What are the penalties for driving without auto insurance in each state?

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It is essential to have car insurance. If you have an accident, insurance protects you against paying for repairs and injuries. When you drive without car insurance, you are taking a big risk. If you are responsible for an accident, you could suffer a financial blow. To make matters worse, in most states you will be penalized for driving without car insurance. Here are the penalties for driving without car insurance in each state.

What states require car insurance coverage?

Damaged car after an accident | Michael Jin on Unsplash

Required auto insurance coverage varies by state. With the exception of Virginia and New Hampshire, all states legally require liability insurance, which pays for property damage and another person’s injury caused by an accident in which you are at fault. Liability insurance is the most common type of auto insurance. However, some states require other types of coverage, including medical payments, injury protection, and uninsured and underinsured motorist plans.

What if I don’t have car insurance?

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Each state has different penalties for driving without car insurance, as detailed by Kelley Blue Book. This includes fines, license and registration suspensions, confiscation of license plates, adding points to your driving record and seizure of your vehicle. Some states “require your insurance company to file an SR-22 form on your behalf, which proves that your vehicle has at least the minimum amount of insurance coverage your state requires.” Also, for some states, you may have to serve jail time, especially if there are multiple offenses.

Also, when you get a new policy, you will likely have to pay more for car insurance. This is because insurance companies usually charge a higher premium if you have a break in coverage. Find out below the different penalties imposed by different states for driving without car insurance.

Add points to your driving record:

  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont

To impound an uninsured car:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon

The authorities confiscate or demand that you surrender your license plates:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Nevada
  • Rhode Island
  • Caroline from the south
  • Virginia

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There are the states in which you may have to serve a prison sentence:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Caroline from the south
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

These states require an SR-22 form:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Caroline from the south
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Which state has the highest fine for driving without car insurance?

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With the exception of New Hampshire, all states levy a fine if you drive without auto insurance. The states with the highest fines are Hawaii and Massachusetts, where you could pay up to $5,000. The states with the lowest fines are Nebraska and North Carolina, with fines as low as $50. Many other states have fines between $500 and $1,000.

Note: The regulations listed in this article are subject to change. So check with your state government for the most up-to-date information.

Although paying for car insurance can seem like a nuisance, and you can see that you risk a lot of penalties if you drive without it. To avoid these penalties, make sure you pay your insurance bill on time. If you change coverage to another insurance company, make sure there is no lapse in coverage. Also, if your insurance company decides to cancel or not renew your coverage, act quickly to get a new policy.

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