What are the legal impacts of driving uninsured?

February 1, 2020 | by BMI Staff

It is commonly understood that driving without insurance may result in a traffic ticket, but what are the other implications of driving uninsured? 

What are the penalties?

In the state of Missouri, when one is caught driving without any insurance, the penalties begin on the lighter side (as compared to other states in the U.S.). Failing to provide proof of insurance on a first-offense basis will likely result in a misdemeanor. This will take four points off of the driver’s license as well as result in a license suspension. The suspension should only last until the driver reinstates his or her license by paying a $20 fee. After the first offense, however, the punishments become more severe. Any future offenses could result in up to 15 days in jail, which may also include a fine of up to $500. In addition, the driver’s license could be suspended at this point for a period of 90 days. As more convictions begin piling up for lack of insurance, the license reinstatement fees also begin to steadily rise. A second offense could carry with it a $200 reinstatement fee, while any future offenses may rise up to $400 for reinstatement. 

What if I do have insurance—just not on me?

This is a common mishap that really only results in the penalty of lost time and energy (along with a potential hour or two away from work). When a driver gets pulled over and fails to provide proof of insurance within the state of Missouri, it is likely that a ticket will be written. This will occur regardless of the driver’s claims to have insurance—just no proof. Without a resource to confirm whether every driver has active insurance on his or her vehicle, officers are unable to simply rely on one’s word. For this reason, though, drivers are given a second chance to prove their innocence for this particular offense. Should you find yourself in this exact situation, all you have to do is make a note of the court date listed on your ticket and bring with you to that court date documents that prove you were covered by at least state-minimum auto insurance at the time the ticket was written. The charges should then be reversed.

Why do I need insurance on my vehicle?

The legal penalties for neglecting to insure a vehicle, severe though they may seem, are actually quite fitting when compared to the sizeable risk one encounters when not only choosing to opt out of insurance, but also driving among those who do so. A single car accident involving an at-fault driver who does not carry liability insurance can be financially devastating for all parties involved. Liability insurance exists to pay for the non at-fault driver’s vehicle and personal damages. Imagine being stuck with an astronomical medical bill and an auto repair charge all in one fell swoop. If one cannot afford these fees, one risks being sued. 

So how do I get this insurance I so desperately need?

We’re glad you asked! When it comes to insurance, you can never play it too safe. If you are driving without any insurance at all, or if you are looking to raise your limits to cover yourself better in the future, give one of our experienced and licensed agents a call. Click the button below to find an agent near you.