, you’ll have to pay a fine to the impound lot and your local court.

The judge handling your case may reduce your fine if you show up to your court date with proof of an auto insurance policy. Excessive driving without insurance convictions may result in a prison sentence. Each state carries different consequences and fines. Read on to learn more.

How much is the fine for driving without auto insurance?

Driving without car insurance is likely followed by a fine and suspension of your driver’s license for 60 to 120 days. However, consequences vary by state. Let’s review the cost of driving without insurance convictions for each state.

Fines for Driving Without Auto Insurance by State
StatePenalty (Fines)Average Monthly Rate
with Failure to Show
Proof of Auto Insurance
Alabama$500-$1,000$138
Alaska$500$116
Arizona$500-$1,000$136
Arkansas$50-$250$163
California$100-$200$161
Colorado$500$153
Connecticut$100-$1,000$175
Delaware$1,500-$3,000$160
Florida$150-$500$213
Georgia$25-$185$168
Hawaii$500-$5,000$89
Idaho$75-$1,000$98
Illinois$500-$1,000$119
Indiana$250-$1,000$103
Iowa$250$97
Kansas$300-$2,500$150
Kentucky$500-$1,000$201
Louisiana$500-$1,000$228
Maine$100-$500$85
Maryland$1,000-$2,500$122
Massachusetts$500-$5,000$179
Michigan$200-$500$285
Minnesota$200-$3,000$112
Mississippi$1,000$146
Missouri$500$166
Montana$250-$500$148
Nebraska$50$127
Nevada$250-$1,000$171
New Jersey$300-$5,000$160
New Mexico$300-$1,000$124
New York$150-$1,500$142
North Carolina$50-$150$93
North Dakota$150-$5,000$125
Ohio$160-$660$101
Oklahoma$250$155
Oregon$130-$1,000$133
Pennsylvania$300$127
Rhode Island$100-$1,000$200
South Carolina$100-$550$135
South Dakota$100-$500$163
Tennessee$25-$300$148
Texas$175-$1,000$118
Utah$400-$1,000$114
Vermont$0-$500$105
Virginia$500$91
Washington$550-$1,000$136
West Virginia$200-$5,000$142
Wisconsin$510$109
Wyoming$250-$1,500$137
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Across the United States, a fine for driving without insurance is as low as $100 and as high as $5,000. It’s cheaper to get car insurance than taking a risk in some states. Even if the fine is less than what you pay per year for car insurance, the financial repercussions will cause long term effects on your driving record and future auto insurance policies.

Why is it illegal to drive without auto insurance?

When you have auto insurance, it shows that you’re providing financial responsibility for an accident that results in bodily injury and property damage. The cost of a car accident can be devastating to the at-fault driver and the driver who’s not at fault. Auto insurance reassures compensation to the people involved.

Choosing not to invest in car insurance risks massive financial losses and months of legal battles with one or more parties. Not having car insurance would make you responsible for medical bills, car repairs, and several other losses related to the accident.

Can your driver’s license be suspended or revoked for driving without auto insurance?

Absolutely. Motorists driving without car insurance can have their driver’s license suspended. First-time offenders may have their licenses suspended for 60 to 120 days. The conditions for getting your driver’s license reinstated may require you to get a car insurance policy. If you fail to get an auto insurance policy, your license can be revoked.

In some states, your registration and license plates are seized until you can get auto insurance. You won’t get either of these back until you get auto insurance.

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Consequences of Driving Without Auto Insurance

The longer you wait to get auto insurance, the harder your search for cheap auto insurance rates will be. Remaining uninsured hurts you and the other driver if you get into an accident. The law comes down hard on motorists and their driving privileges. Here’s a list of states and their penalties for driving without insurance.

Driving Without Insurance Penalties by State
StatesJail SentenceSuspended RegistrationDriver's License SuspensionConfiscate Driver's License PlatesVehicle ImpoundPoints on Driver's LicenseSR-22 Insurance Enrollment
Alabama-Yes-----
Alaska90 days-Yes---Yes, if in accident
Arizona-YesYes----
Arkansas-Yes-----
California----Yes--
ColoradoCommunity Service-Yes--Four points-
Connecticut90 daysYesYes----
Delaware-YesYesYes---
D.C.90 daysYes-Yes---
Florida-YesYesYes--Yes
Georgia1 yearYesYes---Yes
Hawaii--Yes---Yes
Idaho--Yes---Yes
Illinois-YesYes----
Indiana--Yes---Yes
Iowa---YesYes--
Kansas6 monthsYesYes----
Kentucky90 daysYesYes----
Louisiana30 days--YesYes--
Maine-YesYes---Yes
Maryland6 monthsYes-Yes-Five points-
Massachusetts1 year-Yes----
Michigan1 year-Yes----
Minnesota90 daysYesYes-Yes--
Mississippi--Yes----
Missouri15 daysYesYes--Four points-
Montana10 days------
Nebraska6 monthsYesYes---Yes
Nevada-YesYesYesYes-Yes
New Hampshire-YesYes---Yes
New JerseyCommunity Service-Yes----
New Mexico-Yes-Yes---
New York15 daysYesYes-Yes--
North Carolina-YesYesYes-Three points-
North Dakota-YesYes**---Yes
Ohio--Yes---Yes
Oklahoma30 days-YesYesYes--
Oregon-YesYes-Yes-Yes
Pennsylvania-YesYes-Yes--
Rhode Island-YesYes---Yes
South Carolina-YesYesYes--Yes
South Dakota30 days-Yes---Yes
Tennessee-YesYes----
Texas------Yes
Utah-YesYes----
Vermont-----Two points-
Virginia-YesYes---Yes
Washington--Yes----
West Virginia15 days to 1 yearYesYes----
Wisconsin-YesYes----
Wyoming6 monthsYesYes----
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Although the consequences are different for each state, your driving record charges will follow you anywhere you go. Auto insurance companies will review your driving record and insurance history through the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE). This will alert them of any accidents you’ve had and show them gaps in car insurance coverage.

High-Risk Drivers Pay More for Auto Insurance

If you’re getting insurance as a condition to get your driver’s license reinstated, expect higher than average auto insurance rates. Driving without insurance is known as a lapse in car insurance coverage. Car insurance companies consider drivers with a lapse in insurance coverage as high-risk drivers.

You can offset expensive auto insurance with a good credit score. How so? According to Experian, credit scores correlate to risk. Therefore, a good credit score would mean lower prices for a car insurance policy. Does it take away your high-risk status? No, it doesn’t. Any driver with a high-risk status should consider SR-22 insurance if they can’t find an auto insurance provider.

How can you find cheap auto insurance?

So, the best way to find cheap car insurance is through comparison shopping. The different quote boxes you see on our guide allows you to compare other companies in your area. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code in either of the boxes you see. But you might be looking for a general auto insurance rate. Let’s look at the cost of liability-only auto insurance rates from the top companies in the United States.

Average Monthly Liability-Only Auto Insurance Rates by Company
CompaniesAverage Monthly Liability Auto Insurance Rates
USAA$33
GEICO$40
State Farm$43
Farmers$52
Liberty Mutual$53
Progressive$57
Nationwide$59
Allstate$67
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USAA, GEICO, and State Farm are the cheapest car insurance companies available. However, only members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their immediate families are eligible for USAA insurance policies. Overall, the best auto insurance policy depends on your needs. The cheapest may not be the best option for you.

Driving Without Insurance: The Bottom Line

It costs more money to drive without insurance than it is to have insurance. Accidents cost thousands of dollars in bodily injury and property damage. It’s not worth the trouble. Auto insurance is an investment that will save your finances on the road ahead. If you need car insurance, purchase a liability-only policy. The least you’ll pay is $45 to $120 per month.

Enter your ZIP code in our FREE online tool to cut off driving without insurance penalties and save yourself months of legal trouble.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Driving Without Insurance

Let’s wrap this guide by answering a few frequently asked questions. Was there anything we missed? We update our guides and articles often. Bookmark this page and visit us at a later date to get more information. For now, check out these answers.

#1 – What happens if an at-fault driver is involved in an accident without insurance?

The at-fault driver will likely have their driver’s license suspended on revoked. Also, the at-fault driver is responsible for damages and injuries that occurred due to the accident. Since the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance, you can sue them.

#2 – Can your vehicle be towed or impounded for driving with no auto insurance?

Yes. Law enforcement must impound the car if the vehicle is not insured in some states.

#3 – What happens if a not-at-fault driver is involved in an accident without insurance?

It varies by state. For example, Louisiana has a “no pay, no play” law, which says no driver, regardless of fault, cannot receive compensation if they’re uninsured. The majority of states provide coverage to a not-at-fault driver. Therefore, a parked car that’s uninsured would be eligible for compensation if another driver damages it. Coverage would depend on the situation.

#4 – Do you have to have auto insurance to drive?

Yes. The minimum auto insurance requirement is liability coverage. Liability covers bodily injury and property damage. In some states, personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are included in liability coverage at no extra costs.

The only states that don’t require the minimum car insurance requirements are New Hampshire and Virginia.


References:

  1. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/credit-reports-and-scores/consumer-reporting-companies/companies-list/comprehensive-loss-underwriting-exchange/
  2. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/why-do-car-insurance-companies-base-their-rates-on-credit-scores/

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