Car insurance is required for all drivers in Louisiana. Like many states, there are penalties for driving without auto insurance, including fines, license confiscation, registration suspension and vehicle impoundment. However, Louisiana's No Pay, No Play law has a unique consequence: An uninsured motorist in an accident cannot recover damages from the other driver in most instances.
Penalties for driving uninsured in Louisiana
Whether you’re involved in a collision or not, your lack of insurance coverage with the minimum 15/30/25 liability limits can still have significant consequences. When you get pulled over by a police officer, you will need to provide proof of insurance in the form of an ID card, a hard copy of your policy, an image of your policy or declaration page saved on your cell phone, or a written statement from your insurer stating all the pertinent policy details.
Failure to do so will result in the following penalties, regardless of whether it's your first, second or additional offense.
- Fines between $500 and $1,000
- Suspension of your license plates and registration
- Vehicle impoundment
- Related towing, storing or wreckage costs for impoundment
- A bar on claiming losses in collision accidents
To drive again, you will need to pay a reinstatement fee. That amount varies depending on the number of times you've been caught driving without insurance.
Third and subsequent offenses
|$100 reinstatement + $10 reinstatement administration
|$250 reinstatement + $10 reinstatement administration
|$500 reinstatement + $10 reinstatement administration
While driving uninsured in Louisiana is not a misdemeanor — and, therefore, does not result in imprisonment — it subjects you to severe penalties and financial loss.
If your insurance lapses or is canceled, you must immediately secure a new policy. If you don't get new insurance, you can still be subjected to a fee from the state — even if you aren't caught driving without insurance.
Insurance lapse length
91 days or longer
When you’re caught driving without insurance for the first time in Louisiana, the police officer will remove your license plates and suspend your registration, and you could have your vehicle impounded. At the traffic stop, the officer will give you a Temporary Vehicle Use Authorization sticker, which allows you to drive for three days: just enough time to collect your insurance papers to present to the Office of Motor Vehicles.
Being caught driving uninsured for the second time will result in steeper financial damage. While you will still be given the same three-day grace period to prepare your proof of insurance — be it your policy or your insurance company’s SR-22 filing — failure to submit within the allotted time will have you paying a fine, a $250 reinstatement fee, plus vehicle storage and wreckage fees before your license plates, registration and car can be returned to you.
Third and subsequent offenses
Your next insurance violations will come with the costliest fees. When you’re caught driving without insurance for the third time or more, the immediate confiscation of your license plates, revocation of your registration and impoundment of your car will also still apply.
Louisiana’s No Pay, No Play law
The most damaging consequences for driving uninsured in Louisiana happen if you're involved in a collision. Louisiana has a No Pay, No Play law. This states that even if you are the victim, or not at fault, in a traffic accident, you won't get compensated by the other drivers' insurance company if you were driving uninsured — at least not until the damages reach a threshold. The first $25,000 in property damages and the first $15,000 in personal injuries you suffered from the collision will be paid out of your pocket.
If you are at fault for the accident, you will have to pay the other driver's damages without an insurer to help. This is in addition to the fines and penalties for driving without insurance that you’ll still face.
Reapplying for auto insurance in Louisiana
Insurance violations negatively affect your driving record and your status as a driver. You'll be labeled as high risk, and you may have a hard time finding a company willing to sell you auto insurance in Louisiana.
If you have shopped around and been denied, the Louisiana Automobile Insurance Plan will assist you in purchasing liability coverage from agents who participate in the plan.