Penalties for driving without insurance in Alabama

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Driving without insurance is illegal. Each state has its own penalties for drivers who drive uninsured, and Alabama is no different. According to the Insurance Information Institute (iii), 19.5% of drivers in Alabama were uninsured in 2019, ranking it as the 7th state with the most uninsured drivers. Driving without insurance in Alabama can lead to hefty fines and even jail time, so it’s usually a good idea to obtain the minimum insurance coverage required.

Minimum insurance required in Alabama

Alabama state law requires minimum insurance that goes by the 25, 50, 25 rule. Drivers must have proof of insurance on them at all times with coverage for:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 maximum for all bodily injuries to be paid for any one accident
  • $25,000 maximum for property damage per accident

No one expects to get into an accident, but it is always best to be prepared. Being prepared for an accident means having the right amount of coverage and at least adhering to the minimum coverage requirements. If you can afford comprehensive coverage, it would probably help you save more in the long run and better protect you if you get into any unexpected accidents.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Alabama

Driving without insurance in Alabama is considered a misdemeanor and carries a fine from $500 to $1,000. You may also have your driver’s license and vehicle registration suspended for 180 days or more and have to serve three to six months in jail if caught driving uninsured.

If you are caught without insurance, you will have to pay a $200 reinstatement fee and obtain an SR-22 certificate provided by your carrier that guarantees you have the minimum required insurance. If you are required to obtain an SR-22, you will likely also have to pay a higher premium. Subsequent offenses will increase potential fines and jail time.

Fees from Alabama’s online insurance verification system

Alabama’s Online Insurance Verification System was created by the state to implement the Mandatory Liability Insurance law. The online insurance verification system helps the state keep track of uninsured drivers by allowing proof of insurance to be electronically logged and retrieved by Alabama drivers, insurance companies and traffic officers.

The different fees that Alabama drivers can expect to face from the verification system include:

Reason for fee Fee amount
Reinstating a registration with suspension $200
First offense caught driving uninsured Up to $500
Second offense caught driving uninsured Up to $1,000

Getting into an accident without insurance

If you are caught driving without insurance, you may face civil and financial penalties. However, if you get into an accident and are uninsured, you may have more serious consequences. Even if you are not at fault for the accident, you will likely receive a citation. Additionally, it may be more difficult to receive compensation for property damages and medical costs caused by the other driver without insurance.

If you are at fault for the accident and don’t have insurance, you will be required to pay for all damages, including the other parties’ medical costs, out of your pocket. This could easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the accident, especially if the other driver does not have uninsured motorist coverage. If you cannot afford to pay the damages, you could accumulate serious debt.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

While driving without insurance in Alabama can result in expensive fines, license and registration suspension and jail time, providing false insurance information is even more serious. Providing false information could get you a six-month suspension of your registration, plus a $200 reinstatement fee and the requirement to carry an SR-22 for three years. If you are found guilty of altering an insurance card to present false information, a felony, the penalties include fines of $500 to $5,000 and anywhere from one to ten years in prison.

How much is car insurance in Alabama?

The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $565 for minimum coverage and $1,674 for full coverage. Drivers in Alabama pay close to the national average, with the minimum coverage an average of $469 and full coverage $1,623.

What is the best car insurance company in Alabama?

Each car insurance company is different, and the best insurance company will depend on your needs, goals and financial situation. The best way to find the best car insurance for you is to identify and evaluate what you’re looking for, your present situation and your future goals. If in doubt, speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine what’s available.

Are there discounts for car insurance in Alabama?

Yes, most car insurance companies in Alabama offer discounts to help make your car insurance more affordable. It’s a good idea to research all the available providers and see what discounts could apply to you when purchasing coverage.

Written by
Grace Kim
Insurance Contributor
Grace Kim has two years of experience in writing for finance and insurance domains such as The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Jersey at Bankrate and Reviews.com. She has written about auto, homeowners, renters and life insurance. She holds an M.Sc from New York University in Corporate Communications and has spent most of her professional experience writing about finance and tech topics.