Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Connecticut

It’s a crime to drive uninsured in the State of Connecticut. Registered motorists who fail to carry their insurance ID card when driving, who drive uninsured, and who are flagged by the Connecticut electronic verification system for a lapse in insurance, will face penalties ranging from two-digit fines to months of jail time. Licenses and registrations can be suspended as well. 

Type of PenaltyFailing to Carry Proof of InsuranceDriving UninsuredFailing to Maintain Insurance
Fine $35 first offense; $50 and court appearance for second and subsequent offenses $500 for the car owner; $100 - $1,000 for the operator $200 civil penalty
Imprisonment N/A Up to 3 months or a combination of fine and jail time N/A
Driving Privilege N/A License and registration suspension License suspension; Possible loss of privileges to renew or register any car
Resinstatement Requirements N/A Purchased insurance policy or an SR22 Certificate of Financial Responsibilitye; $175 in restoration fees Purchased insurance policy or an SR22 Certificate of Financial Responsibility; $175 in restoration fees; $250 civil penalty

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Connecticut

Connecticut requires you to have liability insurance at a minimum of 25/50/25 in order to drive legally in the state. To ensure better compliance, the state tracks the compliance on three different occasions - each with its own set of penalties. We've broken them down for you here. 

Forgetting to Carry Proof of Insurance on the road

If a police officer approaches you at a traffic stop or pulls you over for a minor road infraction, you will need to have proof of insurance ready. According to CGS § 14-13, you must be able to produce either a valid insurance ID card or the declaration page of your policy whenever asked by law enforcement. Even if you do own a policy, forgetting to bring it along will earn you a ticket and a fine of $35 for your first offense. Your second offense will cost you $50 and an appearance in court, which may lead to heavier penalties at the court’s discretion. 

Driving without Insurance

The consequences worsen when you are truly uninsured. That violation is considered a Class C Misdemeanor. As highlighted in CGS § 38a-371, penalties for such a criminal offense are a $500 fine, a jail term of not more than 3 months, or a combination of both. The DMV will suspend your registration and driver’s license for a month on your first conviction. That jumps to six months, if you repeat the violation. 

You can only have your driving privileges reinstated when you’ve provided the court with satisfactory evidence of current State-required insurance for every vehicle you own. You will also have to pay $175 in restoration fees. 

Now, if you’ve lent your uninsured motor vehicle for use to a friend, and he gets caught, the burden still falls on you. As the owner of the car, auto insurance maintenance is your responsibility, despite not being behind the wheel. Additionally, your friend will be charged $100 to $1,000 in fines for driving an uninsured vehicle.

Failing to Maintain Insurance

You don’t have to be driving to be convicted of violating Connecticut’s auto insurance law. If you have been neglecting your policy premiums, your insurance will lapse, and your insurer will promptly inform the DMV. Once your name is flagged in Connecticut's verification system database, the DMV will send you a Notice of Registration Suspension, as stated in the CGS § 14-12g. 

If you don’t want to contest this, you may enter a consent agreement with the DMV. The consent agreement may be in the form of a purchased policy or a Connecticut SR-22 Certificate of Financial Responsibility from your insurer. If you choose to pursue this route, you will have to pay a civil penalty of $200. 

However, if you have not either entered into a consent agreement within 30 days, turned in your license plates for cancellation, or transferred ownership of your car, your registration will be suspended.

To reinstate your driving privileges, you will have to attend a court hearing and show valid proof of insurance and pay a restoration fee of $175.

Vehicle Impoundment in Connecticut

If you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle on a suspended license, your car will be impounded. You can only regain possession of your car once you’ve presented the court with valid registration, an active proof of insurance, and have paid the $50 confiscation fee. If you are not able to accomplish all this in 45 days since your vehicle was impounded, your car will be forfeited to the State.

Re-applying for Auto insurance in Connecticut

When you’ve been convicted for driving without insurance, this fact will appear on your driving record and will make you an undesirable motorist to insure. Carriers veer away from high-risk drivers. If you can't get an online car insurance quotes in Connecticut, or even through the high-risk market, the State can assist you in purchasing a policy through the Connecticut Automobile Insurance Assigned Risk Plan.

Sources:
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles: FAQ on insurance compliance
Connecticut Office of Legislative Research: penalties

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