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Is Driving Without Insurance a Crime in New York?

Most states across the United States require drivers to have auto insurance. Driving without insurance in New York is a crime that puts you at risk for harsh penalties, not to mention the financial risk you hold as a result of being uninsured. Owning a car can be costly when you add up loan payments, gas, maintenance costs, and insurance payments. If you don’t get into many fender benders you may believe insurance is unnecessary. However, accidents can happen anywhere at any time, and you could owe tens of thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye. If you require legal advice or representation, a skilled Ramapo criminal defense attorney can help.

Is Driver’s Insurance Required in NY?

Any car that is registered in the state of New York is required by law to have auto insurance. There are insurance laws that dictate the minimum coverage a person can have. The minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage include the following.

  • $10,000 for property damage liability
  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability of one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury liability for one incident

Why Do I Need Auto Insurance?

Once you have a policy your insurance provider will send you an insurance card and notify the New York DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to let them know that you are covered. Insurance is important for a variety of reasons. Even the most careful of drivers can get into an accident, so it is important to be insured. In case of an accident, your insurance provider can offer coverage so you do not have to pay damages out of pocket. The liability for property damage and injury can result in expensive legal costs. Insurance protects you and your family from bearing the entirety of the financial consequences of a costly accident.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?

Because driving without insurance is a serious crime in New York, the penalties can be harsh. Even if you have insurance but are driving without proof of coverage, you can get in trouble with a law enforcement officer. Any time you are caught driving without insurance you can expect to face the following penalties.

  • Fines ranging from $150 to $1,500
  • Impoundment of your vehicle
  • Jail time of up to 15 days
  • Suspension of your license

To reinstate your driving privileges you may be required to pay the DMV a fee of $750.

You can also be penalized for any lapses in your insurance coverage. You will be charged $8 per day for the first 30 days of a lapse, $10 per day for 31-60 days, $12 per day for 61-90 days, and if there is a lapse in your coverage longer than 90 days you can pay fines up to $900. If you have a lapse of 90 days or more you will also need to serve a suspension period before you are allowed to reinstate your license.

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