Driving without insurance in Georgia can incur serious penalties, depending on the circumstances. You could face up to $185 in fines, a year in jail and lose your driving privileges.
Also, driving a car with a suspended registration in Georgia is considered a misdemeanor, affecting your record and how much you pay to insure your car.
Under Georgia Motor Vehicle and Traffic laws, drivers must carry liability auto insurance with bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident, and property damage liability of at least $25,000 per incident.
Penalties for driving without insurance
The Georgia Department of Driver Services operates an electronic insurance compliance system. If your insurance is terminated or expires, your carrier will electronically notify the state. You’re given 30 days from the date of the expiration to provide proof of new insurance.
If you can verify coverage
It's possible that you changed insurance companies and there was a delay in notifying the state. If you have continuous insurance coverage, and send the state your new insurance information within the 30-day period, there are no penalties.
If you had a short lapse
If you send proof of insurance to the state within 30 days that shows you had a lapse in insurance coverage of 10 days or less, you’ll owe the state a $25 lapse fee. If that’s not paid within 30 days, your registration will be suspended.
A suspended registration would require you to pay a $60 reinstatement fee. Other fees may also apply, depending on your situation.
If you can't prove you have coverage
Not providing proof of new insurance during the 30-day period will result in receiving a "Notice of Pending Suspension." This alerts you that your vehicle’s registration will be suspended at the end of the second 30-day period if proof of insurance isn’t provided.
If you can't prove you have insurance coverage, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor in Georgia, which comes with additional penalties. The penalties below are in addition to any fines or penalties imposed by a court of law.
|First offense||$25 lapse fee; $60 reinstatement fee||Driver's license and registration suspended for 60 days||Up to one year in jail|
|Second offense||$25 lapse fee; $60 reinstatement fee||Driver's license and registration suspended for 90 days||Up to one year in jail|
|Third and subsequent offenses||$25 lapse fee; $160 reinstatement fee||Driver's license and registration suspended for six months||Up to one year in jail|
Penalties for first offense
If you fail to show valid proof of insurance when requested or are found to be driving a suspended vehicle, you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
For the first offense, your license and registration are suspended for 60 days and until a six-month insurance policy is in place that meets the state's minimum. You may be required to provide an SR-22 certificate to prove you have the required insurance coverage.
You must also pay a lapse fee of $25 and a reinstatement fee of $60 to recoup your license and registration. You could also receive jail time of up to 12 months, depending on the circumstances.
To get a policy after a lapse in coverage, you may need to find an insurer in the state that works with higher-risk drivers. We recommend comparing rates from multiple companies to find the best price for coverage.
If you find yourself having trouble getting insurance coverage from private insurers, ask your agent about the Georgia Automobile Insurance Plan.
Penalties for second offense
If you're caught driving uninsured or with an expired registration for the second time within five years of a previous violation, your license and registration will be suspended for 90 days. Georgia drivers need to show proof of at least a six-month minimum insurance policy to get their driving privileges back.
Again, you’ll have to pay a lapse fee of $25 and a reinstatement fee of $60 to regain your license and registration. A year's worth of jail time is also possible, depending on how the second offense is handled.
Penalties for third and subsequent offenses
If the third offense occurs within five years of previous violations, your license and registration will be suspended for six months. You must pay a lapse fee of $25 and a reinstatement fee of $160. In addition, you must prove you're insured with at least the minimum required coverage for six months to get your license and registration back on track. You may also be required to serve up to 12 months in jail. Additional penalties may apply if you’re convicted of driving a suspended vehicle.
Reducing the fees
If you know that your car will not be driven for a while, you can voluntarily cancel the vehicle’s registration to halt your insurance without receiving penalties for being uninsured. You can cancel the vehicle registration as the registered owner at the Tax Commissioner’s office.
Go to the tax commissioner responsible for the county you live in and complete a notarized Form MV-18J (Affidavit for Mandatory Insurance Relief of Lapse/Pending Suspension and Suspension Fees). To avoid lapse and reinstatement fees from being assessed, the vehicle’s registered owner must cancel the vehicle registration on or before the mandatory liability insurance coverage is canceled.