Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Colorado

Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Colorado

Driving without car insurance is considered a class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado. If convicted, you might have to pay a fine of $1,000 or more, surrender your driver's license for up to eight months, spend up to a year in jail, and perform up to 40 hours of community service.

However, depending on the circumstances, the court may reduce your fine or even dismiss the charge altogether.

Penalties for driving without insurance

All drivers must show proof of insurance when requested — and if you can't show proof, then you could face a fine of up to $1,000, jail time, a driver's license suspension and more. The penalties depend on whether you've been caught driving without insurance in the past. Here's what you can expect:

Types of penalties
First offense
Second offense
Third and subsequent offense
FineAt least $500At least $1,000At least $1,000
Community servicePossible 40 hoursUp to 40 hoursUp to 40 hours
ImprisonmentN/A10 days to 1 year in jail10 days to 1 year in jail
Driving privilegeDriver's license, registration and license plates suspended until adequate insurance is obtainedDriver's license, registration and license plates suspended for four monthsDriver's license, registration and license plates suspended for eight months
Reinstatement requirements$40 fee and file SR-22 certificate for three years$40 fee and file SR-22 certificate for three years$40 fee and file SR-22 certificate for three years
Driving record4 points4 points4 points
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Penalties for first offense

Law enforcement officers can ask for proof of insurance during routine traffic stops, and they may check that proof against the state's motorist insurance identification database. If the officer finds out you're driving without insurance, they can issue you a notice of suspension and confiscate your driver's license on the spot. Drivers should be entitled to a temporary permit that is valid for seven days.

The officer may decide to let you keep your license for the time being, but they'll still file a citation. You'll receive a notice of suspension in the mail, but you can avoid the penalty by providing proof of financial responsibility — also known as an SR-22 — within 20 days of receiving the notice. If no proof is provided, the state may suspend your driver's license.

It's important to act quickly. If you don't get a car insurance policy, you could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction comes with a fine of at least $500, suspended driving privileges and a $40 reinstatement fee. Your Colorado auto insurer will also need to file an SR-22 form on your behalf for three years. The court may also require you to perform at least 40 hours of community service.

Penalties for second offense

If the second offense occurs within five years of a previous violation, the fine increases to at least $1,000, and your driving privileges will be suspended for four months. You'll pay the $40 reinstatement fee and file a SR-22 certificate for three years. The court may also require up to 40 hours of community service and jail time between 10 days and one year.

Penalties for third and subsequent offenses

The penalties climb if you're caught driving without insurance for a third time (or more) within five years of a previous violation. The state will suspend your driving privileges for eight months, charge a $1,000 fine plus a $40 reinstatement fee, and require an SR-22 certificate for three years. The court may also require up to 40 hours of community service and jail time between 10 days and one year.

Reducing the fine

The court may dismiss your case if you can prove you had insurance in place at the time of the citation. If you purchase the appropriate levels of insurance before your hearing, the court may suspend half of the mandatory $500 fine. This applies to second and subsequent citations as well.

Sources:

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

SR-22 Insurance

An SR-22 form is a certificate of financial responsibility that proves a driver has the minimum required auto insurance. You only need an SR-22 if your state or court orders you to get one — typically after a major driving violation.

Cost of Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance

Compare SR-22 Quotes and Find Cheap Coverage

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