Penalty for Driving Without Car Insurance in New York
Avoiding A Problem
- The DMV will require written proof from the insurance company that coverage exists at the time of registration. The first and easiest step in avoiding a problem is to already have verifiable coverage in place when registering with the DMV.
Correcting An Error
- If no electronic verification is submitted by the insurance company for a registered vehicle, the DMV will mail a letter to the customer requesting proof of insurance. The customer has 10 days to respond with proof without facing consequences. Be sure to reply to these letters promptly and follow up with your insurance company about the missing electronic validation.
Forfeiting License Plates
- If no insurance exists, the vehicle cannot be legally driven. The driver has the option of surrendering the license plates to the DMV in order to avoid stiffer penalties. If you do this, be sure to get and keep your receipt from the DMV.
- If your insurance coverage lapses and you do not surrender your license plates, the state will suspend both the vehicle's registration and, after 90 days, your driver's license. The suspension will equal the length of time of the lapse in insurance, beginning when valid coverage is purchased. Reinstating your license will cost $50. Driving with a suspended license is cause for arrest and possible jail time.
Civil Penalty Option
- For suspensions less than 90 days, drivers have the option of paying a Civil Penalty to avoid surrendering the license plates. Drivers are permitted this option once every three years. The fees for this penalty, effective 10/1/05, are as follow:
$8/day for days 1 through 30
$10/day for days 31 through 60
$12/day for days 61 through 90.