So you were unable to provide proof of insurance to a police officer. What kind of fine can you expect? How much is a ticket for no proof of insurance? Are there any other penalties – like points – for getting caught driving without proof of insurance? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about getting a ticket with no proof of insurance.
Fines Vary Widely Between Counties and States
Understandably, the fine for driving without proof of insurance varies between counties and states. However, there are certain average prices you can expect to pay across the country.
If no proof of insurance is shown, for example, but you’re able to provide proof of insurance within 14 to 30 days, then you’ll pay a fine of approximately $25. This fine assumes that you’re able to provide, within a short period of time, proof that you were insured on the date you were pulled over – even if you did not have the proof of insurance document with you at that time.
Alternatively, some drivers are unable to produce proof of insurance when they’re pulled over, but are able to obtain insurance within the near future. Assuming you were uninsured at the time you were pulled over and got insured later, you can expect to pay a fine of around $150 to $200.
Finally, there’s the most extreme penalty. If you’re unable to provide proof of insurance when you’re pulled over and do not provide proof of insurance at any point in the future, then you can expect to pay a fine of around $225 to $350.
Other Penalties for Failing to Produce Proof of Insurance
You may think: a $25 to $350 fine isn’t that bad for failing to provide proof of insurance – especially considering most drivers pay about $80 to $150 per month for car insurance anyway.
Unfortunately, the fines listed above aren’t the only penalties for failing to produce proof of insurance.
You might face county and state surcharges, for example, that total over $1,000 in fines, points, and other penalties. These penalties are more common – and more severe – if this is your second, third, or fourth time caught driving without proof of insurance.
Your car might also be seized. If you don’t have proof of insurance, and your vehicle isn’t insured, then you’re not legally able to drive on the road. The police officer may seize your vehicle. In this case, your car will be impounded. It will be towed to an impound lot. You’ll need to pay the towing fee – anywhere from $100 to $300. You’ll also need to pay an impound fee of $30 to $60 per day. You’ll only be able to get your vehicle when you provide proof of insurance. At this point, all fees may be assessed a 10% tax on top of what you already owe.
The Second Offense Can Cost Between $900 and $2500
If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance for the first time, then you can expect to pay $100 to $300 in fines.
However, if you’re caught driving without proof of insurance a second time, then your fine can be anywhere from $900 to $2500. This doesn’t include the extra expenses listed above – like the county and state fees, towing fees, and impound lot charges.
1 in 7 American Drivers Do Not Have Insurance
If you’re reading this article, then you may be wondering: is it really worth it to have car insurance? Why am I paying hundreds or thousands of dollars per year for something I never use? Is it in my best financial interests to just pay a fine every few years?
I’ll leave that up to you to decide. In most states, it’s illegal to drive without at least minimum liability insurance.
However, since fines aren’t steep, some drivers decide it’s in their best interest to avoid getting insurance. In fact, statistics show that approximately 1 in 7 American drivers do not have car insurance. That means out of every 7 cars around you on the road, 1 will have no insurance whatsoever. If you get into an accident with that vehicle, even if the other driver was totally at-fault, you have limited recourse (unless you have uninsured or underinsured driver insurance).
Additionally, some states allow you to carry “alternative” types of car insurance. In California, for example, you can provide proof of assets in lieu of car insurance. If you have more than, say, $35,000 in cash deposited with a special county office, then you may be able to avoid getting insurance. For average drivers, this isn’t an option. However, it’s an option for high net worth individuals.
Conclusion: Carry Proof of Insurance With You At All Times
If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance, then you’re going to pay a costly fine. If you legitimately have insurance and just forgot to bring proof, then your fine may only be $25. However, if you don’t have any insurance whatsoever, then you might face thousands of dollars in fines, penalties, towing charges, and impound charges. Your best option is to drive with proof of insurance at all times.