Is Driving Without Insurance a Crime in New York?



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    If you’re pulled over for a traffic violation, the law enforcement officer may ask for your paper or electronic insurance identification card. In New York, all drivers must carry auto insurance to operate a vehicle in the state. If proof of coverage cannot be produced, you will face serious consequences, including steep fines, suspension of driver’s license, suspension of vehicle registration, and possible jail time. Driving without auto insurance is not only considered a serious criminal offense in New York. , but also puts you at greater risk. While most drivers comply with New York’s financial responsibility law, some fail to do so. If you’re facing an uninsured driving charge, you should enlist the help of our determined Garden City, NY Traffic Violation Attorneys, who can help you avoid harsh penalties. 

    What Are the Legal Requirements for Auto Insurance in New York?

    Like most states, New York has very specific and strict laws regarding vehicle operation. All drivers must carry and maintain active auto insurance coverage to legally get behind the wheel in the state. The minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

    • $10,000 in property damage per accident is the maximum amount that will be paid for damage that you caused in an at-fault accident.
    • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person is the maximum amount that will be paid for a single person that you injure in an auto accident.
    • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total amount that will be paid for all injuries that you cause in an accident if more than one person suffers injuries.

    What Are the Potential Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?

    As mentioned above, to drive a vehicle in New York, you must have proof of liability coverage alongside a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration. If you fail to provide any of these documents during a traffic stop, you can face serious legal ramifications. It is illegal to drive without valid auto insurance. The severity of your penalties for driving uninsured will depend on the number of offenses.

    If you fail to maintain the minimum level of auto insurance to drive, you could incur fines each time you drive without car insurance. This fine could be up to $1,500 per incident. In addition, you can have your license or registration revoked, plus an additional surcharge of at least $500 and up to 80 days of imprisonment if you continue to drive. Also, your car may be impounded, resulting in a storage and towing fee. It’s crucial to note that a lapsed auto insurance policy can also amount to your license and vehicle revoked for up to one year.

    As you can see, driving without insurance carries harsh penalties. If you’ve been charged for driving without insurance, it’s in your best interest to connect with a talented attorney from the legal team at Grunwald & Seman, P.C., who can help defend your rights.

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