Georgia Car Insurance Requirements and Laws
|The Peach State requires that motorists keep continuous coverage on motor vehicles at all times to legally drive in GA, register and obtain license plates (tags) or to renew, replace or transfer current license plates. Failure to comply can result in fines, impoundment of the vehicle, suspension of driving privileges and even imprisonment.|
Currently, Georgia's state law requires that motorists who choose to purchase an auto insurance policy must obtain coverage with liability limits consisting of at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Policies purchased within the state must be issued by an insurer that is licensed with the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Office (ICO); consumers are encouraged to check with the state and confirm licensing prior to purchasing a policy from a carrier.
When coverage is obtained from a licensed insurer, the carrier is legally required to transmit policy information to the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS) database within thirty days of the effective date of coverage. The GEICS database allows law enforcement and the county tax commissioner's office to easily and electronically check whether or not a vehicle is insured . This is done by using the vehicle identification number (VIN) to cross-reference the policy information stored on the database.
Insurers are also required by law to issue an insurance policy information cards for every vehicle insured and the cards are required to be kept in vehicles at all times by policyholders. Although GA car insurance coverage status is kept in the GEICS database, these ID cards may be needed if a motorist travels into another state where they may not be able to access the database, if requested by a law enforcement officer, or if involved in an accident and policy information needs to be exchanged.
Motorists that do not comply with the states laws can end up facing some stiff penalties. If a law enforcement officer requests proof of insurance and the driver is unable to provide the proper documentation, then the officer can issue a traffic citation. If an individual is convicted of driving while uninsured it is considered a misdemeanor, they could be subject to a fine ranging between $200 and $1,000, impoundment of the vehicle, license suspension and/or up to 12 months in jail. If there was a valid policy covering the vehicle at the time the ticket was issued, the court may impose a fine of no more than $25 and the driver's license will not be suspended.