Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states and can result in large fines and the suspension of your license. The fine for driving without insurance can be as high as $1,000, and fines increase with repeat offenses. If you are in an at-fault accident while driving uninsured, you will be held responsible for the damages and can be sued.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Dec 8, 2020

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The Highlights

  • It is illegal to drive without insurance in most states.
  • If caught driving without insurance, you could pay fines up to $1,000.
  • Driving without insurance can result in your license being suspended.

First and foremost, driving without insurance is not a good idea. Not only is it illegal, but it can result in major consequences, including suspension of your license and hefty fines. Not to mention, it is extremely unsafe. However, if you’ve found yourself in the situation of having no auto insurance, you might be wondering about many things.

How much is the fine for driving without insurance? What happens if you get caught driving without insurance? We answer both these questions and more in our guide below.

While finding insurance can be a pain, it is important to make sure you have a policy, even if you are only borrowing or renting vehicles from time to time. Near the bottom of our guide, we provide information on finding the perfect auto insurance policy from one of the best insurance companies.

You won’t have to spend hours comparing rates either, as we have an easy-to-use comparison tool that compares rates from top companies. Don’t get caught driving without insurance. Just enter your ZIP code above.

Why do I need insurance to drive legally?

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states mainly because of the financial strain getting into an accident could cause you and the party involved. Without insurance, it could be nearly impossible to cover the damages caused by a bad accident. This doesn’t even include possible medical bills.

Medical payments could result in thousands of dollars owed to a victim and, without insurance, you may risk being sued if you were at fault. No matter what the situation, it is good to have insurance, even in the two states where having insurance isn’t required legally: Virginia and New Hampshire.

You may be wondering how much insurance is required to drive legally. Well, that can depend on the state in which you live. We go into further detail about this in the section below.

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How much insurance do I need to drive legally?

Each state has its own laws when it comes to minimum insurance requirements; however, most states require liability and bodily injury coverage.

Other types of coverage that may be required include collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection (PIP), medical expenses, and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM). Most insurance agencies in your area will offer some type of basic coverage package, which includes the minimum required coverage within your state.

In the chart below, we have provided information on what the minimum auto insurance requirement is for each state. BI Liab stands for Bodily injury liability, PD Liab is Property damage liability, UM is Uninsured motorist, PD is Physical damage, UIM is Underinsured motorist, and PIP is Personal Injury Protection.

The numbers denote the dollar amount of coverage required. For example, 25/50/25 would translate to $25,000/$50,000/$25,000.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements by State
StateInsurance Required Minimum Liability Required Limits
AKBI & PD Liab50/100/25
ALBI & PD Liab25/50/25
ARBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
AZBI & PD Liab15/30/10
CABI & PD Liab15/30/5
COBI & PD Liab25/50/15
CTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
DCBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10
DEBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10
FLPD Liab, PIP10/20/10
GABI & PD Liab25/50/25
HIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
IABI & PD Liab20/40/15
IDBI & PD Liab25/50/15
ILBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
INBI & PD Liab25/50/25
KSBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25
KYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
LABI & PD Liab15/30/25
MABI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5
MDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15
MEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25
MIBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10
MNBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10
MOBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25
MSBI & PD Liab25/50/25
MTBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25
NDBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25
NEBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
NHFR only25/50/25
NJBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5
NMBI & PD Liab25/50/10
NVBI & PD Liab25/50/20
NYBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10
OHBI & PD Liab25/50/25
OKBI & PD Liab25/50/25
ORBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20
PABI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5
RIBI & PD Liab25/50/25
SCBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
SDBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
TNBI & PD Liab25/50/15
TXBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25
UTBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15
VABI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20
VTBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10
WABI & PD Liab25/50/10
WIBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10
WVBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25
WYBI & PD Liab25/50/20
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This video from Allstate goes over what liability insurance covers.

As mentioned above, there are only two states that currently don’t require auto insurance: Virginia and New Hampshire. Even in these states, it’s still a good idea to have auto insurance as you may still be subject to fees as well as being responsible to financially cover any at-fault accidents.

What happens if I’m caught driving without insurance?

When someone is pulled over, one of the first things a police officer will usually ask for is proof of insurance. If you are caught without insurance, then many consequences could occur.

Take a look at the penalties for driving without insurance by state.

StatesPenalties for
First Offense
Penalties for
Second Offense
AlabamaFine: Up to $500; registration suspension with $200 reinstatement feeFine: Up to $1,000 and/or six-month license suspension; $400 reinstatement fee with four-month registration suspension
AlaskaLicense suspension for 90 daysLicense suspension for one year
ArizonaFine: $500 (or more); license/registration/license plate suspension for three monthsFine: $750 (or more within 36 months); license/registration/license plate suspension for six months
ArkansasFine: $50 to $250; suspended registration/no plates until proof of coverage plus $20 reinstatement fee; court may order impoundmentFine: $250 to $500 fine — minimum fine mandatory; suspended registration/no plates until proof of coverage plus $20 reinstatement fee. Court may order impoundment
CaliforniaFine: $100-$200 plus penalty assessments. Court may order impoundmentFine: $200-$500 within three years plus penalty assessments. Court may order impoundment
ColoradoFine: $500 minimum fine; 4 points against your license; license suspension until you can show proof to the DMV that you are insured. Courts may add up to 40 hours community service$1,000 minimum fine and license suspension for 4 months; 4 points against your license. Courts may add up to 40 hours community service
ConnecticutFine: $100-$1000; suspended registration/license for one month (show proof of insurance) with $175 reinstatement feeFine: $100-$1000; suspended registration/license for six months (show proof of insurance) with $175 reinstatement fee
DelawareFine: $1500 minimum fine; license/privilege suspension for six monthsFine: $3000 minimum fine within three years; license/privilege suspension for six months
FloridaSuspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $150 fee for first reinstatementSuspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $250 fee for second reinstatement
GeorgiaSuspended registration with $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee. Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes dueWithin five years: Suspended registration with $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee. Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes due
HawaiiFine: $500 fine or community service granted by judge. Either license suspension for three months or a required nonrefundable insurance policy in force for six monthsFine: $1500 minimum fine within five years; either license suspension for one year or a required non-refundable insurance policy in force for six months
IdahoFine: $75; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.Fine: $1000 maximum fine within five years and/or no more than six months in jail; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.
IllinoisFine: minimum of $500; License plate suspension until $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proofFine: minimum of $1,000; License plate suspension for four months; $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proof
IndianaLicense/registration suspension for 90 days to one yearWithin three years: license/registration suspension for one year
IowaFine: $500 if in accident; Otherwise, fine: $250; community service in lieu of fine. Possible citation/warning if pulled over plus removal of plates and registration possible when pulled over without insurance and reissued upon payment of fine or completed community service, proof of insurance, and $15 fee; possible impoundment when pulled overN/A
KansasFine: $300 to $1000 and/or confinement in jail up to six months; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $100Fine: $800 to $2500 within three years; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $300 if revoked within previous year, otherwise $100
KentuckyFine: $500 to $1000 fine and/or sentenced up to 90 days in jail; license plates and registration revoked for one year or until proof of insurance is shownWithin five years: 180 days in jail and/or $1000 to $2500; license plates and registration revoked for one year or until proof of insurance is shown
LouisianaFine: $500 to $1000; If in car accident, fine plus registration revoked and driving privileges suspended for 180 daysN/A
MaineFine: $100 to $500; suspension of license and registration until proof of insuranceN/A
MarylandLose license plates and vehicle registration privileges; pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance — $150 for the first 30 days, $7 for each day thereafter; Pay a restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle's registrationN/A
MassachusettsFine: $500 to $5000 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or lessWithin six years: License/driving privileges suspended for one year
MichiganFine: $200 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or less; license suspension for 30 days or until proof of insurance; $25 service fee to Secretary of StateN/A
MinnesotaFine: $200 to $1000 (or community service) and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days; License and registration revoked for no more than 12 monthsN/A
MississippiFine: $1000; driving privileges suspended for one year or until proof of insuranceN/A
MissouriFour points against driving record; driver may be supervised; suspended until proof of insurance with $20 reinstatement feeFour points against driving record; driver may be supervised; suspended for 90 days with $200 reinstatement fee
MontanaFine: $250 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 daysFine: $350 and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 days — within 5 years; license and registration revoked until proof of insurance and payment of reinstatement fees within 90 days
NebraskaLicense and registration suspension; reinstatement fee of $50 for each; proof of insurance to remain on file for three years
NevadaFine: $250 to $1,000 depending on length of lapse; registration suspension — until payment of reinstatement fee and, depending on circumstances, an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility) if lapsed more than 90 days; reinstatement fee: $250Fine: $500 to $1000 depending on length of lapse; registration suspension — until payment of reinstatement fee and, depending on circumstances, SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility) if lapsed more than 90 days; Reinstatement fee: $500
New HampshireNot a mandatory insurance state. Proof of insurance may be required as the result of a conviction, crash involvement, or administrative action. If you are required to file proof of insurance and vehicles are registered in your name, you will be required to file an Owner’s SR-22 Certificate of Insurance.N/A
New JerseyFine: $300 to $1000; license suspension for one year; pay surcharges for three years in the amount of $250 per yearFine: up to $5000; two-year license suspension; 14-day, mandatory jail term, and an additional mandatory 30 days of community service
New MexicoFine: up to $300 and/or imprisoned for 90 days; license suspensionN/A
New YorkFine: up to $1500 if involved in accident plus $750 civil penalty; license and registration suspension – revoked for one year; suspension of license if without
insurance for 90 days; suspension lasts as long as registration suspension; Suspension of registration: equal to time without insurance or pays $8/day up to thirty days for which financial security was not in effect, $10/day from the thirty-first to the sixtieth day $12/day from the sixtieth to the ninetieth day and proof of security is provided. Or for the same time as the vehicle was operated without insurance.
N/A
North CarolinaFine: $50; registration suspension until proof of financial responsibility but 30-day suspension if in car accident or knowingly driving without insurance; $50 restoration fee plus license plate feeFine: $100 within three years; registration suspension until proof of financial responsibility but 30-day suspension if in car accident or knowingly driving without insurance; $50 restoration fee plus license plate fee
North DakotaFine: up to $1500 and/or 30 days in prison; 14 points against license plus suspension; Proof of insurance must be provided for one year; license with a
notation requiring that person keep proof of liability insurance on file with the department. The fee for this license is $50, and the fee to remove
this notation is $50.
Fine: up to $1500 and/or 30 days in prison; 14 points against license plus suspension; license plates impounded until proof of insurance (provided for one year) plus $20 reinstatement fee; license with a notation requiring that person keep proof of liability insurance on file with the department. The fee for this license is $50 and the fee to remove this notation is $50.
OhioLicense/plates/registration suspension until requirements are met and $100 reinstatement fee is paid; maintain special high-risk coverage on file with the BMV for three to five years; If involved in accident without insurance: all above penalties and a security suspension for two plus years and an indefinite judgment suspension (until all damages are satisfied)License/plates/registration suspension for one year; $300 reinstatement fee; maintain special high-risk coverage on file with the BMV for three or five years; if involved in accident without insurance: all above penalties and a security suspension for two plus years and an indefinite judgment suspension (until all damages are satisfied)
OklahomaFine: $250; jail time up to 30 days; license suspension with $275 reinstatement fee. Police can seize license plates and assign temporary plates and liability insurance — in effect for 10 days and can also impound the vehicle. The cost of the temporary coverage is added to the administrative fee and any fines paid for plates to be returned. If car impounded, owner must also pay towing and storage fees.N/A
OregonFine: $130-$1000 ($260 is the presumptive fine); If involved in accident — at least a one year license suspension; proof of financial responsibility required for three yearsN/A
PennsylvaniaRegistration suspended for three months (unless lapse was for less than 31 days and vehicle not operated during that time); $88 restoration fee plus proof of insurance required to get it back; $500 civil penalty fee is optional in lieu of registration suspension plus $88 restoration fee — can only use this option once within a 12-month periodN/A
Rhode IslandFine: $100 to $500; license and registration suspension up to three months; reinstatement fee: $30 to $50Fine: $500; license and registration suspension up to six months; reinstatement fee: $30 to $50
South CarolinaFine: $100-$200 or 30-day imprisonment; failure to surrender registration and plates when insurance lapses; license/registration suspended until proof of insurance plus $200 reinstatement feeFine: $200 and/or 30-day imprisonment — within 10 years; license/registration suspended until proof of insurance plus $200 reinstatement fee
South DakotaFine: $100 and/or 30 days imprisonment; license suspension for 30 days to one year; filing proof of insurance (SR-22) with the state for three years from date of conviction. Failure to file proof will result in suspension of vehicle registration, license plates, and driver license.N/A
TennesseePay $25 coverage failure fee within 30 days of notice; if not paid, then an additional $100 coverage failure fee with suspension or revocation of registration plus reinstatement fee of no more than $25N/A
TexasFine: $175 to $350 fine; plus, pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements)Fine: $350 to $1000; pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements); suspend the driver's license and vehicle registrations of the person unless the person files and maintains evidence of financial responsibility with the department until the second anniversary of the date of the subsequent conviction; Impoundment: for 180 days and
cannot apply for release of car without evidence of financial responsibility and impoundment fee of $15/day.
UtahFine: $400; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement feeFine: $1000 — with three years; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement fee
VermontFine: up to $500; license suspended until proof of insuranceN/A
VirginiaFine: may pay $500 Uninsured Motorists Vehicle fee to drive without insurance at your own risk. If this fee is not paid in lieu of insurance, all driving and vehicle registration privileges will be suspended until a $500 statutory fee is paid, proof of insurance is filed for three years, and a reinstatement fee (if applicable) is paidN/A
WashingtonFine: Up to $250 or moreN/A
West VirginiaFine: $200 to $5000; license suspended for 30 days with reinstatement fees, unless there's proof of insurance and $200 penalty feeFine: $200-$5000 fine and/or 15 days to one year in jail — within five years; license suspended for 90 days and registration revoked until proof of insurance
WisconsinFine: up to $500N/A
WyomingFine: up to $750 fine and up to six months in jailN/A
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In several states, a driver could have their driver’s license suspended if caught driving without insurance. Having a suspended license means you will be unable to drive legally for an allotted period of time. This could cause a great upset to your daily life, not to mention you will likely have to pay suspension fees.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 13% of drivers are uninsured nationwide.

How much will a driving without insurance ticket cost?

There are several factors that can affect how much you will pay in fines if pulled over without auto insurance. Mostly, the cost can depend on the state in which you live.

Driving without insurance in GA can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to $1,000. Driving without insurance in Idaho can also result in a fine of $1,000. Driving without insurance in Florida can result in a slightly lower fee of around $150 on the lower end.

The number of times you’ve been pulled over without insurance can also affect the fines.

Many states have similar fines when it comes to driving without insurance. Driving without insurance in KY costs has a minimum of $500, which is the same as driving without insurance in Illinois costs. However, it is always costly to get a ticket for driving with no insurance.

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What if I get into an accident while having no insurance?

While getting pulled over without having insurance is bad, an even worse scenario is getting into an accident without insurance, especially if you caused it.

Uninsured people that have caused an auto accident will likely find themselves with the entire bill, which will have to be paid out of pocket. This is not a situation you’d want to find yourself in, especially if the damages are extreme.

In some cases, the victims of the accident may sue you for their possible medical bills, and the cost of their vehicle repairs. However, the rules and regulations about someone suing you can greatly depend on the state in which you live. Additionally, if the accident is severe, you may have your license suspended.

In the event that you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may still be out of luck when it comes to the other driver paying for your damages.

In many states, there are limits for how much the other driver has to cover for damages if you don’t have car insurance. That means you might not get all the money you need to cover all the damages to your vehicle.

In states that don’t require insurance, you may be able to file a third-party claim and have the other driver cover damages to your vehicle.

What if I don’t own a car, do I still need insurance?

If you don’t own a car, you might be wondering, what is the point of having an insurance policy? There are many reasons one might want to start a policy, like if you need to borrow a friend’s car in an emergency.

Some people who often rent vehicles have found it more beneficial to have their own insurance policies instead of constantly purchasing insurance offered by rental insurance agencies.

You’ll be glad to know there is an option, called non-owner insurance, for those who don’t want to purchase a full coverage policy.

Non-Owner Car Insurance

Non-owner auto insurance is offered through many agencies and can provide liability coverage, bodily injury coverage, and property damage. This type of coverage usually costs less than standard policies and is available to those who don’t want to purchase full auto insurance policies.

Non-owner insurance policies don’t cover a specific vehicle and usually don’t include options such as comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, or rental reimbursement.

In addition to drivers who don’t want to own a car, non-owner insurance can be beneficial to a number of people, including those who have had to file an SR-22 form for a prior conviction or those who want to keep insurance while in the process of buying a new car.

Driving Without Insurance: The Bottom Line

Getting caught without car insurance is not a good idea, and it’s even worse if you’re in an accident. It’s not just illegal to drive without insurance, it puts your financial future at risk.

Now that you know about the importance of having auto insurance, you might find yourself overwhelmed when it comes to comparing rates. You don’t have to spend hours researching and comparing rates to make sure you aren’t driving uninsured. You can use our comparison tool to compare rates from top companies in your area.

References: 

  1. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists

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