Driving without insurance in Michigan

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Every vehicle owner in Michigan is required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Driving without car insurance in Michigan is illegal and comes with heavy consequences. Whether you are a current Michigan resident or are planning an upcoming move to Michigan, understanding the penalty for driving without insurance in Michigan is important.

Michigan car insurance laws

Car insurance is a legal requirement in Michigan. If you have a vehicle that is registered with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you must meet the state’s minimum car insurance laws. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, drivers are required to carry special types of insurance, in addition to basic liability coverage.

Per Michigan car insurance laws, drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) and property protection insurance (PPI) to comply with the no-fault laws. Drivers must also carry 250/500/10 personal liability coverage, which includes:

  • $250,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $500,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident

Penalties for driving without insurance in Michigan

Driving without car insurance in Michigan is illegal. If you get caught driving without insurance, you will face steep penalties. These penalties can affect your driving privileges, as well as your ability to file an insurance claim after an accident.

In the state of Michigan, driving without insurance is a misdemeanor, which is publishable with a fine between $200 – $500, up to one year in jail – or both. Drivers may also have their license suspended for 30 days, or until they can provide proof of insurance. Drivers will also pay a license reinstatement fee of up to $125.

In addition, the Michigan Secretary of State has the authority to restrict your car registration privileges until you can show proof of insurance. If you receive a ticket for not having insurance, the Secretary of State may not allow you to transfer, replace or renew your car registration, or register a new vehicle, without proof of coverage.

Michigan drivers should also be aware of the state’s laws around driving without proof of insurance. If you have an active car insurance policy but cannot show proof of insurance when requested by law enforcement, you will face a small penalty. Typically, driving without proof of insurance is punishable by a mandatory fine of $25.

Getting into an accident without insurance

Getting into an accident without insurance in Michigan comes with severe repercussions. Michigan’s car insurance laws do not offer any forgiveness for drivers who get into an accident without no-fault insurance and personal liability insurance.

If you drive uninsured in Michigan, it will prohibit you from seeking compensation after an accident, even if you were not at fault. According to Michigan’s car insurance laws, a driver cannot use no-fault medical benefits to cover their injuries and lost wages after an accident if they do not have insurance. In this case, the driver would have to file a claim with their health insurance provider or pay out-of-pocket.

If a person is driving without insurance and their vehicle is damaged or totaled in a no-fault accident, they will be financially responsible for paying for the repairs or purchasing a new vehicle. Drivers who do not carry car insurance cannot take advantage of Michigan’s mini-tort law, which would allow them to recoup up to $3,000 from the at-fault driver to cover vehicle damage.

The consequences for not having insurance when you cause an accident are even more severe. If you hit another driver and you do not have insurance, you will be financially liable for the other driver’s medical bills, lost wages and vehicle damages. If the other driver sues you, you will have to cover 100% of your legal fees, and your personal assets will be at risk.

Drivers who are involved in an at-fault accident without insurance might also be required to purchase SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance is not an actual insurance policy, but rather a certificate that proves you carry the state’s minimum liability requirement. Filing an SR-22 is usually inexpensive, but having an SR-22 on your record will raise your car insurance premium until the certificate is removed, typically for several years.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance in Michigan?

The best car insurance in Michigan depends on many factors, like your budget, coverage needs, available discounts and your personal preferences. Some insurance companies are great for drivers who want a cheap rate and others are better for drivers who want highly-rated customer service or specific coverages. Michigan drivers should shop around, compare providers and compare rate quotes to see which company is best for their needs.

How much does Michigan car insurance cost?

Michigan is one of the most expensive states for car insurance. The average driver pays $2,375 per year for full coverage insurance and $995 per year for minimum coverage insurance. For comparison, the average cost of full coverage in the United States is $1,738 per year, which is over $600 cheaper than the average premium in Michigan. However, drivers might pay more or less than the statewide average based on their claims history, age and their policy’s coverage limits.

What does Michigan no-fault insurance cover?

No-fault insurance in Michigan includes two policies—personal injury protection (PIP) and property protection insurance (PPI). PIP covers your medical bills and lost wages after an accident, regardless of which driver caused the crash. PPI covers any damage you cause to someone else’s property, including their vehicle, a storefront, a fence or another stationary object.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Insurance Editor