Driving without insurance in Massachusetts is illegal, as it is in most states. If you are stopped and found to be without an active insurance policy on your vehicle, you may be subject to fines, jail time and suspension of your license. Even if you are on a limited budget, it’s generally a good idea to purchase a policy with at least the state-mandated minimum requirements so that you are legal behind the wheel.

Massachusetts car insurance laws

The Massachusetts legislature has determined minimum levels of auto insurance that you need to have in order to drive legally on public roads. As a no-fault state, Massachusetts minimum requirements are a bit more extensive than the basic liability coverage required in many other states, since it also includes uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection insurance. Massachusetts insurance laws include the following:

  • $20,000 in bodily injury liability per person per accident
  • $40,000 in bodily injury liability total per accident
  • $5,000 in property damage liability per accident
  • $20,000 in uninsured motorist bodily liability per person per accident
  • $40,000 in uninsured motorist bodily liability total per accident
  • $8,000 in personal injury protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection, or PIP, is a type of insurance that covers you and your passengers if you’re injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. It may pay for medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs and essential services, such as child care. PIP coverage is found most often in no-fault states.

Keep in mind that minimum coverage may not be enough to pay for all costs following a serious accident. If the other person’s car is totaled in an accident you cause, for example, $5,000 in property damage may not be enough to cover the costs of purchasing a new vehicle or repairing major damage. You may want to consider purchasing full coverage car insurance, including higher levels of liability insurance, to better protect your finances.

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Penalties for driving without insurance in Massachusetts

If you own a personal vehicle in Massachusetts, you must obtain the minimum insurance requirements before driving your car. The penalties for driving without insurance in Massachusetts are outlined below:

Pay a fine

If you are found guilty of driving without insurance in Massachusetts, you could receive a fine between $500 and $5,000, according to state laws. If you get caught driving without insurance multiple times, you could face even higher fines.


According to Massachusetts state laws, if you are found guilty of driving without insurance, you may have to serve up to one year in jail (with potentially more jail time if you are convicted of multiple offenses).

Driving privileges revoked

In addition to fines and potential jail time, you may also have your driver’s license and registration suspended. If you are convicted of driving without car insurance, your driving privileges will be suspended for 60 days. After two or more offenses, you could have your license restricted for longer.

Reinstatement Fee

When your driver’s license or registration is suspended, you will have to reinstate it and pay a fee. In Massachusetts, the fee to reinstate a suspended license is between $100 and $1,200. The exact fine depends on the type of suspension.

Additional Fees

In addition to the fines and reinstatement fees, you could also be responsible for additional fees. For example, if you want to appeal a Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) decision, you must pay a $50 fee. If you request a court hearing, you have to pay a filing fee of $25, which you get refunded if you win the hearing.

Fees from Massachusetts’s online insurance verification system

The Massachusetts RMV partnered with Boston Software Corporation to provide an online service enabling insurance agents to renew and reinstate vehicle registrations. With this online insurance verification system, insurance companies, drivers and the authorities can confirm that a vehicle is adequately insured. This system was created to ensure that all vehicle owners carry the minimum requirements for insurance before driving on the road.

Reason for fee Fee amount
Requesting a hearing to dispute civil motor vehicle infraction citation $25
Late fee for failure to respond within 20 days $40 to $45
First offense driving uninsured $500
Second offense driving uninsured $500 to $5,000
Reinstatement fee for driver’s license or registration after suspension $100 to $1,200

Getting into an accident without insurance in Massachusetts

If you get into an accident without car insurance in Massachusetts, there are several things that might happen.

No-fault does not mean no one is responsible for causing an accident. Since Massachusetts car insurance laws state that the commonwealth is a no-fault state, each party’s insurance company would initially pay for their medical bills and lost wages regardless of which driver caused the crash. But if you are found to be more than 51 percent at fault and do not have insurance, you would still be responsible for any damages you caused to the other party’s vehicle, and any additional costs above and beyond what their PIP insurance covers.

You would still also be subject to fines and other penalties as stated in the Massachusetts civil code. You might also be required to carry an SR-22 certificate for several years. All of this might place you in a difficult situation financially, and is one more reason why driving without insurance in MA is never a good idea.

Frequently asked questions

    • Driving without insurance in the state of Massachusetts is expensive if you are caught, but providing false insurance information is considered felony fraud and can result in up to five years of prison and a fine of $500 to $10,000. If you have a limited budget, it’s usually a better idea to obtain the minimum amount of insurance required by law.
    • The average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is $1,683 per year for full coverage and $410 per year for minimum coverage, which is less expensive than the national average of $2,542 per year for full coverage and $740 for minimum coverage. Your actual premium may vary, as insurance providers use several factors to determine your rates. To find the cheapest car insurance for you, consider requesting quotes from several companies for the same coverage types and levels and compare them.
    • The best way to save on car insurance is usually to thoroughly research the auto insurance companies available in your area and compare quotes and coverage options. Most insurance companies offer multiple discounts that can lower your premiums, so take the time to see which offers could work for you. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to speak with a licensed insurance agent to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.
    • If you do not have a vehicle registered under your own name, but you occasionally drive someone else’s car, you may still want insurance. This might be the case if you are seeking reinstatement of your license after a suspension or if you are between cars and don’t want your coverage to lapse, which can cause a rate hike. Non-owner insurance could help supplement any existing insurance that the car’s owner has on the vehicle and provide more robust coverage if you want extra liability for a car you drive but don’t own. Note that non-owner insurance does not include collision or comprehensive coverage, so damage to the car you are driving is not included through this coverage.