Driving without insurance in Maryland

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In Maryland, driving without insurance is against the state’s regulations. Having at least the minimum required amount of car insurance is necessary to comply with the state’s rules. Car insurance also provides some financial protection if you are at-fault in an accident. Otherwise, you may be financially responsible out-of-pocket for damages and fines.

The state does not make allowances for ignorance; driving without insurance in Maryland, or not knowing what the state’s minimums are for vehicle insurance, could cost you. You could lose your license or face a penalty for driving without insurance in Maryland.

Minimum insurance required in Maryland

Maryland drivers are required to carry liability insurance at all times, which is designed to pay for injuries, repairs and losses the at-fault driver causes to others. Maryland will not allow you to register your vehicle until you are insured with the minimum amount of insurance or higher. The state’s minimum liability requirements are:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 property damage for accident

The state minimum may be the most affordable amount of coverage, but may not be enough to provide you with adequate financial protection in the event of an accident. Liability car insurance only pays for injuries and property damage to others to the limit set. $15,000 may not be enough to cover all damages in a serious crash. You would have to pay the expenses above the limit of coverage out-of-pocket.

If your vehicle needs to be replaced or repaired, liability insurance will not reimburse your personal expenses. You would need to have full coverage to include your property.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Maryland

If you are caught driving without insurance in Maryland, the fines and other consequences depend on the situation. Your first offense could cost you $150, plus $7 per day (for up to $2,500 per year) until you provide the Maryland Motor Vehicle Association (MVA) with proof of insurance. In more serious situations, an accident in which you are found to be driving without insurance could cost you your license.

Making sure that you are fully insured without a lapse is essential. Even if you accidentally overlook your car insurance bill, your insurance company must report all policy cancellations and lapses to the Maryland DMV. You may receive a Proof of Vehicle Insurance Needed letter from the MVA. Respond to the notice right away by contacting your insurance agent and asking them to submit an e-FR 19 on your behalf.

Here is how the process of driving without insurance Maryland could play out:

  • You are caught driving without insurance, someone filed an uninsured motorist complaint against you or your insurance carrier notified the MVA because your coverage lapsed
  • You receive a Proof of Vehicle Insurance Needed letter and must respond with proof of coverage by asking your agent to file an e-FR 19 on your behalf
  • Alternately, you are fined for being pulled over without car insurance
  • Your license or vehicle registration may be suspended
  • Your vehicle may be towed if you drive on a suspended registration
  • If you failed to pay the fines, they may be sent to the Central Collections Unit (CCU)
  • CCU would then likely add on collection fees of $175 and could seize your tax return to pay off your debt

Fees from Maryland’s online insurance verification system

Maryland’s online insurance verification system can flag drivers with lapsed coverage, or who do not have enough vehicle insurance. Even if no one reports you for driving without car insurance, the MVA may still flag you when your policy is canceled.

Some of the fees generated from the online insurance verification system are:

Reason for fee Fee amount
Uninsured motorist fees $150 for the first 30 days
Fines for not responding to a notice $7 per day after the first 30 days up to $2,500 per day
Vehicle restoration fee $25
Providing false evidence $1,000

Getting into an accident without insurance

Getting into an accident without car insurance is a more serious matter. You could lose your driver’s license, report to the court for a suit or face penalties and fines. Aside from the standard penalties, the other party could report you by filing a claim against an uninsured driver for the state to investigate.

A court may charge you with a criminal fine of up to $1,000 if it was the first offense or send you to jail for up to one year if it was the first accident with no car insurance charge. You will likely also get five points on your driving record, which could raise your car insurance premiums once you restore or renew coverage.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

Driving without insurance can be a serious matter but there are occasions when it accidentally occurs. You may have forgotten to pay your bill and your coverage lapsed. It is far better to handle the matter responsibly than to try and falsify information. Getting caught providing false insurance information comes with a fine of $1,000 in Maryland.

What is an FR-19?

An FR-19 is the form your insurance company files on your behalf with the Maryland MVA to confirm proof of insurance. If you receive a Proof of Vehicle Insurance Needed notice, it may be necessary to pay your past-due insurance premium as soon as possible to reinstate coverage. Once your vehicle coverage is in force again, ask your insurer to provide the state with proof of insurance, known as an FR-19. Do not drive your vehicle until the state accepts the FR-19 filing or your vehicle may be impounded, making matters worse.

How much is car insurance in Maryland?

The average cost of car insurance in Maryland to meet the state’s minimum coverage requirement is $767 per year. This is a bit higher than the national average of $565 per year for minimum coverage. Maryland drivers in search of full coverage pay an average of $1,877 a year.

Do I need car insurance in Maryland?

Continuous vehicle insurance is mandatory in the state for all drivers. You must have a minimum of 30/60/15 liability coverage, which is $30,000 in bodily injury per person and $60,000 per accident, as well as $15,000 in property damage.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance, real estate and international business journalist. Besides Bankrate.com, her work has been featured in Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and SimpleDollar.com. She owns and operates a small digital marketing and public relations firm that works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility. Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development.
Edited by
Insurance Editor