The Penalties For Using Fake Proof of Insurance

Committing car insurance fraud by using fake proof of insurance carries steep penalties, including fines, jail time, and an increase in auto insurance premiums.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Using fake proof of
car insurance
is unlikely to work on a police officer or a court judge, and it will only get you in more legal trouble. The penalties of using fake proof of auto insurance coverage range from fines to a suspended license and possible jail time—not to mention increased insurance rates.
  • Most states require you to carry at least a minimum amount of
    liability insurance
    on your auto insurance policy. 
  • Failure to carry valid
    proof of insurance
    can result in steep out-of-pocket costs ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, along with possible jail time, a license suspension, and possible vehicle impoundment. 
  • Drivers caught without insurance are labeled “high-risk” by insurance companies and may have to file an SR-22, making it more difficult to find affordable car insurance in the future. 

Using fake proof of insurance isn’t easy—or worth it

It's not easy to fake proof of your auto insurance, and you shouldn’t do so under any circumstances.
When your insurance lapses, car insurance companies must notify state agencies and the DMV of this fact. So, if you get pulled over at a traffic stop and the police officer
runs your license plate number
, they will know immediately that you do not have car insurance, even if you’ve got a fake car insurance card on hand.
When you're cited for a driving violation, you'll also be held accountable for faking your insurance, which won't look good in court.
Some states do allow for the sale of bonds and cash deposits as a form of financial responsibility—but you must have that on hand, just like proof of insurance.
Key Takeaway Companies report a lapse of insurance coverage to state agencies, which is easy for law enforcement to catch when they run your plates. 

States that allow bonds or cash deposits as proof of financial responsibility

States that offer bonds or cash deposits in place of car insurance include:
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Penalties for fake proof of insurance

Not having insurance
can land you with legal consequences. Even if you carry the proper amount of car insurance, you must still also carry proof that you have insurance–either on your person or in your car. 
Valid forms of proof of auto insurance can include your car insurance card or documents that include your insurance information, both of which are typically issued by your insurance agency after you sign up for a policy. You’ll want a form of proof that includes the following information: 
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your vehicle’s model year and make
  • The name of insurance provider
  • The dates for which your coverage is valid, including the policy expiration date
  • Your unique policy number
  • The names of any other covered drivers on your policy
Failure to show proof of insurance—or showing a fake proof of insurance card—often results in a citation on the spot, with additional orders to provide proof within 24 hours. 
Once this time period has passed, then you can expect the following:
  • Tickets and fines: First, expect an enforcement of the citation already written, usually accompanied by a fine. Depending on the state in which you live, fines can vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
  • Suspended driver's license: Repeated failure to provide proof of insurance can result in a suspended driver's license. In addition, failure to turn in your license plate when requested upon a lapse of your insurance can automatically result in suspension of your license.
  • Suspended car registration: Suspension of a car's registration represents another penalty for not properly insuring a car. Usually, car owners receive a letter requesting that the car owner turn in the license plate for the car in question until they purchase the required amount of car insurance.
  • Impounded car: Some states impound cars not covered by the required amount of insurance. This in turn requires that car owner pay a fee to get the car out of the impound lot.
  • Community service: In lieu of jail time, some courts might sentence violators to a certain number of hours of community service.
  • Time in jail: If you continuously get caught driving without car insurance, you can also go to jail, depending on the state in which you live.
  • Car repossession: Repossession by the lender represents a final penalty for not carrying the proper amount of insurance on a car. The contract a car owner signed upon buying the car usually states that the owner must carry a certain amount of coverage.
If you don’t have insurance because you don’t want to pay for it, we understand—paying for car insurance coverage can quickly add up, especially if you expand your policy beyond your state’s minimum insurance requirements. But the fact of the matter is, the price of driving without a car insurance policy is much steeper—especially if you wind up involved in a
car accident

Filing an SR-22

The requirement to
file an SR-22
represents another consequence for failing to carry car insurance. To acquire an SR-22 certificate of insurance, you need to contact an insurance company that provides coverage for high-risk drivers. 
Upon giving the insurance agent all of your information, you should receive an SR-22 certificate along with an insurance policy with the company.
Having an SR-22 means you are now in a high-risk class of drivers who must pay higher premiums than other drivers. In addition, you must keep the SR-22 for three years, at which point it comes off of your record and you can once again qualify for lower car insurance quotes.
“I’ve gotten pulled over a few times in the past. With
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Using a fake insurance ID card won’t get you very far with law enforcement—since it’s easy to trace your insurance coverage (or lack thereof) back to your vehicle. When you sign up for a car insurance policy, your auto insurance company will connect your policy information with your motor vehicle. Similarly, if your coverage lapses, your insurance company will also report it. If you’re caught driving without adequate insurance coverage, you’ll immediately receive a citation—and could face steeper penalties if you fail to obtain proof of insurance. 
Proof of insurance is typically shown in the form of an insurance ID card or document issued by your insurance provider. Proof of insurance will typically include your name and contact information,  your vehicle information, and the details of your policy.
The best way to find the lowest rates on car insurance is by comparing multiple auto insurance quotes. Since every insurance company calculates their rates a little differently, it’s recommended you
check out quotes from three to five companies
to find the best rate. If you have to file an SR-22, you’ll be limited to insurance companies that cover high-risk drivers—and you’ll have to pay more than other drivers for insurance coverage.
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