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Penalties for Driving without Insurance in California

All across the nation, people are feeling costs for many things rise, creating a situation where people are looking to save money wherever they can. While it may be tempting to cancel your car insurance policy, this often ends up costing people a lot more money in the long run. If you decide to drive without car insurance, you are not only risking the possibility of penalties and/or license suspension from the state of California, but you are also risking massive expenses that can come your way if an automobile accident occurs.

Car crashes can be incredibly expensive, with people getting injured and property being damaged. With the wide variety of expenses that can come from allowing a car insurance policy to lapse, or canceling it altogether, it is a good idea to hold onto that policy and to shop around for the best prices for car insurance available. The tools on this website can help you find the best rates for auto insurance available and help keep money in your pocket.

California Insurance Requirements

It is illegal to drive in California without evidence of financial responsibility. While the vast majority of people utilize automobile insurance to satisfy this requirement, it is essential to note that there are other ways for people to prove financial responsibility as well. People can choose to use proof of a cash deposit of $35,000 with the DMV. Most people do not have this type of cash on hand to leave with the DMV in case an accident occurs, but some people do choose to go this route. A surety bond for $35,000 from a licensed business in California can also satisfy this requirement. Additionally, a DMV issued self-insurance certificate can also be used.

Most people choose to purchase a car insurance policy to fulfill this requirement, as fewer assets are needed all at one time, and payments for insurance are spread out. Car insurance companies issue certificates that include the driver's name and information, the insurance companies address, the driver's address, the policy number, and the dates that the driver is covered between.

The minimum requirements for insurance for drivers in California include minimums of $15,000 for the injury or death of one person, $30,000 for the injury or death of two or more persons, and $5,000 for property damage. All drivers in the state of California are required to have proof of financial responsibility, and this includes drivers who are visiting from out of state and unlicensed drivers as well. Some vehicles are exempt from having to carry insurance policies, and these include off-highway vehicles, vehicles registered to a government entity, trailers, specific special equipment vehicles, and vehicles with a planned non-operation status. If you are unsure of whether or not your vehicle requires insurance, check with the California DMV.

Penalties For Driving Without Insurance

There are a number of consequences that come when people drive without insurance in the state of California. With each offense, the penalties and fees increase. In addition to financial penalties, drivers are also at risk of having their driver’s license, plates, and registration suspended.

First Time Offense

The first offense a person has for driving without insurance in California results in a minimum fine of $100. Including additional fees and penalties, this $100 baseline fee could result in up to $400 or more in total fines.

The base fine increases to a minimum of $200 for a second offense within three years. This can have a total cost in fees and penalty assessments of around $800 or more in total. With a base fine of $500, the total fees and penalty assessments will result in approximately $2500 worth of expenses. Driving without insurance can add up quickly, even if you do not get into an accident. This is why having an insurance policy is essential, and also why shopping around for the best prices for car insurance is the best plan to save.

Additional Offenses

The financial end of things is only the beginning, however. In addition to monetary fines, the police could impound your vehicle if you are caught driving without insurance. If you are involved in a car accident, you could also be responsible for monetary damages to pay for damaged property or injuries to people who are involved in the crash. Your driver’s license can also be suspended for up to four years.

Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In An Accident

There are quite a few penalties that can happen to people who are driving without car insurance in California. If an accident occurs, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to four years. In addition, the police can have your vehicle impounded. This is in addition to the fees and penalty assessments that the state issues with tickets. The best way to avoid penalties for driving with no insurance is to purchase an insurance policy. Your vehicle registration can also be suspended if you are driving without insurance or cannot provide evidence of financial responsibility in the state of California.

You also want to keep in mind that the damages to property and the expenses you could be ordered to pay for the injuries that occurred to people involved in the accident can add up to a large sum very quickly. Car insurance plans protect you and your finances, helping you stay on solid financial footing if an expensive automobile accident occurs. Make sure to get enough coverage to suit your needs.

Appealing Your Fine

It is possible to appeal your fine. If you are cited for driving without insurance in the state, an experienced traffic ticket attorney may be able to assist you by showing that you have auto insurance but were not carrying the proof of it with you at the time you are cited. It is also possible to have the charges dismissed if you obtain insurance following the incident and bring that insurance into court.

All of this is avoidable, however, by purchasing a car insurance policy and carrying proof of insurance on you whenever you drive. Find the best tools to compare car insurance policies on the site, and save money on auto insurance today.

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