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The Idaho Code for Motor Vehicles Financial Responsibility is in force to ensure that every registered vehicle has financial accountability on the road. Violating the Code is an infraction upon the first offense, and a misdemeanor when the offense is repeated in the Gem State. This puts the range of penalties from fines to driving privileges suspension, to imprisonment.
Type of Penalty
|First Offense||Second & Subsequent Offenses|
|$75||Up to $1,000|
|Administrative Fees||Total $56.5||N/A|
|Imprisonment||N/A||Up to 6 months or a combination of jail time and fine|
|SR-22 Maintenance||1 year||3 years|
|Driving Privilege||License suspension until proof of insurance is provided for each offense|
|Reinstatement Fee||$85 for each offense|
Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Idaho
As an Idaho driver, you are required by the Financial Responsibility laws to maintain liability coverage meeting or exceeding the minimums in Idaho: 25/50/15. These are minimum limits set to guarantee you can pay for damages and injuries you may cause in an accident in Idaho.
To monitor your compliance, law enforcement officers can request your insurance ID card during routine checkpoints, and confirm the status of your policy through Idaho’s Online Insurance Verification System. This system employs the query-and-confirm method in real time. If your policy returns with an ‘Unconfirmed’ reply from the Idaho Transportation Department, you will face penalties. We have outlined these in detail below.
The first time you are caught driving uninsured, it is considered a traffic infraction. The financial sentence is a $75 fine. The state further requires that violators make court appearances when convicted, which comes with administrative fees. These include a $16.50 court fee, $5 county justice fund fee, $15 police officers training fee, $10 technology fund fee, and $10 emergency surcharge. With your $75 violation fee, you can amass a $131.50 with fines and fees combined.
Apart from fines and fees, your license will also be suspended until you can return to court with valid evidence of a current and active auto insurance policy. This may be in the form of an insurance ID card or a proof that an SR-22 is filed by your insurer with the Idaho Transportation Department.
For first time offenders, you may reinstate your driving privileges by presenting and maintaining proof of insurance in form of SR-22 filing for one year, starting from the date you reinstate your license. You must pay a $85 reinstatement fee and submit official receipts reflecting paid administrative costs, too.
Second and Later Offenses
If you violate the same insurance law within five years from your previous conviction, it's now treated as a misdemeanor. Your conviction, having escalated to a criminal offense in nature, also means you are now subject to prison time at the court’s discretion. For your second and any future financial responsibility violation, you may either face a fine that can go up to $1,000, or up to a maximum of six months prison time. Or worse, you can be sentenced to both imprisonment and fines. Your license will also be suspended until you have fulfilled all of your penalties.
In order to get your driving privileges back, you will need to complete your penalty period, and then come back to court with proof of insurance or an SR-22. This time around, your SR-22 filing will need to be maintained for three years. After paying the $85 reinstatement fee and securing the official receipts for having paid the $56.50 administrative fees in total, your license suspension will be lifted.
Re-applying for Auto Insurance in Idaho
Drivers with a history of convictions on their driving records are, more often than not, considered high-risk drivers by the insurers. If you have been shopping for an Idaho car insurance policy and are getting denied by mainstream carriers, this is probably the reason why. Fortunately, you can apply for coverage through the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan. This is the state’s way of assisting its motorists –- even the high risk ones -- in getting back on track with financial responsibility.