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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, suspend your driver's license and registration for 180 days, and even send you to jail for three to six months. Your penalty depends largely on the number of offenses on your record.
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
Penalties for driving uninsured in Alabama
In Alabama, 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 privileges 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 offense
|Up to $500||Up to $1,000 or up to $3,000 as a class B misdemeanor|
|Not more than 3 months||Not more than 6 months|
|N/A||License suspension for 6 months|
|Registration suspension for 45 days||Registration suspension for 4 months|
|Vehicle impoundment||Vehicle impoundment|
|$200 registration reinstatement fee; SR-22 for 1 year after reinstatement||$400 registration reinstatement fee; SR-22 for 3 years after reinstatement|
A first-time offense is considered a class C misdemeanor. You may have to pay a fine of up to $500, serve a jail term of up to three months, surrender your vehicle registration for at least 45 days and file an SR-22 for one year. The state may even impound your vehicle. 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 for the second offense and up to $3,000 for subsequent offenses. Additionally, the state may send you to jail for up to six months, suspend your registration for four months and suspend your driver's license for six months.
Alabama may also impound your vehicle and charge a $400 fee to get it back. Plus, your insurer will need to file an SR-22 form on your behalf for three years.
Re-applying 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.
But 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 (ALAIP).