Driving without car insurance is definitely a high-risk move. Car insurance is a requirement in 49 out of 50 states, and of those, 47 states have mandatory minimum coverage amounts that you must carry in order to legally have your car on the road. Failing to have at least that minimum liability insurance – or even driving with no insurance at all – will almost always result in a fine or worse.
If you’re curious to learn what happens if you get pulled over without insurance, here’s everything you need to know about getting caught driving without proof of insurance. From penalties and fines to license suspension, we’ll break down the consequences of not having car insurance.
How Much Is A Ticket For Driving Without Insurance?
You’re probably already aware that you must have insurance on your car in order to drive legally, but what happens if you get pulled over without insurance? Though consequences and penalties vary by state, it is almost certain that you will receive a ticket for driving without insurance. Unfortunately, the fine for not having car insurance is generally costly.
The primary factor that affects how much you’ll pay for driving with no insurance is the state you live in and whether you have ever been ticketed for the same violation in the past.
Penalty For No Car Insurance
On average, your ticket for your first offense driving without insurance ranges from $100 to $500, while your second offense could cost you between $1,000 and $2,500. Here’s how much a ticket is for no car insurance.
- In California, the first offense costs $100 to $200 and a second offense within three years boosts the fine to $200 to $500. Judges reserve the right to impose even larger fines if you cannot show proof of insurance in court.
- In New York, your fine for driving without insurance the first time could be anywhere from $150 to $1,500. That’s on top of a $750 civil penalty you’ll have to pay.
- In Texas, a first offense costs $175 to $350. Second offenses range from $350 to $2,000.
- In Florida, the penalty can range from$150 to $500, and your license and registration can be suspended if you are unable to provide proof of insurance in court.
- Delaware has some of the most expensive driving without insurance tickets of them all. The first offense results in a mandatory fine of anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000.
Consequences of Driving Without Insurance
As if the financial implications weren’t enough, there are other potential penalties for driving without insurance. Aside from a ticket that could be as much as $2,000 for your first offense, depending on where you live, you might also experience some of the following consequences of driving a car with no insurance.
Driving without insurance is a serious infraction in most states, so in order to prevent future violations, many states will suspend your driver’s license temporarily until you can provide proof that you have purchased insurance.
Some will suspend your license for a mandatory period of time, such as six months, and if you have numerous suspensions due to driving without insurance, your license could be permanently revoked.
Towed and Impounded Car
Because an uninsured car is a liability, even in a parking lot or on the side of the road, your vehicle may be towed and/or impounded. You’ll be responsible for any of the costs associated with this. Your car will remain in impound until you pay all the fees and provide proof of insurance. If you fail to pick up your car in a timely manner, some states will auction it off. For instance, New York starts the auction process in just 72 hours.
Liability For Damages Due To An Accident
As if fines, license suspension, and a towed or impounded car weren’t bad enough, these aren’t the worst consequences that could happen. If you have an accident without insurance, you could end up completely liable for damages. Between property damages, medical bills, lost wages, and legal fees, you could owe hundreds of thousands of dollars, forcing you into bankruptcy.
In most states, if you are driving without insurance and you are involved in an accident, you are automatically deemed at-fault. The legal logic states that an uninsured car has no business being on the road. And if your car were garaged as it should have been, the accident would not have happened.
Find Cheap Insurance If You’re Uninsured
If you can’t afford car insurance with your current insurer, it may be time to comparison shop and look for lower rates. Cheap auto insurance is available from many of the best companies in the United States, including Allstate, Farmers, Nationwide, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, State Farm, and USAA. The best way to lower your insurance rates is to compare premiums, coverage options, and providers.
If you’re an uninsured driver who needs to get insurance coverage quickly, enter your zip code below to find cheap car insurance rates in your state!