Driving Without Insurance in California

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

Driving without insurance in California is a serious offence and it is important to retain a reputable traffic ticket company to fight your case for you. Some of the possible ramifications for driving with no insurance in California are license suspension (up to 1 year), citation, vehicle impoundment, liability for damages, large fine amounts. Call CA traffic tickets and let us fight your driving without insurance ticket.


California requires that drivers and vehicle owners carry the following minimum monetary limits:

  • $15,000 for injury or death of 1 person per accident
  • $30,000 for injury or death of 2 or more persons per accident
  • $5,000 for any property damage per accident

Evidence of financial responsibility must be carried at all times in the vehicle. Most Californians maintain financial responsibility through insurance companies, which provide the policy holder with an identification card to be used as evidence of coverage. The card must state the insurance company’s name and address, the period of coverage, and policy number. Persons operating a vehicle in this state who are unlicensed or have an invalid California or out-of-state driver license are subject to the same financial responsibility laws as valid California licensed drivers.
Insurance Requirements for Vehicle Registration
Persons operating a vehicle in this state who are unlicensed or have an invalid California or out-of-state driver license are subject to the same financial responsibility laws as valid California licensed drivers.


Insurance Requirements for Vehicle Registration


Purpose of the law

The purpose of the law is to ensure that vehicles driven on California roads have liability insurance that provides financial responsibility for any damage or injury caused by a traffic accident, regardless of fault, and to remove uninsured vehicles from the highways.


Mandatory vehicle registration financial responsibility requirements

Financial responsibility must be obtained and maintained on any vehicle operated or parked on California roadways and must be provided as specified below:

  • When requested by law enforcement
  • When renewing vehicle registration (if requested)
  • When the vehicle is involved in a traffic accident
  • Within 30 days of receiving a registration card for a newly acquired vehicle
  • Within 45 days of the cancellation of a policy for a currently registered vehicle

You must carry evidence of financial responsibility (proof of insurance) in your vehicle at all times.


Types of financial responsibility

  • A motor vehicle liability insurance policy
  • A cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV
  • A DMV issued self-insurance certificate
  • A surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California

For information regarding cash deposits, or self insurance, please contact:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Financial Responsibility MS J237
PO BX 942884
Sacramento, CA 94284-0884
916-657-6520

To locate a company that issues surety bonds, please contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357 or visit www.insurance.ca.gov.


Minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles (California Insurance Code 11580.1b)

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
  • $5,000 for damage to property.

Liability insurance compensates a person other than the policy holder for personal injury or property damage (comprehensive or collision insurance does not meet vehicle financial responsibility requirements). Check your policy or talk to your agent or broker to make sure you have sufficient liability insurance coverage for each vehicle you own.

California Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program information is available on the Department of Insurance website.


Acceptable evidence of financial responsibility

Your insurance company is required to electronically report insurance information for all private-use vehicle liability policies. In some cases, however, you may also be requested to submit this information to DMV by providing:

  • A document or identification card from your insurance company indicating that the vehicle is insured.(Documents mailed to the department will not be returned.)
  • A DMV authorization letter, if you are a cash depositor or are self insured.
  • A copy of the surety bond, if you maintain a surety bond for financial responsibility.
  • California Proof of Insurance Certificate (SR-22) for broad coverage or owner’s policy. (Operator’s policy does not satisfy financial responsibility requirements.)
  • Evidence that the vehicle is owned or leased by a public entity defined in Government Code 811.2.
  • Motor carriers as defined in CVC 34601 may complete a Statement of Facts (REG 256) indicating that the carrier has evidence of insurance on file with the Public Utilities Commission or DMV pursuant to CVC 34630.

The following types of vehicles are not required to provide evidence of liability insurance to DMV:

  • Trailers
  • Off-Highway vehicles
  • Vehicles registered to a government entity (city, county, state, federal)
  • Special Equipment vehicles
  • Vehicles registered under a Planned Non-Operation status

 


If you fail to maintain financial responsibility

  • Your privilege to drive may be suspended. If you are involved in an accident and cannot provide evidence of financial responsibility, you may be barred from driving for a period up to one year.
  • Registration of your vehicle will be subject to suspension (effective October 1, 2006). DMV will begin the process to suspend the registration of your vehicle if liability insurance is cancelled and a replacement policy is not submitted within 45 days, or your insurance company has not electronically provided evidence of insurance within 30 days of a registration card being issued on a newly acquired vehicle, or if you provide false evidence of insurance.
  • You may be cited. Failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility when requested by a peace officer may result in a citation with fines that could reach $1,000 or more. (DMV cannot clear or sign citations relating to financial responsibility. Only a court can clear or sign these citations).
  • Your vehicle may be impounded. Failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility may result in your vehicle being impounded, in addition to any fines.
  • You may be personally liable for damages. If you contribute to the cause of an accident and cannot provide evidence of financial responsibility, you may be forced to compensate the other party for any injuries and damages.

If your vehicle registration is suspended, contact the Vehicle Registration Financial Responsibility Program at 1-866-664-4545. NOTE: Vehicle financial responsibility services cannot be completed at your local DMV field office.