A time consuming and costly offense

Driving without insurance is illegal in California and is considered a serious offense. When stopped by a police officer, failure to show proof of insurance may result in a citation. The ticket can be nullified by showing proof of insurance in court, however, an assessment of administrative fees for expenses may be levied. Additionally, if you are caught driving without insurance your license and registration may be suspended and/or your vehicle may be impounded. In order to restore a license that was suspended for no insurance, an SR-22 form must be filed with the California DMV.

Your car insurance company can issue a SR-22 form that verifies you have met California’s requirement with respect to auto liability insurance and will forward a copy to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). An SR-22 is necessary to reinstate a driver’s license following a DMV suspension or revocation. A SR-22 may be necessary under a variety of circumstances although they are most commonly associated with DUI-related license suspensions.

Substantial fines and fees

For a first offense, drivers caught operating a vehicle without valid insurance will be fined anywhere from $100 to $200. The fine is between $200 and $500 for a second offense. Your vehicle may be impounded and towed away, requiring you obtain insurance, file the SR-22 form, and then pay all towing and storage fees. In addition to the cost of obtaining insurance, vehicle storage fees can be a substantial part of expenses.

Being involved in an accident in California requires that you stop, pull off of the road and immediately call 911 to report the accident to police or the CHP. Routine law enforcement procedure will require you to show your driver’s license, vehicle registration card and proof of insurance.

Even if you are not a fault for the accident, you still must show proof of insurance. If your driver’s license is suspended, it may be reinstated after one year if you obtain valid insurance, provide a SR-22 form to the DMV and pay a re issuance fee. Usually the SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility certificate requires a high-cost SR-22 insurance policy in addition to your regular one.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman