FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN
SAVE ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE
A 2021 report by the Insurance Research Council[PBN1] said that nearly one out of eight drivers does not have car insurance. If you know someone driving a car without insurance, you may feel angry and frustrated. It’s a natural response because uninsured drivers can pose a risk on the road – especially when they get into an accident and don’t have the coverage to pay for damages and injuries to other drivers.
For situations like this, you may wonder: “Where can I report someone driving without car insurance?” This article will explore where you can report uninsured drivers, the dangers of driving without insurance and the consequences that uninsured drivers may face when reported.
If you feel the need to recommend cheap car insurance providers for someone who is uninsured – or you’re just on the market for yourself – we’ve included and ranked some of the best auto insurance companies. You can also enter your zip code into our free quote tool below to compare rates from multiple providers.
Where You Can Report an Uninsured Driver
As a responsible, concerned citizen, you may naturally feel the need to report an uninsured driver. You might be worried about this driver if they are a friend, relative or loved one. If they get into an accident, the financial strain of paying for any damages or injuries to other drivers could be financially crippling.
You might also be worried about other individuals who could be affected if they have an accident with the uninsured driver. So, here are the government entities and organizations you can report such a driver to:
Local Law Enforcement
While you might think the local police’s non-emergency number is a good way to get in touch with them, the police might not be able to help immediately. Unless there’s an immediate threat to public safety, they may have more pressing issues to attend to than checking on an uninsured driver. Sometimes, the police can set up checkpoints to check vehicle registration and insurance, but they won’t do this for a single driver.
However, if you are in a minor collision and the other party does not have insurance, that’s when the police can intrude. You can even sue the driver to pay for damages. But if you know someone who drives without car insurance, you will find it’s more efficient to call the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Local Department of Motor Vehicles
Reporting an uninsured motorist to the DMV is a more practical option because the department records all car insurance coverages. When you report the driver to the DMV, they will check the live database to verify your tip. If they find that the driver doesn’t have updated car insurance, they can suspend their driving privileges.
If you are concerned about being identified, you don’t have to worry. The DMV will allow you to report this anonymously. Although they would need to keep a record of the report, they will not allow the uninsured driver any access to it.
Driving without Car Insurance: What are the Laws and Exceptions?
Car insurance is a form of “financial responsibility” for driving a car. It is a legal requirement to be responsible for yourself and the other party if you get into a vehicular accident. Every state requires minimum liability car insurance, which means your insurance policy will cover the other party’s injuries and car damages.
If you don’t want to pay for insurance, there’s a less practical way to drive without a policy: pay the state a bond that can sometimes run up to $50,000. You need auto insurance if you don’t want to fork over that amount. In the long haul, it is also the most economical way toward financial protection in case of a car accident.
Where is it Legal to Drive without Car Insurance?
Driving without insurance is illegal in all states except two – Virginia and New Hampshire. But there’s a catch for both. New Hampshire will only let a citizen drive without insurance if that citizen can prove they are able to pay for property damages and bodily injuries to the opposite party in the event of an at-fault accident.
For drivers in Virginia, they are required to at least pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee to the DMV if they want to drive without insurance. If drivers in these states can’t comply with these requirements, they cannot legally drive and will be penalized without insurance.
In all other states, those who drive without insurance will not only face legal consequences – such as fines and jail time – but they will have a harder time getting auto insurance in the future.
Consequences for Someone Driving without Car Insurance
The consequences of driving without car insurance are numerous. The driver will face legal cases, fines, road violations and much more. States have different ways to deal with uninsured drivers, but most states impose a minimum penalty on first-time offenders before suspending their driving privileges on the second offense.
At the very least, a driver would be asked to pay a fine if caught driving without a driver’s license. This fine can run anywhere between $100 and $1,500. In California, for example, the fine for first-time offenders is $250, but in Delaware, the minimum fine for first-timers is $1,500.
Some states impose harsher penalties on the first offense, while others will only suspend the driving privileges on the second offense. Other states will also charge a reinstatement fee on the first offense. In New York, if you don’t have car insurance and cause an accident, you can lose your license for up to a year. In states like Colorado and Connecticut, you must show proof of insurance before your license can be reinstated.
Vehicle Registration Suspension or Revocation
Driving without insurance could also mean losing your car’s registration. Your car registration can be suspended in Massachusetts until you show proof of insurance. In Connecticut, your registration can only be reinstated after one month by showing proof of insurance.
In California and other states, your vehicle could get impounded if you get caught driving without insurance. Getting the car out of the impound lot will require proof of insurance.
Driving without insurance could put you behind bars. Most states won’t put first-time offenders in prison. However, you might spend time in jail if you cannot pay the fine. In Michigan, the state provides that uninsured drivers could spend up to a year in jail.
What Else Can You Do to Protect Yourself from an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
Reporting someone driving without car insurance is a good way to keep yourself and others financially safe, but there are so many drivers out on the road that you would never know were uninsured. So, a more effective way of protecting yourself from the hefty bills created by more uninsured drivers is to get the right insurance. Depending on which state you live in, you may already have it.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You could save yourself a lot of stress by getting uninsured motorist coverage. If you get into an accident with an at-fault uninsured driver, this type of insurance will help pay for bodily injuries or property damages for you and your passengers.
UM insurance is required in some states, like Illinois, Connecticut and Massachusetts, but is optional in others – like Arizona, California and Florida. You may already have this coverage if you live in a state that requires it. If optional in your state, UM insurance is still worth considering – because, as previously mentioned, one in eight drivers are uninsured.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
There’s also underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which is often automatically paired with UM insurance depending on state and provider. If you get into an accident with a driver that only carries the state-required minimum amount of coverage, it may not be enough to pay for your injuries or car damages, and that’s where UIM coverage comes in. Like UM insurance, UIM is required in many states.
Depending on your policy limits, both UM and UIM insurance may not cover all damages and medical expenses in an accident, but it could save you a lot of money still.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Our recommendations for auto insurance coverage are State Farm and USAA. For each provider, we have considered insurance costs, customer reviews, coverage options and industry reputation. One of the best ways to get more insurance information and compare multiple quotes is by using our comparison tool. Just enter your zip code to get started.
State Farm: Best Student Discounts
We’ve given State Farm an overall rating of 9.1 for its wide range of local agents, which means you can easily find one in your area. With decades of experience in the insurance industry, State Farm is also known to have excellent customer service, as evidenced by its first place ranking in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM.
In addition to its good student discount that can shave 25% off a premium, State Farm offers these money-saving possibilities and more:
- Passive restraint discount
- Safe driver discount
- Defensive driving discount
- Student away at school discount
- Multi-policy discount
USAA: Best Military Provider
With a 9.6 overall rating, USAA is known for its affordable premiums and strong customer service standards. These service standards are reflected in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM, where USAA received the highest customer satisfaction ratings across most U.S. regions. This provider also offers no-frills car insurance coverage that customers say is good enough for their needs.
When looking at USAA, you might also consider some of its savings opportunities:
- Military installation discount
- Vehicle storage discount
- Multi-car discount
- Safe driver discount
- Driver’s course discount, and more
FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN
SAVE ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE
FAQ: Where Can I Report Someone Driving without Car Insurance?
How can police catch uninsured cars?
When the police pull uninsured cars over, they run the driver’s plates through a database. That database is regularly updated with information about registered cars, drivers and car insurance. If they find that a person is driving uninsured, they can take the driver in for questioning.
When should I report an uninsured driver?
You should only report an uninsured driver if they are on the road, driving the car. If the uninsured vehicle is merely parked in the garage, you have no reason to worry or report the owner, as they may not even be using the car, or the car isn’t operable.
Can someone drive my car even if they are not on my insurance?
They can drive the car occasionally, but not frequently. If they are always driving your car and are not listed on your insurance, you can get into trouble with your insurer if a car accident occurs. If the person drives your car 10 to 15 times or more in a year, then you should list them as a driver on your policy.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.