Auto Insurance Requirements in Washington, DC

Auto Insurance Requirements in Washington, DC

According to law in the District of Columbia, all drivers must carry a valid auto insurance policy before registering for a reciprocity sticker. When you get to the DMV, they'll ask for a copy of your insurance policy, your insurance card or a certification letter on the insurance company's letterhead as proof of insurance. You'll also need to show this proof if a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation.

In D.C., drivers have "no-fault" insurance, which means your insurer will cover your medical bills following an accident — regardless of who's at fault.

Washington, D.C., minimum car insurance requirements

A basic insurance policy in D.C. will include liability auto insurance (for bodily injuries and property damage) and uninsured motorist coverage with the following limits:

Required min. limits

Bodily Injury (BI)

$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident

Property Damage (PD)

$10,000 per accident

Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMIBI)

$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident

Uninsured motorist property damage (UMIPD)

$5,000 per accident; $200 deductible

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Bodily Injury (BI): $25,000/person, $50,000/accident


  • $25,000 per injured person
  • $50,000 per accident for two or more injured persons


  • Your personal assets
  • Legal fees in the event that the other party sues you, only up to the stated limit amount
  • Learn more

Does not cover

  • Your own medical bills

Property Damage (PD): $10,000/accident


  • $10,000 per accident
  • Higher limits are available, which varies by insurer


  • Everything from the other driver’s car
  • Other properties that are damaged in the accident (buildings, fences, etc)
  • Learn more

Uninsured motorists (UMI)


  • $20,000 per person
  • $50,000 per accident


  • $5,000 with a $200 deductible

Cheapest companies in Maryland for minimum liability

Optional car insurance coverage in Washington, D.C.

Although certain insurance options aren't required, they can help protect your assets following an accident or other type of incident. Most Washington, D.C., drivers, for example, purchase additional physical damage coverage.

Physical damage: This type of insurance includes collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage pays to repair your own car following an accident, while comprehensive coverage pays for damage that results from just about any other incident.

D.C. drivers commonly purchase deductibles of $500 for collision coverage and $100 for comprehensive coverage.

Alternative proof of financial responsibility

In order to register your vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicles in D.C., you must show proof of financial responsibility. Most D.C. drivers choose to purchase liability auto insurance to follow the law, but drivers have one alternative option.

Drivers with more than 25 vehicles registered in their name could qualify as a self-insurer. You must agree to pay the same amounts that an insurer would be obligated to pay if it had issued you a policy. Upon agreeing on the terms of payment, you will be issued a Certificate of Self-Insurance from the mayor.

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