Penalties for driving without insurance in New York

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New York has one of the lowest uninsured motorist rates in the country. With only a 4.1% uninsured rate, there is considerably less concern for getting into an accident with an uninsured driver than in other states. Still, there are numerous fines involved for those that do drive uninsured as well as possible jail time.

Though car insurance in New York is far from cheap, it is when you consider the consequences.

Minimum insurance required in New York

New York state law requires all drivers to have a 25/50/10 policy. This means that each driver must have the following minimum coverage:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage liability

Additionally, New York drivers must also have $50,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) as well as:

  • $25,000 per person for underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury
  • $50,000 per accident for underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury

Penalties for driving without car insurance in New York

Need to know the penalty for driving without insurance in New York? In the Empire State, there are a few.

Fines / jail time

It is possible you could be fined for each time you drove without car insurance or let someone else drive your car. The fine for this could be anywhere up to $1,500 per incident. The severity of the fine will likely boil down to past offenses and whether you have a history of driving without car insurance.

For those unable or unwilling to pay the fines associated with New York while driving without insurance, additional fines of at least $500 and up to 180 days of imprisonment may be assessed.

Car impound

Your car may be impounded following getting caught for driving without insurance or an arrest. If it is, you could expect to pay both a storage and towing fee. These fees are usually required upfront before you can retrieve your car back.

Revoked driver’s license and registration

To reinstate your driver’s license in New York after getting a ticket for no insurance, you may have to pay a $750 fee. A vehicle registration suspension may have additional fees. Generally, vehicle registration suspension can last the same length of time as your vehicle was uninsured with state minimums and retained its plates.

A lapsed insurance policy may also require you to serve a license and vehicle registration period of at least one year.

Letting your policy lapse in New York

Insurance providers notify the DMV the moment your policy lapses and the DMV may immediately suspend your car’s registration. As the driver, it is your responsibility to both turn in your plates and get a new policy within 90 days. Generally, the sooner you initiate a new policy, the better. If you do not, there are fees involved, which can add up quickly.

New York vehicle registration reinstatement fees

Days since registration suspension Fee per day
Up to 30 days $8
Up to 60 days $10
Up to 90 days $12
More than 90 days $900

The best thing you can do for yourself is to get a new policy as quickly as possible. If finding an affordable policy is the issue, there are ways to lower your bill. Consider doing as many of the following strategies as possible:

  • Take advantage of discounts
  • Compare providers
  • Drive an older vehicle with a high safety rating
  • Improve your credit score
  • Increase your deductible (to an amount you can afford)

Getting into an accident without insurance

In New York, driving without insurance accidents can be costly. Despite being a no-fault state, if you get into an accident without car insurance in New York, you can still share financial responsibility for any resulting damages and bodily injuries. Keep in mind that this is in addition to all of the other penalties already mentioned. For this reason, maintaining a policy is crucial.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

If you provide false insurance information after a traffic incident, you may be subject to several penalties, including license suspension, jail time, fines and car impoundment. There are also consequences to driving without insurance.

How much is car insurance in New York?

The average cost of car insurance in New York is $2,321 per year for full coverage and $1,062 per year for minimum coverage. This is well above the national average. Americans, on average, pay $1,674 annually for full coverage and $565 annually for minimum coverage.

What is the best car insurance company?

There are many standout car insurance companies. Explore your options to find the best for both customer service and premium costs.

What is the best car insurance for New York?

There are multiple car insurance options available to compare in New York, so the best one will be different for each drive. Some things you can consider are whether you prefer affordable rates or high customer satisfaction. Using your criteria, you should be able to narrow down your options.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and Reviews.com. She covers auto, homeowners, and life insurance, as well other topics in the personal finance industry.
Edited by
Insurance Editor