In the market for a new car and find yourself wondering, can you buy a car without insurance? The short answer? Yes. But driving without insurance is illegal in most states and the potential penalties for an uninsured driver can be steep, including fines, driver’s license suspension, restrictions, and even jail time for any repeat offender. And that’s if you don’t get into a serious car accident. If you do, the consequences will only increase.

Want to know the consequences of driving without insurance? This guide has you covered.

What Type of Auto Insurance Is Required?

Currently, 48 states and Washington D.C. require a driver to carry some level of auto insurance in order to be legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways—New Hampshire and Virginia being the two holdouts. The amounts may vary from state to state, but they all require a driver to at least have the following types of car insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury (BI) – This covers the bodily damages to third parties incurred during a car accident. Depending on the state, it will have a per person and per accident minimum of at least $10,000 and $20,000.

  • Property damage (PD) – This covers damage to another driver’s vehicle or a third party’s personal property, such as a fence that was hit in an accident.

Some states will also require additional types of coverage, including uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, or personal injury protection (PIP).

What Are the Penalties of Driving without Insurance?

The answer to that question is: it depends.

It depends on your state and the laws therein. Because there’s so much variance, we’ve taken the liberty of breaking the consequences of driving without insurance down state by state:

Note: In almost every state where imprisonment is listed for a first offense, the penalty isn’t automatically mandated, but it could be court-ordered depending on the case.

Alabama

  • Required Insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 3 months maximum

  • Suspension of Registration – Suspension with $200 reinstatement of registration fee

  • SR-22 required – For 1 year after

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – Up to $3,000

  • Imprisonment – 6 months maximum

  • Suspension of Registration – 4 month registration suspension with $400 reinstatement fee

  • Suspension of License – Potential 6 month suspension

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Alaska

  • Required Insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 50/100/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • Suspension of License – 90-days minimum

  • SR-22 required – For 1 year after

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500 minimum

  • Imprisonment – Depends on the case

  • Suspension of License – 1 year minimum

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Arizona

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 15/30/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 max

  • Suspension of license – 3 months, (if at fault in an accident) 3 years

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $750 minimum

  • Suspension of license and registration: 6 months

  • SR-22 required – For 2 years after

Arkansas

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 maximum

  • Suspension of registration – Suspended until proof of insurance coverage with a $20 fee

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $250 minimum and $500 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of registration – Suspended until proof of insurance coverage with a $20 fee

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

California

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $100 - $200 & additional penalties

  • Impoundment – May be court-ordered

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $200 - $500 & additional penalties

  • Impoundment – May be court-ordered

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after if the driver causes an accident while uninsured

Colorado

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 minimum

  • Imprisonment – May be sentenced to 40 hours of community service

  • Suspension of license – Suspension until driver provides proof of insurance

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $1,000 minimum

  • Imprisonment – 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license – 4 - 8 months

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Connecticut

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $100 - $1000

  • Suspension of license and registration – 1 month and must show proof of insurance

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $100 - $1000

  • Suspension of license and registration – 6 months and must show proof of insurance

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Delaware

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $1500 - $2000

  • Suspension of license – 6 months and must show proof of insurance

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $1500 - $2000

  • Suspension of license – 6 months and must show proof of insurance

District of Columbia

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500

  • Suspension of license – Up to 30 days

  • Suspension of registration – Until driver shows proof of insurance

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $750

  • Suspension of license – Up to 60 days

  • Suspension of registration – Until driver shows proof of insurance

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Florida

  • Required insurance – PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 10/20/10 (4)

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $150 license reinstatement fee

  • Suspension of license and registration – 3 years, or until driver provides proof of non-cancelable insurance

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $250 - $500 license reinstatement fee

  • Suspension of license and registration – 3 years, or until driver provides proof of non-cancelable insurance

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Georgia

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $200 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – 60 days and driver must also provide a 6 month minimum insurance policy with a $200 restoration fee

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $200 - $1,000

  • Imprisonment – 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license and registration – 90 days and driver must also show a 6 month minimum insurance policy with a $300 restoration fee

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Hawaii

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 20/40/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 max

  • Imprisonment – 75 - 100 hours of community service

  • Suspension of license – 3 months, or driver can show a 6 month minimum insurance policy

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $1500 - $5,000

  • Imprisonment – 200 - 275 hours of community service

  • Suspension of license – 1 year, or driver can show a 6 month minimum insurance policy

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Idaho

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/15

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $75

  • Suspension of license – Until driver can show proof of insurance

  • SR-22 required – For 1 year after

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $1,000 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 6 months in jail

  • Suspension of license – Until driver can show proof of insurance

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Illinois

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/20

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – 3 months and reinstatement fee of $100

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – 3 months and reinstatement fee of $100

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Indiana

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 20/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – Reinstatement fee of $150

  • Suspension of license – 90 days - 1 year

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – Reinstatement fee of $225

  • Suspension of license and registration – 1 year

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Iowa

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 20/40/15

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 or community service

  • Impoundment – Possible when pulled over

  • Removal of plates and registration – Possible when pulled over without insurance, only to be reissued upon payment of fines and proof of insurance

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $250 or community service

  • Impoundment – Possible when pulled over

  • Removal of plates and registration – Possible when pulled over without insurance, only to be reissued upon payment of fines and proof of insurance

  • SR-22 required – For 2 years after

Kansas

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $300 - $1,000

  • Imprisonment – 6 months maximum

  • Suspension of license and registration: Until proof of insurance has been filed with the director and a $100 reinstatement fee paid

  • SR-22 required – For 1 year after

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $800 - $2,500

  • Imprisonment – 200 - 275 hours of community service

  • Suspension of license and registration: Until proof of insurance has been filed with the director and a $100 reinstatement fee paid

  • SR-22 required – For 1 year after

Kentucky

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25 (4)

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 - $100

  • Imprisonment – 90 days in jail maximum

  • Suspension of registration –1 year, or until proof of insurance is shown

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $1000 - $2,500

  • Imprisonment – 180 day maximum

  • Suspension of registration – 1 year, or until proof of insurance is shown

  • Revocation of license – 1 year

Louisiana

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 15/30/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • Suspension of registration and revocation of plates – Until proof of insurance is shown and a $60 reinstatement fee paid

  • Impoundment – If driver fails to comply with provisions

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • Suspension of registration and revocation of plates – Until proof of insurance is shown and a $160 reinstatement fee paid

  • Impoundment – If driver fails to comply with provisions

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Maine

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, UI, Medpay

  • Minimum liability limits – 50/100/25 (5)

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $100 - $500

  • Suspension of license and registration – Until driver shows proof of insurance

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $100 - $500

  • Suspension of license and registration – Until driver shows proof of insurance

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Maryland

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 30/60/15

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $1,000 maximum

  • Suspension of registration – Until driver shows proof of insurance and pays a $25 vehicle registration fee

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $2,000 maximum

  • Suspension of registration – Until driver shows proof of insurance and pays a $25 vehicle registration fee

Massachusetts

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine to municipality – $500

  • Fine to risk plan – $500, or one year’s premium for compulsory motor vehicle insurance

  • Imprisonment – 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license – 60 days

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine to municipality – $500-$5,000

  • Fine to risk plan – $500, or one year’s premium for compulsory motor vehicle insurance

  • Imprisonment – 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license – 1 year

Michigan

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 20/40/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $200 - $500

  • Imprisonment: 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license 30 days or until proof of insurance is shown and $25 service fee paid

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $200 - $500

  • Imprisonment: 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license 30 days or until proof of insurance is shown and $25 service fee paid

Minnesota

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 30/60/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $200 - $1000

  • Imprisonment – 90 day maximum

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • Suspension of registration – 12 months, or until proof of insurance is shown

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $200 - $1000

  • Imprisonment – 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • Suspension of registration – 12 months, or until proof of insurance is shown

Missouri

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $300 maximum

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown and a $20 reinstatement fee paid

  • Suspension of registration – If a license is suspended in the state, so too is the registration

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $300 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 15 day maximum in county jail

  • Suspension of license – 90 days, and until proof of insurance is shown and a $200 reinstatement fee paid

  • Suspension of registration – If a license is suspended in the state, so too is the registration

  • SR-22 required – For 2 years after

Montana

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/20

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 - $500

  • Imprisonment – 10 days maximum in county jail

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $350

  • Imprisonment – 10 days maximum in county jail

  • Suspension of license – 90 days

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Nebraska

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $50 license reinstatement fee and $50 renewal fee

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $50 license reinstatement fee and $50 renewal fee

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Nevada

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/20

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown and $250 reinstatement fee paid

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after if lapsed for 90 days

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown and $500 reinstatement fee paid

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after if lapsed for 90 days

New Jersey

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 15/30/5 (6)

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $300 - $1,000

  • Imprisonment – Community service to be determined by the court

  • Suspension of license – 1 year

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $5,000 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 14 day maximum and 30 days of community service

  • Suspension of license – 2 years

New Mexico

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $300 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 90 day maximum

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $1,000 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 6 month maximum

  • Surrender of license and registration – Yes

New York

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/10 (7)

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $150 - $1,500

  • Imprisonment – 15 day maximum

  • Suspension of license – If the driver is without insurance for 90 days, registration and license are suspended for a time equal to the insurance lapse

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $150 - $1,500

  • Imprisonment – 15 day maximum

  • Suspension of license – If the driver is without insurance for 90 days, registration and license are suspended for a time equal to the insurance lapse

North Carolina

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 30/60/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $50

  • Imprisonment – 1 - 45 day probation

  • Suspension of registration – 30 days and a $50 reinstatement fee

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $100

  • Imprisonment – 1 - 45 day probation or imprisonment

  • Suspension of registration – 30 days and a $50 reinstatement fee

North Dakota

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • SR-22 required – For 1 year

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $300 - $5,000

  • Imprisonment – 30 days maximum

  • Suspension of license and removal of plates – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • SR-22 required – For 1 year

Ohio

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Suspension of license, registration, and plates – Until proof of insurance is shown and $160 reinstatement fee paid

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Suspension of license, registration, and plates – For 1 year, and until proof of insurance is shown and $660 reinstatement fee paid

  • SR-22 required – For 3 - 5 years after

Oklahoma

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 30 day maximum

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown and $275 reinstatement fee paid

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $250 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 30 day maximum

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown and $275 reinstatement fee paid

Oregon

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/20

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $130 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – To be determined by the courts

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after if lapsed for 90 days

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $130 - $1,000

  • Suspension of license – To be determined by the courts

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after if lapsed for 90 days

Pennsylvania

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 15/30/5

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $300

  • Suspension of license – 3 months

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500

  • Suspension of license – 6 months

Rhode Island

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $100 - $500

  • Suspension of license and registration – 3 months

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500

  • Suspension of license and registration – 6 months

South Carolina

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $100 - $200 and $5 for every day without insurance

  • Imprisonment – 30 days

  • Suspension of license and registration – Until proof of insurance is shown and $200 reinstatement fee paid

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $200 and $5 for every day without insurance

  • Imprisonment – 30 days

  • Suspension of license and registration – Until proof of insurance is shown and $200 reinstatement fee paid

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

South Dakota

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 30 days maximum in county jail

  • Suspension of license – 30 days - 1 year, and until proof of insurance is shown and $50 reinstatement fee paid

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • Imprisonment – 30 days maximum in county jail

  • Suspension of license – 30 days - 1 year, and until proof of insurance is shown and $50 reinstatement fee paid

Tennessee

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/15 (4)

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $300 maximum

  • Suspension of license and registration – Until proof of insurance is shown, $100 restoration fee is paid, and driver license exam is passed

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $300 maximum

  • Suspension of license and registration – Until proof of insurance is shown, $100 restoration fee is paid, and driver license exam is passed

Texas

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 30/60/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $175 - $350, plus $250 surcharge for 3 years.

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $350 - $1000, plus $250 surcharge for 3 years.

  • Suspension of license – After repeat offense, license and registration suspended for two years, or until driver shows proof of insurance

  • SR-22 Required – For 2 years after

Utah

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, PIP

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/65/15

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $400

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $1,00

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • SR-22 Required – For 3 years after

Vermont

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/20

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 - $500

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $250 - $500

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • SR-22 Required – For 3 years after

Washington

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 and $37 in fees

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $250 and $37 in fees

West Virginia

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, UIM

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/25

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $200 - $5,000

  • Imprisonment – 15 day minum, 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license – 30 days, and until proof of insurance is shown and $200 fee paid

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $200 - $5,000

  • Imprisonment – 15 day minum, 1 year maximum

  • Suspension of license – 90 days, and until proof of insurance is shown and $200 fee paid

Wisconsin

  • Required insurance – BI, PD, UM, Medpay

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/10

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500 maximum

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Wyoming

  • Required insurance – BI, PD

  • Minimum liability limits – 25/50/20

  • First offense:

  • Fine – $250 - $750

  • Imprisonment – 6 month maximum

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

  • Subsequent offenses:

  • Fine – $500 - $1,500

  • Imprisonment – 6 month maximum

  • Suspension of license – Until proof of insurance is shown

  • SR-22 required – For 3 years after

Don’t Drive Without Insurance—Online Auto Insurance

The consequences of driving without insurance vary by state and circumstance. However, the potential penalties above could get much worse if you also get in an accident that leads to serious bodily injury or property damage.

Driving comes with inherent risk. And it’s never worth getting behind the wheel without having valid insurance. Debating between reinstating cancelled auto insurance or looking for a new provider?

Need help with that?

The team at Online Auto Insurance has you covered. Compare online auto quotes across multiple providers so you can protect yourself and others with the right amount of coverage.

Sources:

Insurance Information Institute. Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws By State. https://www.iii.org/automobile-financial-responsibility-laws-by-state

Consumer Federation of America. Penalties for Driving without Auto Insurance By State. https://consumerfed.org/pdfs/140310_penaltiesfordrivingwithoutautoinsurance_cfa.pdf