50 Reasons Why You Should Never Drive Without Car Insurance

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If you’re an uninsured motorist, there can be many penalties for owning and operating a motor vehicle. 

Insurance laws vary greatly from state to state. Not only do states mandate different requirements for insurance coverage, but there are also different consequences for violating these laws. Most states require drivers to carry proof of insurance at all times when driving. A few states only require proof of financial responsibility.

In any case, uninsured drivers can face a combination of penalties including:

  • Fines 
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Loss of vehicle registration or license plate
  • License, registration, and plate reinstatement fees
  • License points
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Jail time
  • Required filings of SR-22, a.k.a. proof of insurance, documentation
  • Assigned to state high-risk pool
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Cost of medical bills from a car accident if at fault or driving in a no-fault state
  • Cost of property damage if at fault for an accident

Keep in mind that the circumstances by which a driver is caught without insurance matters. Car accidents and driving infractions may inspire harsher penalties. Additionally, even if you have the proper coverage, failure to show proof of insurance often has its own penalties and fines.

Below is a list of the consequences involved with driving without a license as a first time offender.

Insurify can help you avoid the risk altogether. Compare car insurance quotes in less than two minutes and find your lowest rate today!

Alabama

  • $500 fine
  • Possible jail time up to three months
  • License suspension for 45 days minimum
  • Vehicle registration suspension for 45 days minimum
  • Possible vehicle impoundment
  • Subsequent offenses: $1,000 fine and suspensions of 6 months

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Alabama and compare quotes today.

Alaska

  • $500 fine
  • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days
  • $135-$285 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: One year driver’s license suspension

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Alaska and compare quotes today.

Arizona

  • $250 fine
  • License, registration, and license plate suspension for 90 days
  • $35 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filled for two years
  • Subsequent offenses: $500-$750 fine and 36-month driver’s license and registration suspension

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Arizona and compare quotes today.

Arkansas

  • $50-$250 fine
  • Possible driver’s license, registration, and license plate suspension
  • $20 reinstatement fees
  • Possible vehicle impoundment with towing and storage fees
  • SR-22 filed as part of the reinstatement
  • Subsequent offenses: $250-$1,000 fine and possible jail time

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Arkansas and compare quotes today.

California

  • $100-$200 fine
  • $260-$520 penalty assessment fees
  • Possible vehicle impoundment
  • Assessed as a “high-risk” driver
  • Suspension of driving privileges if involved in an accident no matter which driver is at fault
  • Subsequent offenses: $1,000 minimum fine, impoundment, and driver’s license suspension up to four years
  • Please note that California runs a DMV check-up to verify that drivers have insurance

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in California and compare quotes today.

Colorado

  • $500 fine at minimum
  • Possible community service
  • Driver’s license, license plates, and vehicle registration suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $40 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Four points on driving record
  • Subsequent offenses: $1,000 minimum fine; mandatory community service; possible jail time, driver’s license, license plates, and vehicle registration suspension for four to eight months

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Colorado and compare quotes today.

Connecticut

  • $500 fine for the owner of the vehicle even if they’re not the driver
  • $100-$1,000 fine for the driver even if they’re not the owner of the vehicle
  • Possible jail time up to three months
  • Driver’s license and registration suspended for one month
  • $175 reinstatement fee after filing an SR-22
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Subsequent offenses: driver’s license and registration suspended for six months

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Connecticut and compare quotes today.

Delaware

  • $1,500-$2,000 fine
  • Driver’s license suspended for six months
  • Must file proof of insurance once with an FR-19
  • Subsequent offenses: $3,000-$4,000 fine
  • Please note that Delaware uses random selection to check proof of insurance for vehicles with active registration

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Deleware and compare quotes today.

Florida

  • Driver’s license, license plates, and registration suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $150 reinstatement fee
  • Suspension can last up to three years
  • Subsequent offenses: $250-$500 reinstatement fees and possible suspension up to three years

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Florida and compare quotes today.

Georgia

  • $25 lapse fee
  • License and registration suspended for 60 days
  • $60 reinstatement fee
  • Possible jail time up to one year
  • Subsequent offenses: $160 reinstatement fee and suspension up to six months
  • Please note that if your insurance premium expires or is canceled, your insurance company is required to notify the Georgia Department of Driver Services

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Georgia and compare quotes today.

Hawaii

  • $500 fine
  • 75-100 hours community service, possibly in lieu of fine
  • License suspension for three months
  • Possible vehicle impoundment
  • Possible jail time up to 30 days
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: $1,500 to $5,000 fine, 200-275 hours community service, and suspension for one year

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Hawaii and compare quotes today.

Idaho

  • $130 fine and fees
  • Mandatory court appearance
  • Driver’s license suspension until proof of insurance is provided
  • $85 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for one year
  • Subsequent offenses: Up to $1,000 fine, possible jail time, and SR-22 filed for three years

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Idaho and compare quotes today.

Illinois

  • $1,501-$2,500 fines and fees
  • Possible driver’s license and vehicle registration suspension for three months
  • $100 reinstatement fees
  • Third+ offense: $2,000-$3,000 fines, four-month suspension, and SR-22 filed for three years

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Illinois and compare quotes today.

Indiana

  • Driver’s license suspended a minimum of 90 days
  • $250 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: $500-$1,000 fine, one-year suspension, and SR-22 filed for three to five years

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Indiana and compare quotes today.

Iowa

  • $250 fine
  • Possible community service in lieu of fine
  • Vehicle registration and license plates revoked
  • $15 reinstatement fee
  • Possible vehicle impoundment
  • Subsequent offenses: $250 mandatory fine, possible 12-month revocation, probable vehicle impoundment, driving test, $200 civil penalty, and $35 reinstatement fees.

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Iowa and compare quotes today.

Kansas

  • $300-$1,000 fine
  • Possible jail time up to six months
  • Driver’s license and vehicle registration suspension until proof of insurance has been presented
  • $100 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for one to three years
  • Subsequent offenses: $800-$2,500 fine, driver’s license suspension, SR-22 filed for three years, $300 reinstatement fee, and possible jail time up to one to two years depending on the number of offenses

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Kansas and compare quotes today.

Kentucky

  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • Possible jail time up to 90 days
  • License suspension until proof of insurance is provided
  • Vehicle registration suspended for up to one year
  • $40 reinstatement fee
  • Subsequent offenses: $1,000-$2,500 fine, possible jail time up to 180 days, vehicle registration up to two years, possible license suspension, and possible driving exam

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Kentucky and compare quotes today.

Louisiana

  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • Driver’s license, vehicle registration, and license plate suspended
  • Possible vehicle impoundment plus storage fees
  • $60 reinstatement fines and fees
  • Blocked from filing claims for losses if your car is damaged in a collision, even if you are not at fault
  • Subsequent offenses: $160-$510 reinstatement fines and fees

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Louisiana and compare quotes today.

Maine

  • $100-$500 fine
  • Driver’s license and vehicle registration suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $115 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: $2,000 fines and possible jail time up to six months

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Maine and compare quotes today.

Maryland

  • Up to $1,000 fine
  • Possible jail time up to one year
  • Five points on license and possible license suspension
  • Subsequent offenses: $2,000 fine, $150 minimum fees, mandatory license and registration suspension, and jail time up to two years

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Maryland and compare quotes today.

Massachusetts

  • $500 fine
  • $70 administrative fees
  • Possible jail time up to one year
  • License and registration suspended for 60 days
  • $500 reinstatement fee
  • Assigned to Massachusetts high-risk pool
  • $500 pre-paid car insurance
  • Subsequent offenses: Up to $5,000 fine

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Massachusetts and compare quotes today.

Michigan

  • $400 administrative fees
  • Possible jail time up to one year
  • License suspended up to 30 days
  • $25 reinstatement fee
  • Subsequent offenses: $1,000 administrative fees and $125 reinstatement fee

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Michigan and compare quotes today.

Minnesota

  • $200-$1,000 fine
  • Possible community service in lieu of fine
  • License, registration, and plates suspended up to 30 days
  • $30 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed once
  • Subsequent offenses: $200-$3,000 fine, possible jail time up to 90 days, and license, registration, and plates suspended up to one year

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Minnesota and compare quotes today.

Mississippi

  • $500 fine
  • License suspended up to one year
  • $25 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Mississippi and compare quotes today.

Missouri

  • License, registration, and plates suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $20 reinstatement fee
  • Four points on license
  • Subsequent offenses: Up to $500 fee, suspension for 90 to 365 days, $200-$400 reinstatement fee, and possible jail time up to 15 days

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Missouri and compare quotes today.

Montana

  • $250-$500 fine
  • $35 court fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: $350-$500 fine, possible imprisonment up to six months, and registration revoked 90-180 days

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Montana and compare quotes today.

Nebraska

  • License and registration suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $100 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Nebraska and compare quotes today.

Nevada

  • $0-$1,000 fine depending on the length of lapse without insurance
  • License suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $251 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 possibly required for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: Up to 30-day license suspension and $501-$751 reinstatement fee

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Nevada and compare quotes today.

New Hampshire

  • Only punishable if involved in an accident—New Hampshire does not have mandatory insurance requirements
  • License, registration, and plate suspended until judgment fulfilled
  • $125 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in New Hampshire and compare quotes today.

New Jersey

  • $300-$1,000 fine
  • Community service up to judge’s discretion
  • $750 surcharge assessment
  • License suspended for one year
  • Possible vehicle impoundment
  • $100 impoundment fee
  • Subsequent offenses: $500-$5,000 fine, community service up to 180 days, license suspended two years, and possible jail time up to 14 days

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in New Jersey and compare quotes today.

New Mexico

  • Up to $300 fine
  • Possible jail time up to 90 days, possibly in lieu of fine
  • Registration and plate suspension if involved in an accident
  • $55 reinstatement fees
  • Subsequent offenses: Up to $1,000 fee, possible jail time up to six months

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in New Mexico and compare quotes today.

New York

  • $150-$1,500 fine
  • Possible $750 civil penalty
  • Possible impoundment
  • Possible license and vehicle suspension
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in New York and compare quotes today.

North Carolina

  • $50 fee
  • Probation up to 45 days
  • License and registration suspended for 30 days
  • $50 reinstatement fees
  • Subsequent offenses: $100-$150 fee and possible jail time up to 45 days

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in North Carolina and compare quotes today.

North Dakota

  • $150-$1,000 fine
  • $20 administrative fees
  • License suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $50 reinstatement fee with $10 driving test
  • SR-22 filed for one year
  • Subsequent offenses: $300-$5,000 fine, jail time of 30 days, and plates revoked

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in North Dakota and compare quotes today.

Ohio

  • License, registration, and plate suspended up to two years
  • $160 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three to five years
  • Subsequent offenses: Possible loss of vehicle and up to five-year suspension of registration, and up to $660 reinstatement fee

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Ohio and compare quotes today.

Oklahoma

  • Up to $250 fine
  • $125 administrative fees
  • Possible jail time up to 30 days
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • License and registration suspended up to one year or until proof of insurance is provided
  • $450 reinstatement fees
  • Subsequent offenses: License plate confiscation

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Oklahoma and compare quotes today.

Oregon

  • $260 fine
  • $130-$1,000 possible court fees
  • License and registration suspended
  • Possible vehicle impoundment
  • $75 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Monthly proof of insurance verification for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Oregon and compare quotes today.

Pennsylvania

  • $300 fine
  • $500 civil penalty or registration suspension for three months
  • License suspended for three months
  • $88-$179 reinstatement fee
  • Subsequent offenses: treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Pennsylvania and compare quotes today.

Rhode Island

  • $100-$500 fine
  • License, registration, certificate, and plate suspension for three months
  • $433 reinstatement fees
  • Possible Insurance Verification reinstatement fee of $251.50
  • SR-22 filed for one year
  • Subsequent offenses: $500-$1,000 fine and suspension of six months to one year

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Rhode Island and compare quotes today.

South Carolina

  • $650-$750 fine
  • Possible jail time up to 30 days, possibly in lieu of fine
  • $5 fine per day of lapsed coverage
  • License and registration suspended
  • $200 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed once
  • Subsequent offenses: $750 fine, plus $5 additionally per day of lapsed coverage, and possible jail time of 30 days to six months

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in South Carolina and compare quotes today.

South Dakota

  • $100-$500 fine
  • Possible jail time up to 30 days, possibly in lieu of fine
  • License suspended 30 days to one year
  • $50-$200 reinstatement fee, plus $28 application fee
  • SR-22 filed for three years, with mandatory suspension for non-compliance
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in South Dakota and compare quotes today.

Tennessee

  • $25-$125 fine
  • $50 administrative fees
  • License and registration suspended if proof of insurance is not provided within 45 days
  • $65 reinstatement fees
  • Subsequent offenses: $300 fine, suspension until proof is provided, mandatory driving test, and SR-22 filed for three years.

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Tennessee and compare quotes today.

Texas

  • $175-$350 fine
  • $750 surcharge fees
  • Possible license suspension up to two years
  • Possible vehicle impoundment
  • Subsequent offenses: $350-$1,000 fine and possible vehicle impoundment up to 180 days with fees of $15 per day.

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Texas and compare quotes today.

Utah

  • $400 fine
  • $50 administrative fee
  • License and registration suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $130 reinstatement fee
  • Subsequent offenses: $1,000 fine and a one-year suspension

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Utah and compare quotes today.

Vermont

  • Up to $600 fine
  • License suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • SR-22 filed for 3 years
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Vermont and compare quotes today.

Virginia

  • $500 fine
  • License, registration, and plate suspended
  • $145 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for up to three years
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Virginia and compare quotes today.

Washington

  • $450 minimum fine
  • $25 minimum court fees
  • Possible community service
  • SR-22 possibly required
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Washington and compare quotes today.

Washington, D.C.

  • $30 fine
  • $500 civil fine
  • Driver’s license suspended for 30 days
  • $98 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: Fines are increased by 50% for each offense and suspension lasts for 60 days
  • Please note that subsequent offenses for owning an uninsured vehicle can result in a fine of $150-$2,500

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Washington, D.C. and compare quotes today.

West Virginia

  • $200-$5,000 fine
  • Possible jail time 15 days to one year in lieu of fines
  • License suspended for 30 days
  • Registration suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $150 reinstatement fees
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: License suspended 90 days

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in West Virginia and compare quotes today.

Wisconsin

  • Up to $500 fine
  • License suspended until SR-22 filed
  • $60 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: Treated the same

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Wisconsin and compare quotes today.

Wyoming

  • $250-$750 fine
  • Possible jail time up to six months
  • License suspended until proof of insurance is provided
  • $50 reinstatement fee
  • SR-22 filed for three years
  • Subsequent offenses: $500-$1,500 fine and registration and plates revoked

Read our guide to cheap auto insurance in Wyoming and compare quotes today.

Bottom Line

Driving uninsured is never worth the risk, especially when cheap car insurance can be found. Legal and financial penalties can cost so much more than a monthly payment for bare-bones liability coverage. Not to mention that you’ll have a misdemeanor on your record for life.

If you’re concerned about affordability, be sure to run a free quote comparison with Insurify today to find the most cost-effective insurance policy. Get free quotes now and see how much you can save!

J.J. Starr is a financial copywriter and enjoys helping readers find the information they need. In addition to her background in banking and financial advising, she is also a poet with an MFA from New York University. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can learn more at jjstarrwrites.com.