No Motor Vehicle Insurance
Driving is a privilege many of us rely upon for essential duties such as going to work, transporting our children to and from school, and getting to and from stores that sell food and other items. Cars make it possible to get through our daily lives efficiently. Unfortunately, they also present a serious risk of harm.
According to the CDC, accidents are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Many of the incidents that result in fatalities are car crashes. When we get into a motor vehicle accident, we expect that our insurance will cover damages the accident caused; however, this may be difficult in a situation in which the other driver has no car insurance. If a driver is found to lack car insurance, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may issue penalties.
Florida Auto Insurance Requirements
All drivers are required to meet specific car insurance minimums in Florida. The state requires drivers to have the following basic coverage:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage: Drivers need at least $10,000 of PIP. PIP covers your injuries regardless of fault and generally covers about 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages.
- Property Damage coverage: This type of coverage takes care of the damage you cause to another driver’s vehicle. The state requires a minimum of $10,000 of coverage. This coverage does not provide for damage to your own vehicle.
Additionally, many drivers opt to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This type of coverage protects drivers who sustain property and bodily injury damage in accidents caused by drivers without insurance or those who have less than the required car insurance. Drivers may also obtain collision coverage to cover the expenses of repairing their own vehicles.
One of the Highest Rates of Uninsured Drivers
Per the Insurance Information Institute, the state had the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the nation in 2015. Drivers must obtain auto insurance coverage before registering a vehicle or receiving a license plate. Those who drive must have insurance coverage for as long as their vehicles are registered in Florida. Those who allow their insurance policies to expire or cancel their insurance policies must surrender their license plates.
Drivers who fail to surrender license plates for uninsured vehicles may face penalties that can affect their legal driving ability.
Penalties for Uninsured Drivers in West Palm Beach
The Florida DHSMV may require drivers who lack auto insurance to submit to the following penalties:
- First Offense: A driver may have his license and registration suspension for up to three (3) years and may need to pay a $150 reinstatement fee to lift the suspension when he regains insurance coverage.
- Second Offense: A second offense of driving without motor vehicle insurance in Florida may lead to a license and registration suspension of up to three (3) years. A driver may also be required to pay $250 to reinstate his license and registration if his insurance lapses within three (3) years of the first offense.
- Third and Subsequent Offense: A driver who goes without auto insurance coverage in Florida for the third or greater time may face a license and registration suspension of up to three (3) years, and he may be required to pay a reinstatement fee of up $500 if the insurance lapse occurred within three (3) years of the last offense.
With the large number of uninsured and underinsured motorists in Florida, it might seem like continuing to drive without insurance coverage is a low-risk activity; however, your insurance company will immediately notify the DMV that you have canceled your insurance policy.
Responding to a Citation for No Motor Vehicle Insurance
If the State attempts to penalize you for driving without insurance, there is hope. An attorney who ambitiously defends traffic charges can help you preserve an active driver’s license.
Attorney Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has defended traffic violations such as driving without motor vehicle insurance in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas for over 25 years. Discover how he can help you maintain your legal driving ability by calling 561-622-5575 or completing our online contact form.