Using Fake Proof of Insurance – What Are the Penalties?

Last Updated on May 16, 2021

States require drivers to have car insurance. If you are pulled over by a police officer, you must show proof of insurance.

Some drivers carry fake proof of insurance documentation. Sometimes, police officers cannot verify insurance information immediately. Some drivers even use fake proof of insurance documentation to fool the DMV.

Using fake proof of insurance papers is a form of fraud. If you are caught with fake proof of insurance papers, then you may face severe penalties.

Using Fake Proof of Insurance - What Are the Penalties?

Why You Need Proof of Auto Insurance

All states require drivers to have some type of insurance coverage. You need at least basic liability insurance, which protects other drivers against your actions. Liability insurance includes bodily injury liability coverage (which covers medical bills and similar expenses for anyone you injure). It also includes property damage coverage (which covers vehicle repair expenses and other costs for any damage you cause).

Two states do not require auto insurance, including New Hampshire and Virginia. However, drivers in these states must still have some type of registration with the DMV.

You need to provide proof of insurance when:

  • Registering your vehicle with the DMV
  • Pulled over by a police officer

Insurance companies communicate with the DMV regarding the insurance status of clients. The insurer may send a notice to the DMV if a client’s policy has lapsed, for example, in which case your registration could be invalidated.

Police officers may also request proof of insurance when pulling you over. One in seven drivers in the United States is uninsured, and police officers may impound a vehicle or file a citation for driving without insurance.

If you do not have proof of insurance, then you may be tempted to create fake proof of insurance cards. You might copy your old insurance policy and change the dates, for example.

Does Fake Proof of Insurance Actually Work?

Generally, fake proof of insurance documentation will not work. The DMV will catch you and suspend your license. Or, a police officer could give you a ticket for driving without insurance. You could also be charged with insurance fraud or worse.

First, car insurance companies communicate with the DMV regarding insurance status. If you haven’t renewed your car insurance policy, then your car insurance has lapsed. Your insurer will notify your state DMV, and your DMV may suspend your registration until you provide proof of insurance. You must stop using your vehicle and return your license plates if your registration is invalid. Your license could be suspended.

Most state DMVs have live databases. Insurance information is updated constantly. A quick check of the database will reveal your insurance status. If the database shows you are uninsured, and you provide a fake proof of insurance document, then you could get caught in the lie.

If you are pulled over by a police officer, then it’s possible the police officer will not check your insurance policy. The police officer may visually inspect your insurance documentation, for example, and verify that everything is correct. If the proof of insurance documentation looks correct and active, then you might be free to go.

However, if the police officer checks with the DMV database or runs your registration, then you could get caught. In some cases – like when passing through a DUI check stop – the police officer will only check your documentation with no formal database check. In other cases, the police officer will run a formal registration check – say, if you were pulled over for speeding.

Some states do not have live databases, which could make it easy to get away with fake insurance documentation. Most states, however, use live databases or similar systems, in which case you can quickly get caught in a lie.

Penalties for Not Having Proof of Insurance

If you are caught using fake proof of insurance documentation, then you might fake a range of penalties. You may be penalized for driving without insurance and deceiving a law enforcement officer. In some states, you might just pay a fine. In other states, you could be arrested and have your license suspended.

Burden of Documentation: You might get caught driving without proof of insurance even if you are insured. In this case, you may be able to provide proof of insurance within 24 hours to avoid penalties. Some drivers forgot to put updated proof of insurance papers in their vehicle, for example. If you are unable to provide proof of valid insurance within 24 hours, then you may face further penalties.

Fines: If this is the first time you were caught driving without insurance, then you may just pay a fine. Fines range from $25 to $1,000.

Suspended License: If you are caught driving without insurance, then your license may be suspended until you can prove you have insurance.

Higher Insurance Premiums: People who are caught driving without insurance are considered risky drivers. That means you’ll pay higher insurance premiums.

Arrest: If you have been repeatedly caught driving without insurance, then you could be arrested. If you were caught driving without insurance and your license was suspended, for example, and then you continued to drive, then you could be arrested because there’s a pattern of reckless behavior.

Criminal Fraud Charges: If you deliberately created fake proof of insurance documents and showed those documents to a police officer or DMV employee, then you could be criminally charged with fraud. You intentionally deceived someone, and that could mean more severe penalties.

Other Penalties: Additional penalties for fake documentation include driver’s education requirements, monetary penalties, community service, or criminal charges.

How to Obtain Proof of Insurance

Driving without insurance is illegal, and it’s easy to get caught driving with fake proof of insurance. You can avoid these issues by obtaining proof of insurance.

If you do not have car insurance, then you need to buy insurance to legally drive. Compare car insurance quotes online today. Enter your ZIP code into an online comparison form, then check rates from top providers in your region.

If you already have car insurance, then contact your insurance company or agent to request proof of insurance documentation. Most companies will happily email a PDF copy of your proof of insurance documentation.

Today, many insurance companies offer mobile apps with proof of insurance. You can show this app to a police officer to verify coverage.

Final Word on Fake Proof of Insurance

Using fake proof of insurance documents is a bad idea. It’s easy to get caught, and you could face severe penalties.

Depending on your state, penalties for using fake insurance documents range from a $25 fine to complete license suspension or arrest. Get valid proof of insurance today to avoid penalties.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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