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Driving Without Insurance Can Have Serious Consequences

According to a recent study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), approximately one in seven motorists nationwide get behind the wheel without car insurance. Having the appropriate level of auto insurance is necessary not only because it protects drivers from liability if they cause an accident or injure someone, but also because it is required by law. With the exception of New Hampshire, every state - including New York - requires drivers to carry insurance or some other proof of financial responsibility.

New York Drivers Must Have Insurance

In New York, driving without car insurance is a serious offense. Under New York law, every vehicle driven on a public road must carry at least liability insurance. The insurance is not tied to the driver, but rather to the vehicle. This means that a driver could face penalties for driving an uninsured vehicle - even if his other vehicles are insured.

New York is a 25/50/10 state, which means that each driver must carry at minimum:

  • $25,000 per person in bodily injury coverage
  • $50,000 per incident injury coverage
  • $10,000 in property damage coverage

Penalties Can Be Severe

The penalties for driving an uninsured vehicle in New York can affect a driver both financially and practically. Those who drive an uninsured vehicle in New York face a driver's license suspension lasting at least one year. If the driver of an uninsured vehicle is in an accident, he may receive not only a minimum one year driver's license suspension, but also a civil penalty of $750 - which must be paid before applying for a new license - a fine of up to $1,500, and up to 15 days of jail time.

In recent years, technology has enabled law enforcement to become increasingly adept at discovering whether a driver has a valid insurance policy. Previously, some drivers would make one insurance payment, cancel their policies, but keep their insurance cards to present in the event of an accident or traffic violation. Today, however, police have access to a wide variety of tools that allow them to see whether a given policy is still valid.

Contact a Traffic Violation Attorney

If you have received a citation for driving without insurance, speeding, or other traffic or license offense, contact an experienced traffic violation attorney. A knowledgeable traffic violation lawyer can assess your case and advise you of your options. For more information, contact an attorney today.