There was a time where you could drive a car without having insurance. But times have changed and most states require that you have minimum form of car insurance. Only New Hampshire does not make having car insurance mandatory.
It is illegal for a driver to not have car insurance. If you are caught without insurance coverage, there will be fine ranging between $25 – $5,000, a possible suspension of your drivers license for at least 90 days and the possibility of having your car impounded. Penalties are different from state to state.
How did car insurance become mandatory?
In 1925 Connecticut and Massachusetts were the 1st states to require liability car insurance. Drivers had to purchase car insurance or show that they had financial responsibility of at least $10,000. If you failed to have either, then your drivers license would be suspended.
Later on Massachusetts expanded upon the law, and in 1927 they made car insurance coverage mandated. Drivers would have to show proof of auto liability coverage before they could register their vehicles. Some time later, New York and North Carolina mandated laws in 1950 and other states soon followed.
Can you go to jail for driving without car insurance?
Most states consider driving without insurance a misdemeanor offense. This can potentially lead to prison time.
If driving without an insurance is your first offense, it is unlikely that you will see any prison time. Unless you caused a serious accident and are a repeat defender. You could be fined and see jail time as well.
An uninsured driver who is given jail time can server as little as a few days to a few weeks in prison. Some states, such as Michigan, have a harsher sentence where you can face up to a year in prison.
What should I do if I have no car insurance?
If you have no car insurance, but you own a car, you should get out and get one as soon as possible. You do not want to risk getting pulled over without car insurance.
if you are purchasing a new car, make sure you check with an insurance provider for a policy in advance. most car dealers will not let you leave the lot without showing proof of insurance.
If you already have an insurance policy, the car dealer will extend a limited coverage policy to your new vehicle. This gives you a short period where you have to inform your insurance provider of your new purchase.