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Alabama requires every driver to have car insurance — and driving without it is a misdemeanor.
If caught, the state may charge a fine of $500–$1,000 and suspend your driver's license and registration. Misdemeanors also have potential punishments, like vehicle impoundment and jail time. Your penalty depends largely on the number of offenses on your record.
Penalties for driving uninsured in Alabama
The state uses the Alabama Online Insurance Verification System to monitor drivers' car insurance coverage. You may receive a Mandatory Liability Insurance notice and need to provide proof of coverage. Additionally, law enforcement officers can ask for proof of coverage — such as a car insurance ID card — during traffic stops.
The consequences are steep if you don't have that proof. The state may charge fines, suspend your driving privilege and even send you to jail. You also might have to ask your insurer to file an SR-22 form on your behalf. This acts as proof you've purchased enough insurance coverage, and the form may need to stay on file for three years.
Keep this in mind: Driving without insurance is considered risky behavior — so when you do purchase coverage and request an SR-22 form, the insurer may charge a higher premium. You can shop for insurance in Alabama to find the best deal, even with an SR-22 on file.
Here's what you can expect if you're caught driving without insurance:
Type of penalty
Second and subsequent offenses
|Up to $500||Up to $1,000|
|Possible, not more than three months||Possible, not more than six months|
|N/A||License suspension for six months|
|Registration suspension for 30 days, or until proof of insurance is provided||Registration suspension for 30 days, or until proof of insurance is provided|
|Vehicle impoundment possible||Vehicle impoundment possible|
|$200 registration reinstatement fee; SR-22 for one year after reinstatement||$400 registration reinstatement fee; SR-22 for three years after reinstatement|
A first-time offense is considered a class C misdemeanor. You may have to pay a fine of up to $500, surrender your vehicle registration for at least 30 days and file an SR-22 for one year. The state can also choose to impound your vehicle and sentence you to a jail term of up to three months. Once you pay $200 and show proof of insurance coverage, Alabama can reinstate your registration.
Second and subsequent offenses
If you're caught driving without insurance more than once, it's considered a class B misdemeanor — and the penalties increase. You'll pay a $1,000 fine, have your registration suspended for at least 30 days and have your driver's license suspended for six months. The police officer or the court can also have your car impounded. If you have repeat offenses, the class B misdemeanor allows for fines of up to $3,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.
You will need to pay a $400 fee to get your car registration reinstated. Plus, your insurer will need to file an SR-22 form on your behalf for three years.
Reapplying for auto insurance in Alabama
Insurance companies have the right to deny coverage to high-risk drivers, so it may be tough to find coverage after a driving-without-insurance conviction.
However, because Alabama requires liability insurance, the state guarantees coverage for all drivers. If you're unable to find an insurer willing to sell you a policy, then you can purchase insurance through the Alabama Auto Insurance Plan.
How much car insurance do I need in Alabama?
- $25,000 for bodily injuries per person
- $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident
- $25,000 for property damage