What are the Penalties for Driving without Insurance in New York?
In the State of New York, operating a motor vehicle without insurance is deemed a criminal offense. According to the New York Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, drivers are required to carry an liability insurance policy that has a bare minimum of 25/50/10 coverage – $25,000 to cover the injuries one person sustains in an accident; $50,000 to cover injuries that two or more people sustain in an accident; $10,000 to cover the property damage caused by an accident.
In addition to carrying a liability policy that offers the coverage outlined above, drivers are also required to carry proof of their insurance while they are driving. In the event that a driver is pulled over or is involved in an accident and cannot provide proof of insurance – or doesn’t have insurance coverage at all – stiff penalties will be issued. Furthermore, even if you aren’t driving your vehicle (it’s in storage, for example), you are legally required to carry liability coverage if your vehicle is registered in the State of New York.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance
In the Empire State, if you are ever found driving without insurance or if you let someone else drive your vehicle and it isn’t insured, you could be looking at costly fines that range between $150 and $1,500. You will be obligated to pay those fines in a timely manner, or else you could suffer more serious consequences, such as jail time.
In addition to fines, if the vehicle you own is registered in New York State and is being operated, it could be impounded. You could also face up to 15 days in jail. Moreover, both your license and registration could be revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles. If that is the case, you will receive a notification. In order to have your license and registration reissued, you may have to pay a fee in the amount of $750 to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Should your insurance lapse for a period that exceeds 91 days, or if you have already been issued a penalty for driving without insurance in the span of three years, your option to pay a $750 fine to the DMV to have your license and registration reinstated will be revoked. Instead, you will be required to wait out the suspension period in order to have your license and registration reinstated.
Penalties for Letting Insurance Lapse
As stated, drivers are required to maintain their liability insurance for as long as their vehicles are registered in the State of New York. That means that policies must be renewed or a new policy must be purchased before an existing insurance policy expires. Whether you fail to renew it in time or you cancel your policy and fail to get a new one, your insurance agency will alert New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Your registration will likely be suspended as soon as the DMV receives this notification. Additionally, you will be charged a fee for each day that you fail to have your insurance coverage reinstated.
The following fees will be charged for each day that your insurance is lapsed:
- $8 per day for 1 to 30 days, or a total of $240
- $10 per day for 31 to 60 days, or a total of $300
- $12 per day for 61 to 90 days, or a total of $360
The total charge for allowing your insurance to lapse for 90 days is $900. If you are not able to pay these fines, you have the option to surrender your registration, as well as your license plates, until the suspension period has ended. If you do not pay the fine and fail to surrender your vehicle’s registration and license plates, your registration and license will also be suspended. In order to have your license reinstated, you will be required to pay the DMV a fee.
In total, the cost of allowing your liability insurance and being convicted of operating a vehicle without insurance in the Empire State could end up costing you a total of $2,400.
Penalties for Being Involved in an Accident without Insurance
If you or someone else is driving your vehicle without insurance and is involved in an accident, the DMV will immediately revoke your license and registration for a minimum of one year after the collision.
On top of having to pay a $750 civil penalty and $1,500 in fines to have your license reinstated, you will also be held liable to pay for any injuries or damages that occurred in the accident.
Summing it Up
Driving without insurance in New York State is considered a serious offense. To avoid serious consequences, make sure that you have your vehicle properly insured and that you maintain your policy. If you currently do not have car insurance coverage and you would like to shop around and compare rates, please scroll back up to the top of this page and enter your zip code to begin comparing quotes from the best auto insurance providers in New York.