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Car insurance with a suspended license
Lower your rates with less coverage, but driving on a suspension could nullify your insurance.
Keeping at least minimal car insurance coverage keeps your car protected, even after a suspended license. However, a suspension probably means that you’ll need to file proof of insurance, and not all companies will insure drivers who need this proof. Compare insurers that specialize in covering high-risk drivers, looking for the widest coverage available at an affordable rate for your budget.
Why do I need car insurance with a suspended license?
Even if you can’t drive due to a suspension, you’ll probably still need insurance on your car. Reasons to keep your policy:
- To avoid a coverage lapse. If you cancel your policy without another one in place, your coverage will lapse. Insurance companies consider that an increased risk, which could raise your rates significantly for several years.
- To cover other drivers. Family members or other named drivers may need your car to get around.
- To keep your car registered. When you renew registration, you’re required to have proof of insurance, and your insurance company requires a valid license to get coverage. With a suspended license, you may need a special SR-22 policy to provide the necessary proof.
- To protect your car in storage. Your car could still be vulnerable to damage while in storage, such as fire, theft, vandalism or natural disasters.
How much is car insurance after a suspended license?
With a suspended license, you can expect your insurance rates to increase by 10% to 50%, possibly more for DUI suspensions. Since the average annual insurance rate is $1,300, you might pay around $1,690 after a 30% increase.
On the other hand, you could see lower rates if you’re keeping only comprehensive coverage while putting your car in storage. Your insurer may offer a special rate for storage insurance if you’re not driving it.
The cost of your policy depends on the reason your license is suspended. That’s because your insurance rates increase based on the risk you pose to your insurance company.
How long does a suspension stay on my record?
How long a suspension stays on record can depend on the reason for the suspension. You can expect three to five years, possibly longer for a suspension due to DUI or reckless driving.
Penalties for driving without a license
|State||Fines||Jail time||Car impoundment||License suspension|
|Alabama||$150-$550||0-180 days||Yes||Possible, up to 6 months|
|Alaska||N/A||At least 10 days||Yes||Possible, up to 90 days|
|Arizona||N/A||Up to 6 months||Yes||N/A|
|Arkansas||No more than $500||Between 2 days and 6 months||N/A||N/A|
|California||$300-$1000 fine||Between 5 days and 6 months||N/A||N/A|
|Colorado||No more than $500||Imprisonment for no more than 6 months||N/A||License suspension increased by 1 year|
|Connecticut||$150-$200 fine, or both||Imprisonment for no more than 3 months||N/A||N/A|
|Delaware||$500-$1,000 fine||Imprisonment for between 30 days and 6 months||Possible vehicle impoundment of at least 90 days||N/A|
|District of Columbia||Fine of no more than $2,500||Imprisonment for no more than 1 year||NA||N/A|
|Florida||$500 fine||Imprisonment for no more than 60 days||Yes||N/A|
|Georgia||No more than $500 fine||Imprisonment for between 2 days and 1 year||N/A||Yes|
|Hawaii||$250-$1,000 fine||Imprisonment for 3-30 days||N/A||License suspension increased by 1 year|
|Idaho||Fine of no more than $1,000||Imprisonment for between 2 days and 6 months||N/A||License suspension increased by 180 days|
|Illinois||Fine of no more than $2,500||Imprisonment for no more than 1 year||Yes||N/A|
|Indiana||Fine of no more than $10,000||Imprisonment for between 6 months and 2 years||N/A||N/A|
|Iowa||$250-$1,500 fine||N/A||N/A||License suspension increased for an additional like period or for one year, whichever is shorter|
|Kansas||Fine of at least $100||Imprisonment for at least 5 days||N/A||License suspension increased by 90 days|
|Kentucky||Fine of at least $100||Imprisonment for at least 5 days||N/A||License suspension increased by 90 days|
|Louisiana||Fine of no more than $500||Imprisonment for no more than 6 months||N/A||License suspension increased by 1 year|
|Maine||$200||N/A||N/A||Possible license suspension of 1 year|
|Maryland||Fine of no more than $1,000||Imprisonment for no more than 1 year||Possible vehicle impoundment||Possible license suspension increased by no more than 1 year|
|Massachusetts||$500-$1,000 fine||Imprisonment for no more than 10 days||N/A||License suspension increased by 60 days|
|Michigan||Fine of no more than $500||Imprisonment for no more than 93 days||N/A||License suspension increased by like period|
|Minnesota||Fine of no more than $1,000||Imprisonment for no more than 90 day||N/A||N/A|
|Mississippi||$200-$500 fine||Imprisonment for between 48 hours and 6 months||N/A||License suspension increased by 6 months|
|Missouri||N/A||No set term of imprisonment; not to exceed one year.||N/A||N/A|
|Montana||Fine of no more than $500||Imprisonment for between 2 days and 6 months||Vehicle used is seized and rendered inoperable for 30 days.||License suspension increased by 1 year|
|Nebraska||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unable to operate any motor vehicle for 1 year; license revocation for like period.|
|Nevada||Fine of no more than $1,000||Imprisonment for no more than 6 months||N/A||If license (suspended), extension of suspension by like period|
|New Hampshire||Fine of no more than $1,000||Imprisonment for at least 1 week||N/A||License suspension increased by 1 year|
|New Jersey||Fine of no more than $1,000||Imprisonment for at least 1 week||N/A||License suspension increased by 1 year|
|New Mexico||Possible fine of no more than $1,000||Imprisonment for 4-364 days||Possible vehicle immobilization||N/A|
|New York||$200-$500 fine||Imprisonment for no more than 30 days||N/A||N/A|
|North Carolina||Fine of no more than $200||Imprisonment for no more than 30 days||N/A||N/A|
|North Dakota||$1,500 fine||Imprisonment for no more than 30 days||N/A||N/A|
|Ohio||Fine of no more than $1,000||500 hours community service||Possible license plate impoundment||N/A|
|Oklahoma||$50-$300 fine||Imprisonment for no more than 30 days||N/A||N/A|
|Oregon||$220-$2,000 fine||N/A||Possible vehicle impoundment||N/A|
|Pennsylvania||$200 fine||N/A||N/A||License suspension increased by 1 year if originally suspended, 2 years if it was originally revoked|
|Rhode Island||$250-$500 fine||Imprisonment for up to 90 days||N/A||License suspension up to 90 days|
|South Carolina||$300 fine||Imprisonment for no more than 30 days||N/A||N/A|
|South Dakota||Fine of no more than $2,000||Imprisonment for no more than 30 days||N/A||N/A|
|Tennessee||Fine of no more than $500||Imprisonment for not more than 6 months||N/A||License suspension increased by like period of time|
|Texas||Fine of no more than $500||Imprisonment for no more than 180 days||N/A||N/A|
|Utah||$1,000 fine||Imprisonment of no more than 6 months||N/A||N/A|
|Vermont||Fine of no more than $5,000||Imprisonment for no more than 2 years||N/A||Possible seizure of license plates|
|Virginia||Fine of no more than $2,500||Imprisonment for no more than 12 months||N/A||N/A|
|Washington||Fine of no more than $5,000||Imprisonment for no more than 364 days||N/A||N/A|
|West Virginia||$100-$500 fine||Imprisonment for 30-90 days||N/A||N/A|
|Wisconsin||$50-$200 fine||N/A||Vehicle may be impounded||N/A|
|Wyoming||Fine of no more than $750||Imprisonment for no more than 6 months||N/A||N/A|
How to save on car insurance after a suspension
You can still go after savings, even with this mark on your record. Avenues you might consider taking:
- Get multiple quotes. Look into what insurance costs with several SR-22 providers so that you’re getting the best value.
- Consider storage insurance or lower coverage. You could keep minimal coverage on your car if no one’s driving it, such as comprehensive or liability only.
- Go with telematics. When you recover your license, consider a telematics policy. This uses an app or black box to track your driving, make safety suggestions and drive down rates.
- Keep your driving record clean. Drive forward with safe habits from here on out, no matter what brought about your license suspension.
- Share a policy. You might consider adding yourself to a family member’s policy and let others have access to your vehicle. You could also exclude yourself until you regain your license so that your driving risk isn’t a factor.
- Take a safety course. Many companies provide a reward for safety course completion, and it could lower your premium overall.
- Work with your doctor. If your license was suspended for medical reasons, ask your doctor what requirements you need to follow to get your license reinstated. You might need to prove your medical issue has been resolved by medication for a certain period of time.
Compare car insurance after a suspended license
What coverage should I get?
Keeping at least minimal coverage on your car can be important, even though you’re not driving it. Types of coverage to consider:
- Bodily injury liability. Required by your state to pay for others’ accident-related medical bills.
- Property damage liability. May need to keep your state’s minimum limits for storing your car or minimal driving.
- Uninsured/underinsured. Covers your car and others driving it for accidents with another driver who doesn’t have enough insurance.
- Personal injury protection (PIP). May be required by some states to cover your own medical bills and income loss after an accident.
- Comprehensive. This option protects your car from theft, fire and storm damage, even while it’s sitting in the garage.
- Loan or lease GAP. Pays off your loan or lease if your car is totaled, even if theft occurs or another named driver totals it.
How do I file an SR-22?
Once you apply for insurance with an SR-22, your company should file a proof of insurance document with your DMV or state. However, call to make sure that’s the case.
James received a license suspension for multiple moving violations and discovered his insurer would no longer cover him. After getting several SR-22 coverage quotes, James started a new policy that was 20% more expensive than his previous policy without the suspension. Since his previous rate was $1,100, James will pay $660 extra over the next three years until he can remove the SR-22 from his policy.
What to watch out for
While you’re working to tidy up your record, be careful about a few patchy situations you might encounter.
- Not informing your insurance company. Avoiding your insurance company could cause bumps down the road if the company finds out after the fact, or worse, after an accident.
- Your insurance company drops you. Your insurer might deem you too high of a risk, but you can look for another company that offers SR-22 coverage.
- Driving with a suspended license. Unless you have your license restored, this illegal driving could null your insurance agreement, leaving you unprotected.
- Incurring extra charges. Aside from a premium surcharge, your suspension may cost you more for filing your SR-22, paying for tickets and state fees or receiving consequences for a coverage lapse.
- Removing an SR-22. One positive date to mark on your calendar is the day you can take your SR-22 filing off your policy. But remember to contact your insurer to get it removed.
Do I have to tell my insurer about my suspension?
Yes. Most policies stipulate that you must tell your insurer about anything that raises your risk level unless you can reasonably expect the provider to know about it already.
- If your insurer does know about it, informing them probably won’t affect your premiums.
- If your insurer doesn’t know about it, not telling them may be used to deny a claim later on.
Avoid unnecessary headaches by alerting your insurance provider to any changes in your driving record, especially suspensions of your license, registration or plates.
You may not be driving around for a time, but you might need some coverage to keep your car and others driving it protected. To get the best SR-22 coverage, you can shop around with multiple providers.
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