Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Florida

Car insurance is required in Florida, and driving a car on Florida roads without the mandatory minimum amounts can result in hefty fines and loss of driving privileges.

Driving privileges
First offense$150 reinstatement feeLicense and registration suspension of up to 3 years, unless proof of insurance is provided in time
Second offense$250 reinstatement fee if lapse occurs within 3 years of first offenseLicense and registration suspension of up to 3 years, unless proof of insurance is provided in time
Subsequent offenses$500 reinstatement fee if lapse occurs within 3 years of first offenseLicense and registration suspension of up to 3 years, unless proof of insurance is provided in time

Penalties for driving without insurance

It's a good idea to keep your car insurance policy up to date. If it lapses, then your insurer will notify the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). The agency will ask you to provide proof that you bought a new policy before the old policy expired, with a deadline attached to the notice. You'll also need your proof of insurance when law enforcement officials ask for it during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident.

Failing to meet Florida's car insurance requirements could result in a fine plus suspension of your driver's license, license plates and registration for up to three years.

Penalties for first offense

After your first offense, the state can suspend your license until you provide proof of auto insurance and pay a fee of $150. Then you may apply to have your driver's license, license plates and registration reinstated. But there are no reinstatement fees or penalties if you prove your new policy began before the suspension date.

The following insurers offer policies to drivers in Florida who have had a lapse in coverage. We recommend comparing rates from multiple car insurance companies in Florida to find affordable coverage as a higher-risk driver.

Penalties for second and subsequent offenses

The fees to reinstate your license and vehicle registration after your second and subsequent offenses within three years of the first are more expensive in the State of Florida. If you let your insurance lapse for a second time within those three years, the reinstatement fee increases to $250. For a third or following offense in that time frame, the reinstatement fee goes up to $500.

Penalties for driving without insurance in an accident

Accidents in Florida need to be reported immediately to law enforcement if they involve an injury or death, a hit-and-run, an intoxicated driver or what appears to be more than $500 worth of property damage. What if you don't have car insurance in Florida and get into an accident? The consequences can be significant. If you're at fault, and the other driver is hurt or their car is damaged, you can be held personally liable for the entire cost of damages. On top of that, you could lose your driving privileges until you've paid that entire cost.

Drivers who are uninsured and at fault for a bad accident may also need an SR-22 certificate. Your insurer would need to file this document on your behalf and may charge higher rates afterward. Under the state's financial responsibility law, you will also need to purchase bodily injury liability coverage on top of the property damage and personal injury protection coverage that's already required. This is a costly penalty in Florida. Plus, you may find it difficult to find an insurer willing to take on the risk of a driver who has already been involved in a serious accident.

Florida car insurance requirements

Under Florida law, you're required to maintain at least the following amounts of coverage:

  • $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL)
  • $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)

You'll need this coverage to get your registration and license plates, and you must carry it throughout the registration period.

If you intend to drop your insurance for any reason, you'll need to surrender your plates before the insurance expires. Otherwise, the FLHSMV can suspend your driver's license, your registration and your vehicle tags for up to three years, or until you take out a policy — whichever is shorter. You can also be fined between $150 and $500 for driving uninsured.

Florida is unusual among US states, in that it does not require bodily injury coverage for private vehicles, which pays for the costs associated with others' injuries (or death) if you are responsible for an accident. However, we still strongly recommend that Florida drivers purchase this coverage, as bodily injury liability is often the most costly aspect of a car insurance claim, especially in severe crashes.

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.