Penalties for driving without insurance in Kentucky

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The state of Kentucky requires that all motorists be insured. If you own a vehicle in Kentucky and do not have insurance, you will be notified that your vehicle registration will be suspended if you cannot provide proof of your insurance. If you get caught driving without insurance, you can face severe penalties such as fines, driver’s license and registration suspension, and even jail time.

Minimum insurance required in Kentucky

Every state has minimum insurance requirements. In Kentucky, drivers are required to have minimum bodily injury, property damage and personal injury protection coverage, including:

  • $25,000 for all claims for bodily injury damages by one person from one accident
  • Not less than $50,000 of bodily injury damages by all persons from one accident
  • $25,000 for all property damage from one accident
  • Personal injury protection

Drivers can also have a policy with a single limit of $60,000 to suffice for the minimum requirement. It is usually encouraged to obtain more than the minimum coverage for car insurance. If you are on a limited budget and can only get minimum coverage, you will avoid penalties for driving without insurance. However, minimum insurance may not cover all damages and injuries, so you may be stuck with expensive out-of-pocket costs after an accident.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Kentucky

If you are a vehicle owner in Kentucky, you cannot legally drive until you have obtained insurance. If you get caught while driving without insurance, you will face some stiff penalties for driving uninsured, including:

Pay a fine

For a first offense of driving without insurance, you will be charged $500 to $1,000. If you are caught driving without insurance in Kentucky on a second offense, you will have to pay $1,000 to $2,500.

Jail

For a first offense, you may have to serve up to 90 days in jail in addition to paying fines. For a second offense and offenses after that, you may have to serve up to 180 days in jail.

Driving privileges revoked

If you are caught driving without insurance in Kentucky, you can have your driver’s license suspended for up to a year or until your proof of insurance is submitted. On a second offense, you will likely have your license automatically suspended for the entire year. If you are caught driving without insurance after the second offense, your license will likely be suspended for an additional two years after the first year.

Reinstatement Fee

If your driver’s license or registration has been suspended, you will have to pay a $40 reinstatement fee and court fines and show proof of insurance. For second and subsequent offenses, you will face the same consequences as the first offense and also have to retake your driving exams if your license has been suspended for more than one year.

Fees from Kentucky’s online insurance verification system

Kentucky created an online insurance verification system after the Kentucky General Assembly mandated that county clerks verify vehicles’ insurance coverage upon registration. Using this system, insurance companies licensed to sell personal vehicle liability insurance in Kentucky must record all effective auto insurance policies every month. If proof is not submitted by the insurance company or by the vehicle owner within 90 days, the vehicle registration will be canceled.

The table below shows the types of fees that Kentucky drivers can occur for driving without insurance based on the online insurance verification system:

Reason for fee Fee amount
First offense driving uninsured $500-$1,000
Second offense driving uninsured $1,000-$2,500
Reinstating driver’s registration $40

Getting into an accident without insurance

It’s one thing to get caught without insurance while driving, but getting into an accident when uninsured is more complicated. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, you will have to face all of the penalties of driving without insurance. Additionally, since Kentucky is a no-fault state, each driver must process their claims through their insurance. Therefore, even if you were not at fault for the accident, you would still have to pay for your vehicle damage and medical bills out of your pocket.

If you are at fault, in addition to having to pay all of the penalties that result from getting caught driving without insurance, you will also have to compensate for all damages resulting from the accident, which can cost thousands of dollars.

If you are involved in an at-fault accident and are not insured, the costs can significantly increase. If you cannot afford the cost for damages, you can even be sued by the other driver and their insurance company. The damages you could be personally responsible for include your and the other drivers’ medical bills and car repairs and any other damages resulting from the accident, especially if the other driver does not carry uninsured motorist coverage.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

Driving without insurance can cost you money, but providing false insurance information is considered a criminal act and can result in up to $10,000 in fines and one to five years in jail.

How much is car insurance in Kentucky?

Kentucky drivers pay an average of $2,128 for full coverage and $748 for minimum coverage. Auto insurance in the state is relatively expensive compared to the national average of $1,674 for full coverage car insurance, but every driver’s premiums are unique. It’s usually a good idea to shop around and compare providers and speak with a licensed insurance agent to find the best rates for you.

How can I find the best car insurance in Kentucky?

To find the best car insurance in Kentucky, a good place to start is to research car insurance providers specific to your zip code. Additionally, you will want to identify your needs, goals, and current situation to see which insurance company is right for you.

Do insurance companies provide discounts?

Most insurance companies provide discounts. You might want to shop around to see which insurance company offers the most discounts you would be qualified for, such as multi-policy, good student, defensive driving, etc.

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.