UPDATED: MARCH 02, 2023 | 3 MIN READ
Driving without insurance in Washington, DC, is no light matter. Uninsured drivers in the District of Columbia face penalties, including fines, jail time, license suspension, and an SR-22 requirement. If you’re a motorist, you must meet the District’s required vehicle insurance coverage limits:
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 uninsured motorist property damage liability per person, subject to a $200 deductible
Penalties for driving without insurance in Washington, DC
Driving without insurance in DC varies in penalties. The District charges drivers for both owning an uninsured motor vehicle and driving without insurance. An uninsured vehicle results in penalties, including $150 in fines, with additional fines of $7 per day after notice until a maximum fine of $2,500. Driving without insurance in Washington, DC, is also penalized with possible jail time, SR-22 insurance requirements, and suspensions.
|Type of Offense
|License and/or Registration Suspended?
|No Proof of Insurance (Can Prove Coverage)
|Possible, for three years
|1st Offense With No Coverage
|30 days license suspension
|Up to 30 days
|Yes, for three years
|Repeat Offense (No Coverage)
|60 days license suspension
|Up to 60 days
|Yes, for three years
|50% increase in fines after the first offense
License and/or registration suspensions for the type of offense
If you drive a vehicle without car insurance, even if you don’t own the car, the court may suspend your license for up to 30 days for a first-time offense. If it’s your second or third offense, you may lose driving privileges for up to 60 days. You may also pay reinstatement fees.
Jail time for each type of offense
Driving without insurance in the District of Columbia can result in a jail time of up to 30 days for the first offense and up to 60 days for repeat offenses. A jail sentence typically occurs when you drive without insurance after a driver’s license suspension or refuse to turn in your vehicle registration and license plate.
An SR-22 requirement, or certificate of financial responsibility, comes with a charge of owning an uninsured car or operating a vehicle without car insurance in DC. If you need an SR-22 form, DC requires it for a minimum of three years.
Fines and fees for each type of offense
Fees for drivers without car insurance in DC begin at $150 for lapses of 1 to 30 days, with an additional charge of $7 for each subsequent day without insurance coverage. The maximum fine for driving without insurance in Washington, DC, is $2,500. A $98 license reinstatement fee also applies.
Washington, DC auto insurance minimum requirements for insurance
The District of Columbia requires a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. Property damage liability minimum limits are lower than in other states, at only $10,000 per accident. However, DC does require uninsured motorist coverage. DC residents need $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. DC also requires $5,000 in uninsured motorist property damage liability insurance per person, with a $200 deductible.
Scenarios when you can still get insurance in Washington, DC
After you drive without car insurance in DC, you can still find coverage. A charge for driving without insurance stays on your record and will cause higher insurance premium rates. You can purchase car insurance from national or regional carriers if you have a relatively clean driving record.
High-risk drivers in the District of Columbia may face trouble finding car insurance, especially if they have a history of driving without coverage. If traditional insurance carriers reject you, you can apply for high-risk auto insurance with the District of Columbia Automobile Insurance Plan.
Driving someone else’s car
If you regularly drive but don’t own a car, non-owner car insurance helps you meet the DC car insurance requirements. Often cheaper than traditional car insurance, a non-owner insurance policy offers liability coverage for injuries and property damage. This insurance product is suitable for anyone who uses someone else’s car or frequently rents a vehicle.
What happens if you drive without insurance in DC?
If applicable, driving without insurance in Washington, DC, results in fines, license suspension, and other penalties. The District of Columbia may charge up to $7 a day for every day you don’t provide proof of valid insurance.
What’s the maximum fine for driving uninsured in DC?
The maximum fine for a charge of driving uninsured in Washington, DC, is $2,500. Residents of DC can purchase uninsured motorist insurance to protect themselves from damage caused by people driving without insurance.
Does driving without insurance in Washington, DC, result in a fine?
Driving in DC without insurance can result in fines of $500 for the first offense, with additional violations resulting in fines of $700 or more.
Is driving without car insurance in the District of Columbia a felony or misdemeanor?
Driving uninsured in DC is a misdemeanor. If you go without insurance and get a DUI or cause an accident, it’s a more serious violation and could escalate to a felony.
Does DC require car insurance on a car I don’t drive?
Yes. Washington, DC, does charge owners with uninsured vehicles, even if they aren’t on the roadways. DC randomly checks car insurance information for vehicles within the District and sends a notice to owners, so make sure your policy is up to date.
How to get Washington, DC, insurance after you’ve been caught driving without it
The nation’s capital features some of the busiest roadways in the country. Driving without insurance in Washington, DC, can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fines, especially if you get into a car accident.
You must find proper coverage immediately if you’ve been caught driving without car insurance in DC. DC can even penalize you if you own an uninsured car, so don’t delay buying auto insurance. We have a simple way to compare insurance quotes and find a great rate.