What Happens if I Get Caught Driving Without Car Insurance in California?
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If you are stopped by the police, you must show proof of insurance together with your driver’s license and registration. If you fail to do so, you will get a ticket for not having car insurance and face consequences, depending on your situation.
If you are detained in California driving without insurance, you may face the following fines:
- Between $100 – $200 for your first offense.
- Between $200 – $500 for each infraction occurring within three years after the first.
If you were driving without insurance, California car insurance laws come into play. If you find yourself in this circumstance or you have been involved in a car accident, it is advisable to speak with a knowledgeably attorney who like those at Avrek Law who can help you define the next steps you need to take.
California Minimum Car Insurance Laws
Californian law requires you to have a way to cover costs related to damages or injuries that you may cause in a traffic accident – it is illegal to drive without car insurance in California. The state is a very populated and has some very dangerous roads that you should be aware of. Buying liability insurance is the simplest and most common way that people choose to meet this requirement.
The minimum amount of civil liability insurance you must have in your policy is:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for property damage.
Remember, in California and most other states, there is a penalty for driving without insurance and registration.
Is it Illegal to Drive Without Insurance in California?
In short, yes. Having auto insurance is a legal requirement in California. As a minimum, drivers must have liability insurance. However, the state offers discounts and a program for low-income drivers.
By law, drivers in almost all states of the country must have a minimum of insurance coverage in case they are involved in an accident and must compensate damages caused to third parties with their vehicle. Not having auto insurance is not only illegal in California, it is also quite inconvenient because the responsibility of driving is left in the driver’s hands and in their financial resources.
If a driver does not have money to buy insurance, chances are they will not have the resources to deal with a claim for an accident. This then becomes an uninsured motorist claim in an accident, which can become complicated.
What Happens if I’m in a Car Accident and Don’t Have Insurance?
On this basis, the civil liability system works in case of an accident. If all drivers have insurance at the time of an accident, it will indemnify the repair costs of the damaged cars, the loss of personal property of those involved or third parties, and the medical treatment and claims for damages of the people involved in the accident.
The problem is that many drivers decide to get the most basic form of insurance, the minimum that the laws of the state require to meet the requirements of driving legally, but this coverage is not always enough and then the problems begin. Many drivers also neglect their obligations and have no insurance in the hope that they will never be seen in a mishap and no one will discover them.
This can also cause big problems for people who do have insurance and find themselves in an accident where the other party of the crash does not have coverage. Then, they are forced to make a claim to their own insurance and this brings multiple problems in the future. For this reason, insurance companies have coverage that can be added to a particular auto insurance, which gives extra protection in case the driver with whom you may have had a collision is not covered, and it’s considered one of the best car insurances in the country.
In other words, when you include uninsured or underinsured drivers in your policy, if you have a collision with an uninsured or fleeing driver, your insurer will reimburse you as if it were the insurance of another driver.
Two other benefits of this additional coverage:
- It comes into effect if you are a victim of a pedestrian accident.
- It provides additional supplements over the minimum limits the coverage of an insured driver may offer, if this is the fault of the accident and the coverage of his insurance is not enough to complete the costs of the crash.
However, do not count on other drivers having this type of insurance, mainly because it costs an additional charge to the premium. What most people don’t realize is that having this extra coverage is cheaper than paying a fine for not having car insurance.
DMV Penalty for Driving Without Insurance and Registration
When you are driving without insurance, California DMV can impose a suspension of your auto registration if:
- The DMV of CA is notified of the cancellation of your insurance and you do not replace it within 45 days.
- Your auto insurance information is not provided to DMV within 30 days of initial registration or transfer of ownership.
- You registered your car with false evidence of insurance.
The DMV will send you a notice if your record has been suspended because you do not have auto insurance. However, you can re-register your car with the insurance for a minimal cost and request your reinstatement to the DMV.
Online, you can take care of this through the CA DMV Insurance Program and Registration Suspension page. By mail, you can address this matter by contacting:
DMV, PO Box 997405, Sacramento, CA 95899
When you have been involved in a car accident and one or more of the drivers is uninsured, hire a lawyer experienced in these types of accidents to help you start a claim. With more than 50 years of combined experience, Avrek has recovered more than $1 Billion in compensation for injury victims in over 45,000 cases. We’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve – view our locations, or contact us for a free consultation to learn more!