How Much is a Ticket with no Insurance in California?
Driving with no insurance is a dangerous game in any state, including California. Not only are you putting yourself at huge financial risks through potential accidents and injuries, but a mere speeding ticket can change from a $200 citation, to a $2000 ordeal. We shall examine California auto insurance requirements, penalties for driving without auto insurance, and how you can get out of paying one of these astonishingly-priced tickets.
According to California Vehicle Code Section 16029, it is illegal to operate a vehicle without evidence of financial responsibility. This typically refers to insurance, however other forms of financial responsibility are accepted as well. Besides auto insurance, this list includes a DMV issued self-insurance certificate, proof of a cash deposit of $35,000 with the DMV, or a surety bond of $35,000 from a licensed California business. One of these physical documents must be in your vehicle at all times, in order to comply with the vehicle code. Insurance cards or papers are the most common types—they must include the driver’s name, personal information, and insurance information (company name, address, policy number, and dates covered). However, some vehicles do not require insurance. You may operate trailers, off-highway vehicles, government entity-registered vehicles, special equipment vehicles, and non-operation status vehicles.
Penalties for Driving with no Insurance
Whenever you are pulled over by a police officer regarding a traffic violation, you will be asked to present your auto insurance. If you fail to present insurance documentation, you will be cited with a minimum base fine of $100; It can commonly reach up to $200, however. Keep in mind this is for your first offense of failing to provide proof of insurance. That’s not the end of the story. After the base fine, penalty assessment fees are typically enforced. For every $10 of the base fine, $26 is added to the total infraction cost. This leaves you with a $360-$720 citation for lack of insurance proof alone. This, plus the original citation (speeding, running a stop sign, etc.) combined with the possible impounding of your vehicle, equates to one expensive ticket cocktail.
It gets worse. For your second offense, the base fine is between $200 and $500. With the 26:10 penalty assessment fee ratio, your total citation cost comes out to anywhere between $720 and $1800. Fun fact: on average, auto insurance in California costs $841.
Other Consequences of a “No Insurance” Ticket
If you are cited in an accident without insurance, there are possible civil penalties. You may have to pay for all of the costs of injuries, property damage, and other charges. The DMV does not take these offenses lightly as well. They can suspend your California driver’s license for four years. Your vehicle registration can also be suspended or cancelled by the DMV. After receiving a ticket for driving without insurance, you will most likely intend to purchase auto insurance in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. The bad news is that your policy costs will be much higher because insurance companies will consider you as a higher-risk driver.
How to Beat your No Insurance Infraction
Citations for lack of proof of insurance are one of the most expensive ticket types. However, it is possible to dismiss your ticket altogether. TicketBust helps you relinquish your ticket with no court involvement, no paperwork, and minimal waiting. If you find yourself with a citation, be sure you looking out for breaches of traffic patrol policy. These instances can make a huge difference in dismissing your ticket. If you have any questions regarding insurance-related infractions, do not hesitate to contact us.