All California drivers caught driving without insurance will face headaches. First-time offenders can expect to pay a minimum fine of $100, with higher fees and assessments for second or subsequent offenses within a three-year period up to a maximum of $500.
However, unlike other states, every California fine comes with a penalty assessment that takes on a certain dollar amount for every $10 in fines. A simple $200 fine could end up costing $900 or more, depending on penalty codes used.
Additionally, all California drivers caught driving without insurance are expected to file for SR-22 insurance, which is needed to reinstate a suspended or revoked license. SR-22 insurance rates are considerably higher and must remain on file for three years.
California requires all insurance companies to report lapsed coverage to the state. Even a one-day lapse in coverage could have you subject to fines and a suspended license/registration. Be sure to stay covered under the right car insurance policy for your needs.