Auto Insurance Basics

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Hawaii

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In its quest to keep roads safe for motorists and pedestrians alike, the State of Hawaii has two auto insurance laws and a long list of harsh penalties for those who violate them. Sanctions include fines of up to $5,000, community service of up to 275 hours, license suspension for up to 2 years, vehicle impoundment, and even jail time of up to 30 days. On top of that, your Hawaii auto insurance rates will likely increase as a result of this record.

Type of PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond OffenseMultiple Convictions within 5 years
Fines $500 $1,500 to $5,000 $1,500 to $5,000
Community Service Alternative 75 to 100 hours in lieu of fine 200 to 275 hours  200 to 275 hours 
Registration Suspension N/A N/A Suspension or revocation of registration plates.
License Suspension 3 months or until proof of insurance provided 1 year or until proof of insurance provided 1 year or until proof of insurance provided
Imprisonment N/A N/A Not more than 30 days 
SR-22 Maintenance 3 years for each offense

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Hawaii

Hawaii's Compulsory Liability Insurance Law requires you to carry liability coverage with minimum limits of 20/40/10 whenever you’re on the road. You should be able to produce the proper proof of insurance when requested at a traffic stop or during a vehicle safety inspection. Violating the Hawaii auto insurance requirement is considered a traffic violation, which in turn, removes you from the roadways when your driving privileges are suspended.

First Offense

Even if this is your first time getting caught driving uninsured, you can expect to face serious sanctions. First, you will be fined no less than $500. Secondly, your license will be suspended for 3 months. 

The state, however, gives you a chance to lighten your monetary penalties and even keep your driver’s license. In lieu of paying the fine, you may be able to perform community service instead for a first time insurance offense, for 75 to 100 hours. The court may also waive your suspension if you agree to buy a nonrefundable insurance policy that covers your car for at least the next 6 months in the Aloha State.

Future Offenses

If this is not your first time but the second or more, repeated within 5 years since your previous conviction, the penalties become more severe. This time around, you will be charged a heavier fine, ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. You can still choose the community service alternative, but the equivalent amount of time you’ll need to put in is 200 to 275 hours. Your license’s suspension period will also grow to one full year. 

Multiple Convictions within 5 years

Hawaii imposes even stiffer penalties if you're found to be a habitual offender of their laws. If your record shows that you have multiple records of driving without insurance within a 5-year period (the law doesn't specify a number for the "multiple records"), Hawaii will add more unforgiving penalties on top of the stated penalties, as it no longer considers the repeat insurance violation a mere traffic violation. You may suffer prison time for 30 days, have your registration plates suspended or revoked, and if the court sees fit, your motor vehicle can be impounded. 

Caught without Insurance in an Accident

If you are not able to present proof of insurance at the time the accident report is filed, your license will be suspended for 2 years. If you’re not able to compensate for the damages you may have caused the other party, your registration will be revoked.

Reinstatement Process

To reinstate your Hawaii driver’s license, the first order at hand is to buy an auto insurance policy that meets at least the state’s coverage requirements, or having your insurer file an SR-22, which you will need to maintain for the next 3 years. You will have to submit both a Reinstatement Request and your proof of insurance to your closest DMV. 

There is a $20 license reinstatement fee, and you may need to retake the necessary driver’s examinations. That includes taking the knowledge test ($2) and the road skills test ($10). 

Your revoked registration can be renewed for a base rate of $45 plus a county rate that costs between $10 and $12.

Re-applying for Auto Insurance in Hawaii

Insurance companies use your driving record to evaluate whether you’re worth insuring or not, and how much to charge you. Documented violations serve as clear warning signals. If your poor driving history is getting you denied from insurers in the mainstream market, Hawaii’s Joint Underwriting Plan can help. With the State’s assistance, you can obtain the appropriate car insurance even if you’re branded a high-risk driver.

Sources:
Hawaii Legislature: penalties
Hawaii Legislature: suspension to continue until judgments paid and proof given
Hawaii Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division: licensing fees

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