In the State of California, it is illegal to drive without insurance. When you’re pulled over, a police officer may ask you for proof of automobile insurance. Regardless of why you don’t have proof of insurance, the office can issue a no insurance ticket. These tickets are expensive, have lasting repercussions, and can be an extreme inconvenience if you had insurance but were simply unable to prove such at that time.
Under California Vehicle Code §16028, driving without insurance is referred to as driving without proof of financial responsibility, which includes:
If the driver has insurance, the following minimum automobile insurance requirements apply:
Acquiring automobile insurance that does not meet the mandatory minimum coverages is considered not having insurance under California law. Similarly, driving without proof of financial responsibility, despite actually having insurance or another financial undertaking satisfactory under California law, is still a violation of the law and will most often result in you being issued a ticket.
While certain vehicles and drivers may be exempt from maintaining evidence of financial responsibility, these exemptions are narrow and require consultation with an experienced traffic attorney to determine whether they are applicable to your case.
In California, repercussions for driving without insurance depend upon the reason for the no insurance ticket. Nonetheless, consequences may include criminal penalties, increased insurance premiums, and civil liability in automobile accidents.
Criminal penalties can be divided based on whether the ticket is a result of a traffic stop or as a result of an accident.
For no insurance tickets as a result of a traffic stop, the following penalties apply:
Second and Additional Offenses
For no insurance tickets as a result of an accident, the following penalties apply:
First Offense After Collision
Second and Additional Offenses After Collision
An often-overlooked cost of no insurance tickets is their effect on future insurance rates. When underwriting insurance policies, insurance companies consider past traffic offenses. For someone who has a prior no insurance ticket, they can expect their premiums to increase significantly.
Additionally, driving without insurance also places you at substantial risk of civil liability. Insurance provides payment to parties that you injure while driving. Thus, if you injure someone while driving and cause $15,000 of personal injury, your insurance company should pay that amount. However, if you do not have automobile insurance, you will be liable for any injury or damage that you cause. In severe cases, you could be facing hundreds of thousands of dollars of civil liability when considering property damage and personal injuries.
If you have been issued a no insurance ticket, then you should contact our office as soon as possible. We can appear on your behalf to resolve any issues, such as proving that you actually had financial responsibility at the time you were issued the ticket, and work to have your ticket potentially dismissed or reduced. Our attorneys are familiar with the local traffic courts and know how to mitigate a ticket so that you face significantly reduced repercussions. For example, we may be able to have your ticket dismissed or reduced by proving that you have since taken financial responsibility through an automobile insurance policy that conforms with California state laws. In short, our experienced traffic attorneys can help reduce or eliminate the consequences of the ticket and save you the time and cost associated with attending hearings during working hours.
At CheapTrafficAttorneys, we have successfully defended clients throughout Los Angeles against more than 10,000 traffic tickets. Our business model provides the best value services available in Southern California, which ensure that you can afford to protect your finances and California driving record. For recent examples of how we have helped others in your situation, please visit our success stories page. If you have received a driving without insurance ticket or other driving-related offense, please contact our office as soon as possible for a free consultation or submit your ticket information through our website.