If you own a car that is registered in the state of Georgia, you must carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Driving without car insurance is illegal in Georgia, and if you get caught, you will face hefty consequences. It is important for drivers to understand the state’s car insurance laws and the penalty for driving without insurance in Georgia.

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Georgia car insurance laws

Georgia car insurance laws state that drivers must have insurance and maintain continuous insurance in order to legally operate their vehicle. Drivers are required to carry 25/50/25 personal liability insurance, which includes:

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

Additionally, Georgia law requires drivers to carry proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times. If a law enforcement officer requests to see proof of insurance and you cannot provide acceptable documentation, you will face penalties. In Georgia, both physical and electronic proof of insurance are allowed.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Georgia

Driving without insurance in Georgia may be perceived as a tempting cost-saving measure, but the consequences of doing so may outweigh what you would pay to purchase a policy. Below are some of the penalties of driving without insurance in Georgia.

Penalty type First offense Subsequent offenses
Fines $200 Up to $1,000
Jail time Up to one year
License suspension 60 days minimum 90 days minimum
Lapse fee $25 $25
Registration reinstatement fee $60 Up to $160

Additionally, driving without insurance in Georgia is punishable with a misdemeanor. In most states, drivers who get their license suspended after an insurance-related offense can get their license back after they show proof of insurance. But in Georgia, this is not the case. Georgia law states that drivers who get their license taken away cannot drive for the entire suspension period. After the suspension period is over, the driver would have to pay a license reinstatement fee to drive legally again.

Georgia drivers who lose their license following an insurance-related suspension will also likely need to file an SR-22 form, which is a certificate that proves you meet the state’s minimum liability insurance requirement. In Georgia, an SR-22 will stay on your record for three years. Having an SR-22 on your record will significantly raise your car insurance rates until the certificate is no longer required.

When considering the ramifications, driving without insurance puts you at considerable personal and financial risk if you are caught. If cost is a concern, consider comparing quotes from the cheapest car insurance companies in Georgia to find a policy that fits within your budget.

Getting into an accident without insurance in Georgia

Getting into an at-fault accident without insurance in Georgia could have a disastrous impact on your finances. In this instance, you’d have to pay out of pocket for any injuries or damage that you cause, in addition to any legal fees. Accidents can cause tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in injuries alone, and if you don’t have enough cash to pay, you could be forced to sell your property or liquidate your retirement savings.

If you get hit by an insured driver, but do not have your own insurance policy, you may be able to sue the other driver for your losses. Georgia does not have a No Pay, No Play law, which typically prohibits uninsured drivers from collecting money from an insured driver who hits them. However, there may be a limit to how much money you can recoup from an insured driver.

The other caveat to this rule is that you cannot legally sue an insured driver for accident-related losses if you are 50% or more at fault for the crash. Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence law to assign blame and financial responsibility after an accident. If you are 49% responsible or less, you have grounds to sue the insured driver.

Suing another driver for your losses means you might be able to get reimbursed for your medical bills or vehicle damages. However, you would be financially responsible for the cost of your legal defense, something that liability insurance usually covers. Even if you take the insured driver to court and win, most of your settlement money could go towards the lawyer fees, leaving you with little remaining funds. Ultimately, drivers in Georgia should not assume that a no-fault accident will be covered by the other driver’s insurance company.

Frequently asked questions

    • The best car insurance in Georgia is different for each driver. Some drivers are looking for the best discounts, some are looking for the lowest rates and others are looking for specialty coverages, like new car replacement or rideshare insurance. Drivers in Georgia should shop around, compare providers and get multiple quotes to determine which car insurance company is right for their needs.
    • The average cost of car insurance in Georgia is $2,009 per year for full coverage insurance and $642 per year for minimum coverage insurance. For comparison, the average cost of full coverage in the U.S. is $1,771 per year and $545 per year for minimum coverage. Car insurance rates in Georgia are slightly more expensive than the national average rate. However, keep in mind that car insurance rates in the state are personalized based on factors like your ZIP code, credit score, claims history, age, the type of car you drive and your deductible.
    • No, Georgia is not a no-fault state. Georgia is a fault state, also called a tort state. If a driver gets into an accident in a fault state, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating the other driver for their losses.