Is not having insurance illegal?

Is driving without insurance in California illegal?

Answer
“In California, it is illegal to drive without evidence of financial responsibility or insurance.
All drivers, including unlicensed and out-of-state drivers, must carry proof of financial responsibility at all times.
There are four different ways you can show financial responsibility:
  • DMV issued self-insurance certificate
  • Car insurance
  • Proof of a cash deposit of $35,000 with the DMV
  • $35,000 surety bond from a licensed business in California
For car insurance, drivers are required to have:
  • $15,000 for injury or death of one person
  • $30,000 for injury or death of two or more people
  • $5,000 for property damage
There a quite a few penalties drivers face if they are without insurance:
  • Monetary fines: the first time you’re caught driving without insurance you will be fined a total of $450. The second time you’re caught the penalty will range from a total of $900 - $2500.
  • Car impoundment: the police can have your car impounded.
  • License Suspension: the DMV can have your license suspended.
If you’re caught without insurance and you’re in a car accident, you could face civil penalties and be held financially responsible for any property or bodily damage.
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Rachel Juillerat
Answered on Aug 19, 2021
Rachel Juillerat has her Master's in Publishing & Writing from Emerson College. You can view her work in the Independent, Cupid's Pulse, and the Penmen Review. She has worked in personal finance for five years before transitioning to insurance. She lives in Boston, where she spends her time exploring small New England towns, learning new skills, and napping through her cat's zoomies.
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