What are the Consequences of Driving Without Insurance?

Driving without insurance is against the law — find an affordable policy and avoid fines today!

What happens if you get pulled over without insurance?


An active car insurance policy is legally required in order to drive your vehicle. If you're caught driving without proof of insurance, you could face stiff penalties, varying by state. Potential consequences of driving without insurance include a costly ticket, license suspension, a lack of financial protection in the event of an accident, and even denial of coverage if you’re involved in a wreck and deemed not-at-fault. Let’s break down what happens if you are pulled over with no insurance.


What are the penalties for driving uninsured?
  1. How much is a ticket for driving without insurance?
  2. Can your license be suspended for driving without insurance?
  3. Can your vehicle be towed or impounded for driving with no insurance?
  4. What happens if you’re in an accident without insurance — as the at-fault driver
  5. What happens if you’re in an accident without insurance — as the not-at-fault driver
  6. How to find cheap car insurance



How much is the fine for driving without insurance?


Excluding New Hampshire, every state will ticket you for driving without insurance. While the monetary penalty will vary, it ranges from $25 in Tennessee to $5,000 in Massachusetts.


STATE BY STATE PENALTIES FOR DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE
StatePenalty
Alabama$500-$1,000
Alaska$500
Arizona$500-$1,000
Arkansas$50-$250
California$100-$200
Colorado$500
Connecticut$50-$200
Delaware$1,500-$3,000
Florida$150-$500
Georgia$25-$185
Hawaii$500-$5,000
Idaho$75-$1,000
Illinois$500-$1,000
Indiana$250-$1,000
Iowa$250
Kansas$1,000-$2,500
Kentucky$1,000
Louisiana$100-$700
Maine$100-$500
Maryland$1,000-$2,500
Massachusetts$500-$5,000
Michigan$200-$500
Minnesota$200-$3,000
Mississippi$500
Missouri$500
Montana$250-$500
Nebraska$50
Nevada$250-$1,000
New Jersey$300-$5,000
New Mexico$300-$1,000
New York$150-$1,500
North Carolina$50-$150
North Dakota$150-$5,000
Ohio$160-$660
Oklahoma$250
Oregon$130-$1,000
Pennsylvania$300
Rhode Island$100-$1,000
South Carolina$100-$550
South Dakota$100-$500
Tennessee$25-$300
Texas$175-$4,000
Utah$400-$1,000
Vermont$0-$500
Virginia$500
Washington$450-$1,000
West Virginia$200-$5,000
Wisconsin$510
Wyoming$250-$1,500

In some states, it's cheaper to acquire the minimum liability insurance than it is to get a ticket.




Can your license be suspended for driving without insurance?


License suspension for lack of insurance varies by state. Listed below are the states that will suspend your license for driving without insurance. This punishment is usually coupled with a hefty fine.

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In essence, 44 of the 49 states that require car insurance will suspend your driver's license if you're caught without proof of insurance.




Can your vehicle be towed if you don't have insurance?


You need not drive your vehicle to face the consequences of lapsed auto insurance. Currently, 22 states electronically monitor whether registered vehicles are currently insured. If you’re caught with a registered-but-uninsured vehicle, you will be fined.

If you’re caught driving without insurance, it will be up to the officer's discretion whether or not to tow your vehicle. Because car insurance is legally required, a police officer would be within their rights to tow your vehicle. In this case, you would face impound fees in addition to other penalties.

Unless you are involved in an accident without insurance, fines, license suspension, and auto impound will be the extent of your penalties. You would be unlikely to receive jail time after a first driving without insurance offense. Things get more costly if you're involved in an accident while uninsured.




What happens after an accident without insurance when you are at-fault


Being involved in an at-fault crash without insurance is a very serious situation. If you get into an at-fault accident and you do not have insurance, you will most likely be sued for damages, ranging from few hundred bucks to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the nature of the incident.




What happens after an accident without insurance when you are not-at-fault


This varies by state and situation. Some states have what’s called a “no pay, no play” law, limiting the compensation you can receive after a not-at-fault accident if you’re uninsured. In Louisiana, on the other hand, you will receive no compensation after an accident if you’re uninsured, regardless of fault.

If fault is difficult to determine, having an insurance company your side is beneficial. A claims adjuster or representative will speak to the other insurance company on your behalf and pursue funds to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition. Without insurance, you are on your own after an accident.




How to find cheap insurance if you’re uninsured


At the end of the day, the consequences for driving without proof of insurance will be more costly than purchasing state-minimum liability coverage. Below are cheap car insurance rates for minimum coverage.


CompanyAverage Premium for Liability Insurance
Allstate$385
GEICO$224
Farmers$224
Liberty Mutual$438
Nationwide$301
Progressive$319
State Farm$293
USAA$174

While these insurance premiums are just estimates and may considerably based on where you live, use the pricing as a starting point. The best way to find cheap insurance if you’re uninsured is to assess as many companies as possible.

If you’re an uninsured driver, enter your zip code below to see how cheap car insurance can be in your state.



Get insured today!



Which states actively monitor, suspend, and ticket uninsured drivers?


StateActive MonitoringPenalties
StateMonitoring MethodPenalties
AlabamaPassive monitoring$500-$1,000
AlaskaPassive monitoring$500/license suspension
ArizonaActive monitoring$500-$1,000/license suspension
ArkansasActive monitoring$50-$250
CaliforniaActive monitoring$100-$200/license suspension
ColoradoActive monitoring$500/license suspension
ConnecticutActive monitoring$50-$200/License suspension
DelawarePassive monitoring*$1,500-$3,000/license suspension
FloridaActive monitoring$150-$500/license suspension
GeorgiaActive monitoring$25-$185/license suspension
HawaiiPassive monitoring$500-$5,000/license suspension
IdahoPassive monitoring$75-$1,000/license suspension
IllinoisPassive monitoring *$500-$1,000/license suspension
IndianaPassive monitoring$250-$1,000/license suspension
IowaPassive monitoring$250/license suspension
KansasPassive monitoring$1,000-$2,500/license suspension
KentuckyActive monitoring$1,000/license suspension
LouisianaActive monitoring ***$100-$700
MainePassive monitoring$100-$500/license suspension
MarylandActive monitoring$1,000-$2,500
MassachusettsPassive monitoring$500-$5,000/license suspension
MichiganPassive monitoring$200-$500/license suspension
MinnesotaPassive monitoring$200-$3,000/license suspension
MississippiPassive monitoring **$500/license suspension
MissouriPassive monitoring *$500/license suspension
MontanaPassive monitoring$250-$500/license suspension
NebraskaPassive monitoring$50/license suspension
NevadaActive monitoring$250-$1,000/license suspension
New HampshirePassive monitoringLicense suspension only after accident
New JerseyActive monitoring$300-$5,000/license suspension
New MexicoActive monitoring$300-$1,000
New YorkActive monitoring$150-$1,500/license suspension
North CarolinaActive monitoring$50-$150/license suspension
North DakotaPassive monitoring$150-$5,000/license suspension
OhioPassive monitoring *$160-$660/license suspension
OklahomaActive monitoring$250/license suspension
OregonPassive monitoring *$130-$1,000/license suspension
PennsylvaniaActive monitoring$300/license suspension
Rhode IslandPassive monitoring *$100-$1,000/license suspension
South CarolinaActive monitoring$100-$550/license suspension
South DakotaPassive monitoring$100-$500/license suspension
TennesseeActive monitoring$25-$300/license suspension
TexasActive monitoring$175-$4,000/license suspension
UtahActive monitoring$400-$1,000/license suspension
VermontPassive monitoring$0-$500/license suspension
VirginiaActive monitoring$500/license suspension
WashingtonPassive monitoring$450-$1,000 license suspension
West VirginiaActive monitoring$200-$5,000/license suspension
WisconsinPassive monitoring$510/license suspension
WyomingPassive monitoring$250-$1,500/license suspension

*Designates a state that uses random auditing of vehicles registered in that particular state to monitor compliance with insurance laws.

**Legislation is pending for July of 2017 which will create a database for insured vehicles that will be actively monitored by the state.

***Restricts uninsured drivers’ rights to seek compensation, regardless of fault, after an accident.