Unless you reside in Virginia or New Hampshire, you are obligated by law to have a barebones auto insurance policy to operate your vehicles. Simply because there are different minimum insurance requirements for each state, they all handle their uninsured drivers differently, while some can be lenient, others have more severe punishments.
There are people who would rather not invest in vehicle insurance because they consider it too expensive. Nevertheless, if caught the punishments for driving without vehicle insurance, are too severe to take such a risk. There are potential punishments a person could face if they drove without an auto insurance which could range from a fine to prison sentence.
Paying a Fine
The state of California can be regarded as among the most lenient states concerning driving without insurance – a first offense could result in a fine within the range of $100-$200. When compared to what many others states require, this fine is a mere fraction following a first offense. Also, you’ll be required to pay a fine on the traffic ticket you’ll receive.
Driving your vehicle without auto insurance policy can result in the impoundment of your car and also the loss of your registration, both of which might not be returned to you until you’ve proven to have invested in insurance. IN New Jersey, if you drive your car without insurance, it may result in your car being impounded and stripped of its registration. The longer your car is being confiscated, the more you’ll have to pay.
Drivers License Suspension
Naturally, states desire to keep drivers who break road laws off the roads. A lot of drivers without insurance have their licenses suspended after they are apprehended driving without an auto insurance. The suspension time is fixed in some states, while others cancel the suspension once the driver shows proof of insurance or files an SR-22. Along with the robust fine of $1,500 the state of Delaware imposes upon drivers without insurance with their first offenses, its license suspension period – 6 months is one of the longest of the 50 states.
Proof of Future Financial Responsibility
In some states, such as Arizona, drivers who drive without insurance are obligated to have an SR-22 certificate for a time before reinstating their licenses. Following a first offense in Arizona, drivers are mandated to have this certificate for two years. SR-22 forms can be quite expensive, and the longer you are required to have an SR-22 form, the more it will cost.
Paying a fine and having your license suspended are punishments no driver wishes to face. However, they pale in comparison to a different potential punishment, time in prison. In some states, driving without insurance is regarded a misdemeanor offense, so prison time may be a repercussion. Michigan issues up to a year of jail time to drivers driving without insurance. Other states, like New Mexico and Montana, offer uninsured drivers lesser sentences. If you are uninsured, this should ignite a fire under you to begin shopping for vehicle insurance quotes.
There are negative consequences in most states if you are caught driving without insurance. With the threats of car impoundment, high fines, and especially jail time in check, it is worth it to invest in vehicle insurance, you can either invest in full coverage insurance, or you can simply purchase the minimum amount required in your state.