Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In New York


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: DECEMBER 28, 2022 | 3 MIN READ

Driving without insurance in New York State is a crime and comes with severe penalties. If you drive uninsured in New York, expect a license suspension, fees, and possibly, the loss of driving privileges. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may even impound your vehicle. Any driver who drives in New York without the minimum liability insurance requirement violates the state financial responsibility law. The state of New York requires all drivers to hold minimum liability coverage of:

  • $25,000 for bodily liability insurance per person
  • $50,000 for bodily liability insurance per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage coverage per accident

Penalties for driving without insurance in New York

Stiff penalties accompany a charge of driving without insurance in NY. Unlike other states, New York doesn’t require SR-22 insurance but may suspend your driver’s license, registration, or both. Fines for uninsured drivers begin at $150 and may be up to $1,500. All penalties apply whether you drive without insurance or if someone else drives your car without coverage. 

Type of OffenseLicense and/or Registration Suspended?Jail TimeSR-22 RequirementsMaximum Fines
No Proof of Insurance (Can Prove Coverage)Yes to both NoNoDismissed with proof
1st Offense With No CoverageYes to bothYes, up to 15 days No$150-$1,500
Repeat Offense (No Coverage)Yes to both Yes, up to 15 days No $150-$1,500

License and/or registration suspensions for the type of offense

The state of New York suspends your driver’s license, vehicle registration, or sometimes both after you drive without insurance. Driving uninsured may even result in license revocation. If NY revokes your driver’s license, you must pay a $750 civil penalty for reinstatement. 

Jail time for each for the type of offense

Driving without car insurance in New York may lead to jail time. The state may require you to serve up to 15 days in prison for lack of car insurance, especially if you have a car accident. 

SR-22 requirements

New York doesn’t require SR-22 for driving without insurance or other driving violations. The only exception is if you move from a state that requires SR-22 insurance from you; then, when you move to New York, you must keep the SR-22 insurance as long as the previous state requires it. 

Fines and fees for each type of offense

If you were unable to show proof of insurance but had an active insurance policy, your charges are dismissed after you show proof. No proof, however, features a fine of $150 to $1,500. 

New York auto insurance minimum requirements for insurance

The minimum insurance coverage requirements for New York drivers are:

  • $10,000 for property damage per accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident

Scenarios when you can still get insurance in New York

Uninsured

If you drive without insurance in New York, most car insurance companies will charge higher rates because they consider you a high-risk driver. You may pay 6% to 10% more than the average driver in NY; however, the exact cost of insurance premiums depends on your insurance carrier. Carriers like USAA, GEICO, and State Farm may be a good match for your needs.

High-Risk

Drivers with a history of lapsed car insurance coverage or who drive without insurance are high-risk and may face rejection from traditional car insurers. New York drivers with trouble finding car insurance can turn to the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP). The NYAIP is a program designed for high-risk drivers other insurers refuse and matches drivers to a market insurer. 

Driving someone else’s car

If you live in the same household as someone whose car you frequently borrow, you may be able to get listed on their plan, but if not, there’s non-owner insurance. Non-owner car insurance offers you the same coverage you need as a driver but applies to any car you drive. The General is one company that often offers non-owner car insurance.  

FAQs

Do I need to keep my SR-22 insurance if I move to New  York?

New York doesn’t require SR-22 insurance. However, if you move to New York with an existing SR-22 policy from another state, you must keep that policy in place for as long as the previous state requires.  

What is the required minimum liability insurance for property damage in NY?

The New York required liability insurance for property damage is a minimum of $10,000 per accident. Drivers may purchase higher coverage amounts and may need to if they lease or finance their car, but $10,000 is the minimum New York requires. 

Can you be fined for driving without insurance in New York state?

Yes. The fine for driving without insurance in New York ranges from $150 to $1,500. A lapse in car insurance can also result in a daily fee of $8 or $240 for up to 90 days.  

How many people don’t have car insurance in New York?

The state of New York features one of the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers. Only 4.1% of motorists in New York lack basic car insurance.

Can your license be suspended for not having insurance in NY?

Yes. New York suspends your driver’s license and, sometimes, your vehicle registration after you drive without insurance. New York may even revoke your license, and if so, you must pay $750 in reinstatement fees. 

How to get New York insurance after you’ve been caught driving without it

Driving without insurance in New York is a criminal offense and is subject to fines up to $1,500, plus possible vehicle impoundment and jail time. But because the state levies stiff penalties on drivers who drive without coverage, it has a low rate of uninsured drivers – 4.1%.

If you need car insurance in NY, don’t wait. Use our online quoting tool to find affordable car insurance rates for New York in minutes.