Driving Without Insurance
In New York, drivers are legally required to have proof of insurance (also known as proof of financial responsibility). If you are caught driving without insurance, the New York Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law dictates that it is a criminal offense. Additionally, New York law operates under the presumption that if you aren’t carrying proof of insurance, you have been driving a vehicle without proper insurance coverage.
The consequences of operating a motor vehicle in Buffalo without insurance coverage can be serious. If you have been charged with driving uninsured in Buffalo, call John M. Dudziak today for a FREE consultation to discover how we can help defend your rights. Get Our Free Traffic Law Video Series
Minimum Insurance Coverage Required
The aforementioned New York Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law dictates that drivers must purchase and carry proof of an insurance policy which meets the 25/50/25 rule. The 25/50/25 insurance rule in New York establishes minimum acceptable limits of insurance coverage.
The 25/50/25 Rule (New York)
- For Bodily Injury, the minimum coverage limit is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- For Property Damage, the minimum coverage limit is $10,000 per accident.
- For Basic Personal Injury Protection, the required minimum coverage limit is $50,000 per accident.
- Finally, for Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury, the minimum insurance coverage limit in New York is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Your insurance provider will be able to confirm whether your auto insurance policy meets these regulations.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
If you have been charged with driving uninsured in New York, you could be hit with a fine between $150 and $1,500. Additionally, your Driver’s License could be revoked, your vehicle could be impounded, and you could face jail time of up to fifteen (15) days.
Penalties for Letting your Insurance Lapse
If you fail to renew your insurance in New York or cancel your insurance policy without having another auto insurance policy in place, you can be hit with fines and a suspension of your Driver’s License. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they will never find out, either. If your insurance lapses in New York, your insurance provider will immediately notify the New York DMV. The DMV will then typically suspend your vehicle registration and start charging you fines; calculated on a daily basis.
The fines are calculated as follows:
- First 30 days: $8 fine, every day.
- Day 31 – Day 60: $10 fine, every day.
- Day 61 – Day 90: $12 fine, every day.
This means that for the first thirty (30) days, you will be hit with $240 in fines for allowing your insurance to lapse in New York. Over the next thirty (30) days, you will be fined $300. The final thirty (30) days will add $360 in fines, totaling $900 if you allow your insurance to lapse for 90 days or more.
Penalties for Driving Uninsured and Getting in an Accident
If you were in an accident and were not carrying proper auto insurance coverage in New York, you will completely lose your registration and Driver’s License for a minimum of one (1) year. Additionally, you don’t even have to have been the one driving your uninsured vehicle. Your Driver’s License and vehicle registration can still be revoked.
Fines for getting in an accident while driving uninsured can be as high as $1,500. Further, you will need to pay a civil penalty of $750 to restore your Driver’s License.
Defenses for Driving Without Insurance
If you were charged with driving without insurance in Buffalo, there are various defenses you can mount to protect your rights. We can file an appeal in court and/or prove that you do indeed have the requisite liability insurance.
Our skilled Traffic Ticket Lawyer in Buffalo can help defend your rights and possibly avoid imprisonment and/or the suspension of your Driver’s License. Call us today for a FREE consultation to discuss your options.