It’s a crime to drive uninsured in the state of Connecticut. Registered motorists who fail to carry their insurance ID card when driving or are flagged by the Connecticut electronic insurance verification system will face penalties ranging from fines to months of jail time. Licenses and registrations can be suspended as well.
Failing to carry proof of insurance
Failing to maintain insurance
|$50 plus other fees, for a total of $117||$500 for the car owner; $100–$1,000 for the operator||$200 civil penalty|
|N/A||Up to three months or a combination of a fine and jail time||N/A|
|N/A||License and registration suspension for one month on a first conviction and six months for subsequent convictions||Registration suspension; license suspension if action is not taken within 30 days of registration suspension; possible loss of privileges to renew or register any car|
|N/A||Purchased insurance policy; $175 in restoration fees||Purchased insurance policy; $175 in restoration fees|
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. The state tracks insurance compliance with an online database and by having law enforcement officers check for proof of insurance during a traffic stop or following an accident. The possible penalties you'll face depend on the exact circumstances.
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 driving infraction, you will need to show proof of insurance. According to Connecticut law, 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 have a valid policy, forgetting your ID card or other proof will earn you a ticket and a fine of $50. Once other fees are added, you'll pay a total of $117.
Driving without insurance
The consequences are worse when you are truly uninsured. That violation is considered a Class C misdemeanor. The penalties are a $500 fine, a jail term of not more than three 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.
If you loan your uninsured motor vehicle to a friend and they get caught driving it, the burden of all of the penalties above still falls on you. As the owner of the car, auto insurance maintenance is your responsibility, despite not being behind the wheel. In addition, 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 haven't paid your policy premiums, your insurance will lapse, and your insurer will promptly inform the Department of Motor Vehicles. Once your name is flagged in Connecticut's verification system database, the DMV will send you a notice of registration suspension.
If you want to keep driving, you may enter a consent agreement with the DMV. The consent agreement may be in the form of a purchased policy from your insurer. You will also have to pay a civil penalty of $200.
However, you may not intend to keep driving. If the car was sold or totaled, for example, you can turn in your license plates for cancellation or show the state that ownership of the car has transferred.
If you don't do any of those things, your registration will be suspended.
To get your driving privileges reinstated, you will have to attend a court hearing, 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 get your car back once you’ve presented the court with valid registration and proof of active insurance and paid the $50 license plate confiscation fee. You'll also have to pay any associated towing and storage costs.
If you are not able to accomplish all of this within 45 days of your vehicle being impounded, your car may be forfeited to the state.
Reapplying for auto insurance in Connecticut
A conviction for driving without insurance will appear on your driving record and make you an undesirable motorist to insure. Carriers generally limit the number of high-risk drivers they insure. If you can't get an acceptable car insurance quote in Connecticut, the state can assist you in purchasing a policy through the Connecticut Automobile Insurance Assigned Risk Plan.