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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Kansas

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Financial security is a prerequisite to driving in Kansas. In fact, according to Article 31 of the Kansas Automobile Injury Preparations Act, no motor vehicle can be registered or re-registered unless you have in effect a policy of motor vehicle liability insurance throughout the period of your vehicle registration. If you drive without insurance in Kansas, this is considered a Class B Misdemeanor. Fines can range from $300 to $2,500, depending on the severity of the scenario in which you are caught driving uninsured. Penalties can range from the suspension of your license and registration to imprisonment. Below is an overview of the fines and penalties you will endure if you drive in Kansas uninsured: 

Type of PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond OffenseThird Offense/Habitual Violation
Fine $300 - $1,000 $800 - $2,500 $800 - $2,500
Imprisonment not more than 6 months; or a combination of both fine and confinement up to 1 year 1 to 2 years
Driving Privilege Suspension of License and Registration until proof of insurance has been filed with the Director Suspension of License and Registration until proof of insurance has been filed with the Director Revocation of driving privilege for a period of three years
Reinstatement Requirements $100 fee and file SR-22 certificate for three years $300 fee and file SR-22 certificate for three years $300 fee and file SR-22 certificate for three years

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Kansas

While being stripped of your driving privileges are a hassle, the biggest ordeal you’ll have to face by driving without insurance is actually the financial repercussions that come with the conviction. Depending on the number of previous convictions, the severity of penalties vary in Kansas. In all three cases above, the proof of insurance you must present the court is an SR-22 form which you need to file in the absence of an actual insurance policy. The SR-22 is a certificate that verifies your financial responsibility. This will state that your liability as a high-risk driver is now in effect. Once you have the SR-22, you may have your license reinstated provided that you maintain the SR-22 for a minimum of 36 months without lapses. After which, you may renew or look for a new quote from an insurance company.

First Time Offense

If you’re not able to produce either physical or electronic evidence of an auto insurance policy when an official asks you for it, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first time. This is a Class B Misdemeanor and you'll be reprimanded. The State Legislature allows fines between $300 and $1,000 for the first time. The penalty is confinement for 6 months or less, or a combination of both fine and jail term. Your license and registration will also be revoked. These fines and penalties will hold true until you are able to file for proof of insurance before the suspension period. Registration reinstatement will cost you $100.

Second Time Offense

Let’s say, you have done your time and have paid your dues. This makes you eligible to go back behind the wheel. However, if you are once again caught on the road without an insurance, the financial aftermath will be steeper. For a subsequent violation of driving uninsured within 3 years of your initial conviction, the state will fine you no less than $800 and no more than $2500. This on top of a potential one-year jail term for committing what is now a Class A Misdemeanor.

As before, your driving privilege will be revoked with the suspension of your license and registration until you file for proof of insurance at the time the sentence is passed. Reinstating your license this time around will cost you $300 if the misdemeanor was repeated in less than a year. $100, if not.

Habitual Violation

The most exreme category is being labeled by the Driver Control Bureau as a habitual traffic violator. As defined in the Habitual Driving Statute, KSA 8-285, you will be found guilty of this misconduct if within five (5) years of your preceding conviction, you go on and violate the Vehicle Insurance Provisions for the third time. The immediate penalty for this is the cancellation of your driving privileges for 3 years without question. Your registration will be suspended until you can come up with clear evidence of an insurance policy. If not, you will have to wait until the end of your 3-year sentence to have your license reinstated. If the violation was committed within a year, the reinstatement fee will be at $300. Otherwise, you’ll pay the original $100 fee.

Habitual offenders are charged with a Class 'E' felony, which is punishable by a sentence of 1 to 2 years in the State Penitentiary.

Re-Applying for Auto Insurance in Kansas

The common cause for insurance lapses is the car owner’s inability to pay, or the insurance company’s deferral of your coverage. Car insurance companies in Kansas have the right to refuse drivers who, upon reviewing their prior insurance history, can be deemed too high risk to indemnify. In situations like these, there’s the Kansas Automobile Insurance Plan that can assist high-risk drivers with auto insurance. If three companies refuse you coverage, you are eligible to apply for car insurance with certified agencies through the State’s plan. 

Sources:
Kanas Department of Revenue: driver's license suspension
Kansas 2015 Statute: penalties for failure to maintain required motor vehicle liability coverage

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