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Driving without insurance is illegal in Oklahoma, as it is in most states. Doing so may leave you open to fines and other legal consequences, including potential jail time. Aside from the legal ramifications, driving without insurance is never a good idea in Oklahoma, since you could be liable for thousands of dollars in repair and medical costs if you are involved in an accident. It will also make it much harder and more expensive for you to get car insurance later on. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team explains what happens if you get caught driving without insurance in the Sooner State.
Minimum insurance required in Oklahoma
Like almost all states in the U.S., Oklahoma drivers are required to carry minimum levels of liability insurance. Liability refers to your financial responsibility to the other driver following an accident that you cause. The minimum requirements for Oklahoma are as follows:
- $25,000 of individual personal liability coverage, to pay for costs related to a single injury
- $50,000 total personal liability coverage, to pay for costs for all injuries incurred in a single accident
- $25,000 property damage liability, to pay for damages to the other car or stationary objects
In addition, Oklahoma insurers are required to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, although it can be declined in writing.
If you have a car loan or lease your car, you may also be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage, which will pay for damages to your car in an accident (liability pays only for the other driver and car). You may also want to consider purchasing more than the minimum liability, since costs can mount up quickly following a serious accident and may exceed your policy limits.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Oklahoma
Approximately 13.4% of Oklahoma’s drivers are on the road illegally without the minimum required auto insurance. Unlicensed drivers may get a ticket just for having no insurance, but the penalties can extend into fines or even incarceration time. You can be fined up to $250 for driving without insurance in Oklahoma, and although it is not likely for your first offense, you can be sentenced to jail for up to 30 days in some cases.
In addition, your driver’s license may be suspended until you have obtained insurance, which means you would not be able to legally operate your vehicle on the road. Your vehicle’s registration may also be suspended and the vehicle could be impounded. In order to undo both of these, administrative fees and other costs typically apply.
Getting into an accident without insurance in Oklahoma
Getting into an accident is never a good thing — even if you do have auto insurance. But accidents involving drivers without insurance can be financially devastating, even if you are not to blame for the accident.
If you are not at fault in the accident, you may be able to recoup your expenses from the other driver’s insurance policy, if they are determined to be at fault. But you would still find yourself subject to the fees and other penalties that apply to uninsured drivers. You could still see your license suspended and be unable to drive, and could still be sentenced to up to 30 days in prison.
If you are at-fault for the accident, you would be legally liable for all costs related to the accident, whether these are medical costs, lost wages or property damage, for example. When you consider that medical costs in a serious accident might run in excess of thousands of dollars, having insurance makes sense from a financial planning perspective. Property damages can quickly escalate as well, considering the cost of a new car in the U.S. is more than $40K on average.
Frequently asked questions
If you are caught driving without insurance in Oklahoma, providing false insurance information is not an effective way to avoid penalties or fines. The state’s OCIVS computer database will allow police to identify instantly if you have an active policy in force. You would then be liable for all fees and up to 30 days of imprisonment, along with suspension of your license and registration. You might also find yourself placed in the high-risk driver category by your future insurer, which is likely to lead to higher premium costs.
The average annual cost of car insurance in Oklahoma is $406 per year for minimum coverage and $1,998 per year for full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive. Minimum coverage in Oklahoma is cheaper than the national average of $622 per year, while full coverage also comes in slightly below the U.S. average of $2,014 per year. Your own cost will vary depending on a wide range of factors.
There are a number of nationally-recognized companies writing auto policies in Oklahoma. The best company for you is the one that offers the coverage options you need, preferred level of customer service and most reasonable prices that fit your budget. Most insurance experts recommend that you get some quotes and compare them to determine who is the best fit for you.
The company that gives you the cheapest car insurance quote in Oklahoma may not be the same as the one that gives your neighbor their best quote, or the coverage option may not ideally suit your needs. Factors ranging from your age and marital status to the type and age of the car you drive all impact your quote, which is unique to your own situation. The best strategy is to gather several quotes from leading insurers to see who is the most affordable fit for you.