Penalties for driving without insurance in Colorado

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Driving without insurance is illegal and can lead to major penalties, which are defined by each state. According to the Insurance Information Institute (iii), in 2019, 16.3% of Colorado drivers were uninsured, ranking it as the 13th state with the most uninsured drivers. If you are caught driving without insurance in Colorado, you will have to face penalties, fines and consequences that can impact you in the future.

Minimum insurance required in Colorado

Each state has minimum insurance requirements. In Colorado, all drivers are required to have the following minimum auto insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death for one person per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all people in the accident; and
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident

While these coverage amounts will keep you legal, it is usually a good idea to obtain more than the minimum insurance requirements to ensure that you are financially and legally protected in the event of an accident.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Colorado

In Colorado, driving without insurance is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, and the penalties could include up to a year of jail time, at least $500 to $1,000 or more in fines and up to 40 hours of required community service.

Additionally, you can also receive four points on your license and have your driving privileges and registration suspended. If your driver’s license is suspended, you will also have to pay a reinstatement fee of $40 and will likely be required to file an SR-22 certificate for three years or more.

Multiple offenses will result in more serious penalties from the state and are also highly likely to affect your auto insurance premiums in the future or even your eligibility for auto coverage at all.

Fees from Colorado’s online insurance verification system

Colorado has an online insurance verification system called Sircon, which Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Affairs manages. The system allows drivers and insurance companies to log current insurance policies and cancelations so the state can keep track of which vehicle owners comply with the mandatory minimum insurance laws.

If the system identifies a registered vehicle that does not have insurance, the state will automatically mail a notice to the vehicle’s owner. The table below shows some of the different fees and fines drivers who are caught without insurance can face.

Reason for fee Fee amount
Driving without insurance, first offense. Up to $500
Driving without insurance, second offense. Up to $1000
Driving without insurance, third offense. Up to $1000
Reinstating your license $40

Getting into an accident without insurance

If you decide to drive without obtaining proper insurance and get into an accident, you will have to pay penalties and the cost of the accident. Since Colorado is an at-fault state, the other driver will be fully responsible for all damages to your car and all medical payments if the accident is not your fault. However, regardless of who was at fault in the accident, you could still get cited at the scene for driving without insurance and face penalties.

If you were at fault for the accident and did not have insurance, the consequences can be severe. You will likely be responsible for all bodily injuries and property damages for the other party from your pocket. You will also have to pay for your vehicle damage and injuries.

Driving without insurance and being involved in an accident can also result in a lawsuit against you. If the other driver does not have uninsured motorist coverage, this could potentially become very expensive.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

If you are caught driving without insurance in Colorado, it can result in your license getting suspended, jail time, a minimum $500 or $1,000 fine and points on your driving record. Providing false information about your insurance is considered insurance fraud and can lead to up to three years in prison and fines up to $100,000.

How much is car insurance in Colorado?

The national average cost of car insurance is $565 per year for minimum coverage and $1,674 for full coverage. Colorado is more expensive as the average cost of car insurance is $518 for minimum coverage and $2,016 for full coverage.

Should I get full coverage or minimum coverage?

Obtaining full coverage car insurance is usually in your best interest. Full coverage can end up saving you money in the long run in the event of an accident, especially if your car is brand new and you still have a loan on it. However, if you cannot afford full coverage, then minimum coverage may be the best option for you. If in doubt, speak with a licensed insurance agent about all the options available.

Can I get discounts to lower my car insurance premiums?

Yes, most car insurance companies in Colorado provide discounts for drivers. Some of the more common discounts include bundling home and auto insurance, being a good student, not having any claims in a certain period or insuring multiple vehicles.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

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.