Updated February 23, 2021
You might be wondering — can you drive without car insurance? If you drive without car insurance, you could be putting yourself at risk for big trouble.
Almost every state mandates that drivers have liability car insurance (there are only two that don’t). Driving a car without insurance is not only illegal, but it also puts you and other drivers at risk. The penalties for driving without car insurance are steep and can include fines, tickets, license suspension, and possible jail time, depending on the state.
Are you still wondering — is not having car insurance illegal? Yes! It’s the law, but it also protects you in case you are ever in an accident. While most people think insurance is there to protect them if they’re at fault for an accident, it can also pick up the tab if the other driver isn’t insured or doesn’t have good enough coverage for the damages.
If you cause an accident, your car insurance will cover damages done to your vehicle, other people’s property, and even bodily injuries. If you had to pay for these all out of pocket, it could drain your savings and put you into debt.
Liability car insurance is mandatory because it provides bodily injury and property damage coverage. This means it will cover another driver’s medical bills and repairs if you hit them and it’s the bare minimum you’ll need to have to avoid legal trouble in your state.
If you’re concerned about your own car, you can also add comprehensive, collision, and uninsured motorists to your policy for more protection. These are optional when it comes to state laws, but they’re essential if you want to avoid costly repair bills.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car that’s out of your control. For example, if a tree falls on your vehicle during a storm or you hit a deer while driving, this policy will cover repair costs.
Collision insurance covers any damage to your vehicle if you’re in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It’s useful to cause an accident, or the other driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your damages.
Finally, uninsured motorist insurance is for if you get in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance. It comes with bodily injury and property damage coverage for yourself since they don’t have an insurance policy that will pay you.
The fine for not having car insurance varies by state. Below, we’ve included the details for all the states where we can help:
We know fines are a big deal when you don’t have insurance. But can you drive without car insurance and see any other consequences? Unfortunately, fines are just the bare minimum of what can happen to you. Additional penalties can include:
Each state has different penalties for driving uninsured, so brush up on your state’s requirements to know for sure what the consequences are.
In some states, driving without car insurance is a misdemeanor and can land you in jail. Kansas, Idaho, Michigan, and Kentucky are just a few states that impose jail time for driving uninsured. In California, it is unlikely, but depending on the severity of your offense, and if a law enforcement officer finds any other issues at your stop, you could be detained.
That said, most states do give you at least a warning before sending you straight to jail. Jail time usually comes into play on the second and third offenses. Don’t rely on this, though. There’s always a chance you could face an aggressive judge looking to take a strong stance on uninsured drivers in your state.
Are there any states where not having car insurance is legal? Technically, there are two states where you can drive without having insurance. These are New Hampshire and Virginia. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have any responsibilities if you get into an accident.
In New Hampshire, there is no mandatory insurance law. That said, if you get into an accident, you have a legal responsibility to cover up to $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability, up to $50,000 per accident. You also must cover up to $25,000 in property damage liability if you’re at fault.
Virginia is a little different. There are minimum insurance requirements of $25,000 for bodily injury liability (up to $50,000 per accident) and $20,000 for property damage liability. That said, you can get out of this requirement if you pay the state an uninsured motorist’s vehicle fee every year. Because that’s only $500, some motorists choose to do this, as it is cheaper than having an insurance policy.
Just because you technically can drive without car insurance doesn’t mean you should. Luckily, all the states in which Freeway Insurance operates require auto insurance, so we can help you find the policy that meets your specific needs.
Regardless of fault, the accident has to be reported to the DMV. Don’t try to hide the fact that you don’t have insurance; this will only make matters worse. And definitely don’t try to forge an insurance document — fines and penalties for this are far steeper than just not having insurance.
If you don’t have car insurance, you may face the following consequences:
If you were at fault in the accident, keep in mind you may face legal proceedings from the other driver to cover any damages or medical bills. It may be in your best interest to try and settle out of court, so you aren’t slammed with expensive lawyer fees.
Yes, you can. Freeway Insurance provides quality car insurance for all drivers regardless of driving record. We can help you get an SR-22 in just a few minutes.
Typically, states require you to have an SR-22 for three years after you were caught driving without insurance. The reason for this is that it makes it easier for them to check up on you. Since your insurance company automatically verifies this, the state can easily see that you’re following the law.
Getting reliable and affordable car insurance is easier than you think. Freeway Insurance can help you get back on the road quickly with affordable car insurance for all drivers. Call us now at 800-777-5620 or get your free car insurance quote online.