Are Nonresident Motorists in DC Required to Carry Auto Insurance?
A nonresident motorist driving in Washington, DC, must maintain automobile insurance that has been issued by an authorized insurer in the United States and provides enough coverage to be in compliance with the district’s financial responsibility laws.
Motorists who visit the U.S. Capitol must maintain vehicle coverage that either matches or exceeds the DC auto insurance requirements mandated by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This includes maintaining property damage liability with a limit of $10,000 and bodily injury liability with limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Additionally, policies must include uninsured motorist coverage with minimum limits of $25,000 and $50,000 for bodily injuries, and $5,000 for property damage.
Motorists who are registered in neighboring Maryland or Virginia—and have purchased vehicle coverage in their respective states—should have an adequate amount of liability coverage to legally drive in DC. The reason for this is both MD and VA require vehicle owners to purchase bodily injury and property damage liability with minimum limits that exceed those required in Washington. If motorists have an insufficient level of coverage that does not meet or exceed the requirements in DC, they must contact their insurer to find out how to adequately raise their coverage before operating a motor vehicle in the Capitol.
While driving in DC, it’s important that all motorists carry proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times. Adequate proof shows that a policy has been issued by a licensed insurer and includes the names of the insured persons, the policy number, the name of the coverage provider, and the duration of the policy.
Driving while uninsured is considered an infraction, and it’s likely to be accompanied by a number of fines and penalties. If motorists with a car registered in the district experience a lapse in coverage that lasts up to 30 days, they may be assessed a fine of $150, plus an additional $7 for every day that exceeds the initial 30 days. This can lead to a maximum fine of $2,500.