Since carrying car insurance while operating a motor vehicle is not optional in any state, it is imperative that any driver who intends to operate a motor vehicle obtain auto insurance for that vehicle. When a driver receives a traffic citation that includes a no insurance ticket, several difficulties ensue. The situation can be further complicated because, while all states view driving without proof of insurance to be a ticketable offense, not all states treat the seriousness of the offense equally. Some states view the offense as a traffic violation only, and the penalties for at least first time offenders are relatively minor. Other states; however, may view the offense of receiving a traffic citation that includes a no insurance ticket as much more serious, with more serious financial penalties and possible jail time, revocation of license, or both. Knowing the laws of the state of residence in which the motor vehicle is operated can prepare a driver for the possibility of receiving a no insurance ticket.
When you are pulled over and cited for driving without proof of insurance, you will be issued a ticket. Depending on the state, the officer may send you on your way with the ticket in hand and a pending court date, or in states that take a more hard line approach, your car may be impounded and you may be without a vehicle until you can produce proof of insurance. You can expect to pay anywhere from $150 or more in fines, in addition to the expense of court fees, hiring a lawyer if necessary, and of course the cost of obtaining auto insurance if you do not already have a policy in place. If you are simply driving without proof of an existing policy in the vehicle, and can provide the court with proof that the policy was in place at the time of the citation being issued, penalties may be reduced.
If this is not your first offense for a no insurance ticket traffic citation, penalties become more severe in every state. Some states will suspend or revoke the driver's license for a period of usually one year, and the driver must cope with finding an alternate means of transportation until the revocation period ends. Furthermore, once cited for failure to provide proof of insurance while driving, this offense can stay on the driving record for between three and ten years, driving up insurance premiums as well. Since some states consider driving without proof of insurance to be a criminal offense, it is very important to understand the driving laws of the state of residence before choosing to hit the roadways without carrying proof of insurance.