Jane from Binghamton, NY Asks – “Why don’t states verify that motorists have insurance when one is registering a vehicle?”
While all states except for New Hampshire require that drivers have at least a minimum amount of liability insurance, some don’t require proof of insurance when registering vehicles. Illinois, Montana, Washington, and New Hampshire are the only states that allow you to register your car without showing proof of insurance. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t purchase car insurance. If you get pulled over and don’t have any car insurance, you can still face a variety of punishments, which vary by state. Some states take driving without insurance more serious than other, but you can expect to at least pay a fine while others incorporate jail time for multiple offenses. In states that don’t require proof of insurance to register a vehicle, it’s the result of state legislature.
If you aren’t sure whether your state requires proof of insurance, check with your local DMV for rules and regulations. Keep in mind that every time your purchase a new car, you must comply with all insurance and DMV rules. Some states also require that you renew your vehicle every year while others allow you to only do it several years at a time. Sometimes, you can renew your vehicle online, but you’ll still need to provide proof of insurance. Of course, that may not be the only that’s required. Some states require an emissions check to make sure the car complies with state laws. Most states require that your car pass an inspection, which is meant to check that your car is able to safely operate on the roads. If you have a motorcycle that needs to be registered, check with your state DMV as well. There may be different specifications. No matter what, do your research before registering any vehicle. It will save you time if you have all the necessary paperwork before going through the registration process.