While the option to save some money by driving without insurance in Wyoming may be tempting, this decision could lead to severe consequences. This is especially true if you are involved in an accident while uninsured. If you are caught driving without insurance in Wyoming, you may face fines, license suspension and perhaps even jail time.
Minimum insurance required in Wyoming
Auto liability insurance in Wyoming is critically important to protect drivers who may be at fault in an accident which results in injury to others. As a result, Wyoming, like most other states, requires that resident drivers maintain these minimum limits of auto liability coverage:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $20,000 property damage liability per accident
Uninsured motorist coverage must be offered but can be declined in writing.
A surety bond or $25,000 deposit with the state treasury will also satisfy the financial responsibility law.
Note that though these limits will bring you into compliance with Wyoming law, these amounts may end up being inadequate to protect you financially in the event that you are determined to be at fault in a serious accident. Insurance experts recommend carrying more than the legally required minimums to make sure that you are able to cover any damages you may be responsible for – as opposed to having to pay for them out of pocket.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Wyoming
There are a series of penalties you may face if you are caught driving without insurance in Wyoming.
For a first offense of driving without insurance, you will be fined between $250 and $750. This fine will be increased for a second and subsequent offenses to an amount somewhere between $500 and $1,500, depending upon the specific circumstances of the violation.
If you are pulled over for driving without insurance in Wyoming, the law enforcement officer will cite you. You then have seven days to appear in court with proof of financial responsibility. If you do not submit proof of insurance within this period, your license will be suspended.
The suspension remains effective for 30 days from the date of notice. With a first offense, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (DOT) will only suspend your driver’s license. With subsequent offenses, your vehicle registration and license plates will also be confiscated.
Within the 30 day suspension period, you will be required to obtain secure valid proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22. An SR-22 is not an insurance policy. It is a filing that should be made by your auto insurance company. An SR-22 lets the Department of Transportation (DOT) know that you are properly insured. The Wyoming DOT requires that an SR-22 remain on file for at least three years.
Although a violation of the mandatory insurance laws in Wyoming is classified as a misdemeanor, the penalties can still be significant and potentially include time in jail.
If you are convicted for having no proof of auto insurance, a sentence can include up to six months in prison. Courts have the discretion to determine whether the circumstances warrant jail time in addition to a fine.
In 2006, the state of Wyoming passed Wyoming Statute 31-4-103(e). In relevant part, the statute provided that: “The department shall adopt by rule and regulation an online verification system for motor vehicle insurance or bond as required by this section.”
The electronic verification process was designed to be an acceptable method for providing proof of insurance. The verification program was intended to cover all vehicles which are covered by personal automobile insurance. It does not apply to commercial vehicles.
Fines related to driving without insurance in Wyoming are listed here:
|Reason for fee/fine||Fee amount|
|Driving without insurance – First offense||$250 to $750|
|Driving without insurance – Second and subsequent offenses||$500 to $1,500|
|Registration renewal fee if sentence includes registration suspension||$30|
|Probationary license fee||$25|
|Reissuance fee if you select to have a hearing||$25|
Getting into an accident without insurance in Wyoming
If you are involved in an accident in Wyoming without having auto insurance, regardless of fault, you will be cited for that violation and the penalties described above will be leveled.
Wyoming is an “at-fault” state. This means the driver who causes an accident (is at fault) is required to utilize their insurance to pay the bills arising from the other driver’s injuries or property damage caused by the accident. This is not the case in a no-fault state, where your own car insurance company may pay for your medical bills and possibly lost wages following an accident, no matter who was at fault.
Additionally, in Wyoming when you are in an accident and uninsured, you could be personally responsible for all the costs associated with injury to another driver and his vehicle if you are determined to be at fault. Lawsuits for injuries in today’s world are unpredictable and a significant judgment against you could lead to financial ruin and bankruptcy if you don’t have insurance.
Frequently asked questions
What if you provide false insurance information?
Providing false information about driving without insurance to a law enforcement officer or other agency in Wyoming could carry significant penalties. Additionally, you could create serious problems if you mislead your car insurance company, for example, in submitting an application for coverage. This could potentially lead to the insurance company denying your claim and/or canceling your policy.
How much is car insurance in Wyoming?
The average annual car insurance premium for full coverage in Wyoming is $1,495. This is less than the national average of $1,674 per year. The precise premium that you will pay may differ from these figures based upon the rating factors used to establish your premiums.