The penalty for driving without insurance includes driver’s license suspension, fines, potential vehicle towing, and in extreme cases, jail time. In some cases, a judge may require the uninsured driver to provide proof of car insurance for several years after the initial offense. Not doing so can result in continued suspension of driving privileges. The penalty for driving without insurance is strict in many localities to encourage all drivers to obtain car insurance. Without liability insurance, the financial burden falls on responsible drivers who must rely on their own insurance to cover all accident-related costs.
Suspension of driving privileges is a common penalty for driving without insurance. Lack of insurance may be discovered by a police officer when a driver is stopped for a moving violation. The driver then receives a traffic ticket and, in some cases, a request to appear in court before a judge on a specific date. Failure to appear in court can result in an automatic conviction. Upon appearance in court, the judge issues a decision about the length of the suspension, generally based on local or state regulations.
A penalty for driving without insurance typically includes a significant fine. The fine is payable by a specific date and may be contested in certain localities, particularly if the uninsured has a good driving record. Heavy fines are generally intended to impress upon drivers the importance of obtaining insurance. If the driver does have liability insurance and simply needs to appear in court to provide proof, the fine may be lowered or waived altogether.
When a driver’s uninsured status is discovered as a result of an accident, the penalty for driving without insurance may include vehicle towing and associated fees. Even in the case of a functional vehicle, a police officer may order vehicle towing immediately after an accident to protect other drivers from potential harm caused by an uninsured driver. Vehicle retrieval following towing generally results in additional fees for uninsured drivers.
The strictest and rarest penalty for driving without insurance is jail time. This is generally only applicable to drivers who have been repeatedly convicted of driving without liability insurance. The amount of jail time varies by both an individual’s driving history and by region. In such a case, the uninsured driver would appear in court with an attorney. Jail time is intended to protect society from the unfair financial burden of covering car accident costs caused by uninsured drivers.