UPDATED: JANUARY 30, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
Colorado is best known for its gorgeous landscapes and expansive wildlife. And if you’re behind the wheel while navigating Colorado’s beautiful winding roads, you’ll need to ensure you have proper car insurance coverage. Let’s review Colorado’s consequences for driving without car insurance and what it can mean for you and your wallet.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Colorado
Driving without liability insurance in Colorado is a severe offense and a Class 1 misdemeanor. Since this is a criminal offense, you could face up to a year in jail, potentially up to 40 hours of community service, and fines ranging from $400 to $1,000.
In addition, you could also receive points on your driver’s license, which could lead to license and registration suspensions. If you commit this offense multiple times, your penalties will increase in severity.
|Type of Offense||License and/or Registration Suspended?||Jail Time||SR-22 Requirements||Maximum Fines|
|No Proof of Insurance (Can Prove Coverage)||No||No||No||Dismissed with proof|
|1st Offense With No Coverage||Yes, license||Community service||Yes||A minimum of $500|
|Repeat Offense (No Coverage)||Yes, license||Ten days to 1 year and/or community service||Yes||A minimum of $1,000|
License and/or registration suspensions for the type of offense
Motorists can face license suspensions for driving without car insurance, depending on how often they get caught without proper car insurance while driving. You won’t face a driver’s license suspension if you can furnish proof of car insurance.
However, if you can’t prove car insurance and it’s your first offense, you will get your license suspended. This stands true for second offenses as well.
Jail time for each type of offense
Drivers caught without insurance for the first time but who can prove that they carry active coverage won’t risk serving jail time. If it’s your first offense and you don’t have any insurance or way to verify active insurance, you must complete community service of up to 40 hours. If you’re a repeat offender, you could face anywhere from ten days to up to one year behind bars for driving without insurance in Colorado, per state law.
Although many people think of SR-22 coverage after being convicted of offenses like DUIs or DWIs, drivers can also be required to carry SR-22 insurance for lack of proper insurance. If caught the first time but can prove you have insurance, you won’t need to get an SR-22 certificate.
However, if it’s your first offense and you have zero insurance, you’ll need SR-22 insurance. The same goes for those who commit subsequent offenses as well.
Fines and fees for each type of offense
Fines and fees are commonplace penalties for drivers without car insurance. If you’re pulled over or in an accident, you can have any fines you may receive for lack of insurance proof at the time removed when you furnish proof of insurance within a specific timeframe.
But if you don’t have active insurance when you’re pulled over or involved in an accident, you’ll face fines that add up to at least $500. And if you’re caught a second or third time, your penalties will increase to at least $1,000.
Colorado auto insurance minimum requirements for insurance
Every state has specific minimum requirements when it comes to car insurance. Colorado drivers must carry the minimum insurance limits:
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death coverage for an individual per accident.
- $50,000 in bodily injury or death coverage for all involved per accident.
- $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
Although these are the legally required amounts to keep you legal while on the road, it’s always best practice to carry above the minimum amount needed in insurance coverage. This way, you can better protect yourself and your assets.
Avoiding license suspension after an accident
Point accumulations on your driver’s license can quickly result in a suspended driver’s license or registration suspension. To avoid driver’s license suspension in the aftermath of an accident, you must pay all legal fines you’ll face and cover all expenses resulting from the accident if you’re at fault, such as medical and damage expenses. While you’ll likely have your license suspended, it’s possible to reinstate it once you set up a repayment plan to cover the accident costs, obtain car insurance, and pay your fines.
Scenarios when you can still get insurance in Colorado
Let’s take a look below at some of the scenarios in which you may still be able to get auto insurance in Colorado.
Many insurance carriers shy away from drivers with a significant lapse in auto insurance for whatever reason. Many companies view this as related to a negative driving record and tend to charge these drivers more in premium rates.
Drivers who allow their insurance to lapse for 60 days or more will pay, on average, 15% more than the standard driver in Colorado. Some of the most popular companies that will accept uninsured drivers include USAA. Nationwide, GEICO, and State Farm.
High-risk drivers are often denied insurance coverage from traditional carriers. Thankfully, Colorado has a program designed for high-risk drivers who need to obtain motor vehicle coverage.
The Colorado assigned risk program is for drivers who receive as little as two speeding tickets. High-risk drivers can expect to pay, on average, 33% more than the average driver but at least can still obtain vehicle insurance.
Driving someone else’s car
Even if you don’t have insurance, you can still legally drive someone else’s car. However, if you borrow a car from a friend or family member or rent vehicles frequently, it’s a good idea to invest in non-owner coverage. The most popular carriers for this option are Nationwide, The General, State Farm, and GEICO.
What is the average cost of car insurance in Colorado?
Colorado’s average car insurance cost is more expensive than the national average. Minimum liability coverage costs drivers, on average, around $520 a year. Full coverage will cost drivers, on average, around $2,000 per year.
How much will it cost to reinstate your driver’s license in Colorado?
Before reinstating your license in Colorado, you’ll need to be sure and pay all necessary fines, obtain car insurance, and complete any specific waiting periods you may need to fulfill. After this, you can pay a $95 reinstatement fee to reinstate your driver’s license.
Are there discounts available to lower car insurance premiums in Colorado?
Most car insurance companies have discount offers available for motorists. Some of the most common discount programs include bundling car and home insurance policies and being a great student if in school.
How to get Colorado insurance after you’ve been caught driving without it
After learning of Colorado’s steep penalties for driving without insurance, it’s clear that having and keeping current auto insurance is crucial. Without it, you could find yourself in a world of financial hurt. If you’ve been caught driving in Colorado without active insurance, it doesn’t have to put an end to your driving days.
While it may be costly, you, along with the help of a great insurance carrier, can get you back out on those scenic open roads. Let our team compile multiple quotes for you so we can find the best savings possible, which can help contribute to any fines you may be facing with the state of Colorado.