Drivers who hit the road without insurance in Idaho may be in for a shock. The state imposes fines and penalties for drivers caught breaking Idaho insurance laws. Additionally, Idaho uses technology to help ensure drivers are properly insured. The online insurance verification system (OIVS), as it’s called, could make it easier for the state to catch and penalize drivers who are uninsured.

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Minimum insurance required in Idaho

Idaho state law requires all drivers to have at least an insurance policy with 25/50/15 liability limits. This means all drivers must have at least the following coverage types and limits to drive legally:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $15,000 property damage liability per accident

The state also requires that insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to you, but you have the option to decline these coverage types in writing. While drivers can choose to submit certain types of bonds to satisfy the state’s “financial responsibility law,” buying car insurance is likely the simplest way to prove that you can pay for the damage you could cause in an accident.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Idaho

Idaho imposes numerous fines, even for first-time offenders caught driving without insurance. The consequences may grow in severity with subsequent convictions. Your first offense could come with a fine of $75, as well as possible license suspension that would require an additional fee to reinstate. You may also have your vehicle registration suspended and have to appear in court.

The penalties for your second and subsequent offenses are likely to be more harsh. You may have to pay a fine up to $1,000 and could face up to six months in jail. You could also face the same license and vehicle registration suspensions that you did upon your first offense. The first time you are caught driving without insurance, it’s considered a basic traffic violation. Future convictions are misdemeanors.

Fees from Idaho’s online insurance verification system

All drivers are required to submit their insurance information either at a local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or online at the Idaho Transportation Department. Every driver’s insurance policy is electronically verified with insurers, and the information is stored in a database that updates every 30 days. Drivers who remain uninsured for 60 days will be sent a warning and given 30 days to provide proof of coverage. If they do not, their registration will be suspended.

Once a vehicle’s registration is suspended, drivers must provide proof of coverage before they can reinstate it.

Getting into an accident without insurance

If you get into an accident without insurance, regardless of who was at fault, you’ll likely be ticketed for driving uninsured. Both your license and vehicle registration could be suspended and you might have to pay numerous fees.

If you’re at fault for an accident, your situation is even more serious. If you cause an accident without insurance, you’ll be responsible for paying for the property damages and injuries out of pocket. If you can’t pay, you could be sued.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

Driving without insurance is illegal, and providing false insurance information can complicate things even more. Lying about your insurance information is considered fraud. In addition to all the fines and penalties discussed for driving without insurance, you could be charged with insurance fraud. That could result in more fines, license suspension and even jail time.

How much is car insurance in Idaho?

The average cost of full coverage car insurance in Idaho is $1,045 per year. In the U.S. as a whole, full coverage costs an average of $1,674 annually,  so drivers in Idaho pay far less, on average. However, if you have been caught driving without insurance, you’ll likely pay more for coverage when you do purchase it. Additionally, you will likely have to show proof of coverage to get your license back, so you may not have as much time to shop around as you would otherwise.

Which companies are the best providers in Idaho?

Based on our research, Auto-Owners, Geico and Nationwide are among the best car insurance companies in Idaho. In our analysis, we focused on average premium, coverage options, discounts, policy features and third-party reviews. However, the best car insurance company for you will depend on your individual needs and wants. Understanding what you’re looking for in a company and getting quotes from a few providers could help you find the best option for your situation.