Big Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in New York

Car insurance can be very expensive, especially for people with a less than perfect driving record. But car insurance is required to drive in the state of New York. Any car, truck or motorcycle driven on New York roads must have liability insurance. New York has a no-tolerance policy for driving without insurance.

New York insurance laws require that the insurance be from a company licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The insurance and the registration must both be listed under the same name and address. The insurance company must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles each time coverage is obtained or ended.

There are penalties to driving without insurance, particularly when drivers get into an accident without insurance. Anyone involved in an accident while uninsured could lose their driver's license and registration for at least a year. This is the penalty regardless of whether the uninsured party is the driver or the victim, because the penalty is imposed on whichever vehicle owner does not carry insurance. Losing one's registration means that one has to turn one's plates over to the DMV.

There are also fines involved if one is caught driving while uninsured, including a fine of up to $1,500. The DMV may require a payment of $750 to reinstate the license.

Drivers do have an option to reinstate their insurance coverage within 90 days and pay a civil penalty. The civil penalty is between $8 and $12 per day of lapsed insurance. This would at least save drivers from having their licenses and registrations revoked.

It is important to not drive a vehicle if the insurance coverage has lapsed, even if it is only by accident. Drivers must stay up to date with their insurance company to make sure their coverage does not lapse and that their license does not get suspended.