For the more than 1 million licensed drivers on Maine roads, minimum insurance coverage is a requirement. Failure to maintain insurance coverage and getting caught driving without insurance can be costly, including penalties, fees, license and vehicle suspension and even incarceration time. Although it is legally required, having adequate car insurance coverage is the best way to provide financial protection if you get involved in an accident in Maine or somewhere else in the U.S.
Minimum insurance required in Maine
Maine has some of the highest minimum car insurance liability requirements in the country. To legally drive a vehicle in Maine, you must have at least:
- $50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
- $2,000 for medical payments
The liability insurance coverage limit you choose is the maximum amount the insurance company is obligated to pay for an accident you cause resulting in bodily injury or property damage to others. Medical payments apply towards your injuries and lost wages regardless of fault if you are in an accident, so consider how much coverage above the $2,000 minimum you may need if you are injured in an accident.
Maine drivers are also able to provide proof of financial responsibility instead of meeting minimum liability requirements. You must file with the Secretary of State after depositing money or securities that meet or exceed the insurance limit requirement to qualify. Failure to do so would be considered driving without insurance, which means you could face penalties.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Maine
With higher-than-average liability limit requirements, it is no surprise Maine is also strict on penalties involving driving without insurance. In Maine, you are required to provide proof of insurance or financial responsibility if pulled over, involved in an accident or otherwise requested by law enforcement. Proof of insurance can be provided in the form of:
- Paper insurance ID card or certificate of financial responsibility from Secretary of State
- Digital proof of insurance or financial responsibility
- Image of current proof of insurance
Failure to provide proof of insurance is considered driving without insurance in Maine. You may be served with a Violations Summons and Complaint and fined between $100-$500. If you can provide proof of insurance valid at the time of request within 30 days, the summons and penalty can be waived. Failure to provide proof of insurance results in indefinite license and vehicle registration suspension until proof has been provided. You could also be charged with a class D misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 364 days of incarceration.
Fees for driving without insurance in Maine
If you are found to be driving without insurance in Maine, there are several fees you may have to pay to legally drive on the road again. If your license and vehicle registration are suspended, you must turn them in immediately or risk being charged with a class E misdemeanor, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail.
There is a $50 reinstatement fee to reinstate your license and vehicle registration, in addition to a $20-$30 fee for a new license and $35 for a new vehicle registration. You will also likely be considered a high-risk driver, which may lead to higher car insurance premiums and a requirement to file an SR-22 proof of insurance certificate for three years.
Fines for reinstatement and after suspension
|Reason for fee||Fee amount|
|Reinstatement fee for license and vehicle suspension||$50 each|
|License fee for new license||$20-$30|
|Registration fee for new registration||$35|
|Failure to surrender license/registration after suspension||$1,000|
|Copy of restoration letter||$10|
|SR-22 cost for three years||$25/year|
Getting into an accident without insurance
If you are involved in an accident and found to be driving without insurance in Maine, it is considered a class E misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by up to six months jail time and a $1,000 fine. The Secretary of State can suspend your license or registration indefinitely until proof of financial responsibility is provided and satisfied for a period it determines.
If a judgment is granted against you in an accident with more than $1,000 in injuries or property damage, your license and suspension can be suspended until you either pay it in full or file an installment payment plan to repay the judgment agreement. All reinstatement fees and requirements apply for driving without insurance outlined above.
Frequently asked questions
What if you provide false insurance information?
Providing proof of false insurance information is considered a crime in Maine, just like driving without insurance. It is considered a class E misdemeanor, which carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
How much is car insurance in Maine?
Though Maine has high minimum liability limit requirements compared to other states, the average cost for car insurance is on the lower side. Drivers in Maine pay on average $965 per year for full coverage car insurance while drivers with state minimum liability limits and no physical damage coverage pay only $294 per year on average. With stiff penalties and the risk of losing your driver’s license and vehicle registration privileges, driving without insurance in Maine may be much more costly than purchasing car insurance.
Is Maine a no fault state for car accidents?
No, Maine is considered an at-fault state, meaning the at-fault driver in an accident is responsible for the other driver’s injuries and property damage. If you are unable to provide proof of financial responsibility to the Maine Secretary of State, it may be better to protect your assets and financial health by purchasing at least the state minimum requirements, rather than driving without insurance and risk being found at fault for a car accident.
What is the best car insurance company in Maine?
The best car insurance company is different for everyone, depending on what the most important factor is when purchasing car insurance. Your driving history, age, type of car and where you live in Maine are factors determining your car insurance premium. You are considered a high-risk driver if found driving without insurance, so rates could be higher-than-average if you require an SR-22.