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Driving without insurance is a serious offense in Maryland and could result in fines, license suspensions and potential jail time. Here are the penalties you could face for driving without insurance, as well as other reasons your license or registration could be suspended in Maryland.
License or registration suspended for driving without insurance
Carrying an auto insurance policy is mandatory to register your vehicle or drive in Maryland. If you're caught driving without coverage, your registration will be suspended and your license plate may be confiscated. In addition, you could face the following penalties:
|Uninsured motorist penalty|
|Registration restoration fee||Up to $30|
|False evidence of insurance fine||Up to $1,000 or one year in prison|
As long as your registration is suspended or you have outstanding fines, you'll be prohibited from renewing your registration or registering any new vehicles. If you're caught driving with a suspended registration, your vehicle may be impounded and you may be fined.
If you fail to respond to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) notifications, your case will be transferred to the Central Collections Unit (CCU). Once this transfer takes place, your fines will be subject to an additional 17% collection fee, and your income tax return will be intercepted to pay off your fines.
What if I provided false proof of insurance?
Allowing your insurance policy to lapse can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fines if you don't quickly acquire coverage. However, falsifying insurance information is a more serious offense. If you're convicted of providing false evidence of vehicle insurance, you could be fined up to $1,000 or up to one year in prison, in addition to all other penalties.
How to reinstate your license or registration in Maryland
Before reinstating your license or registration, you need to satisfy all court requirements related to your violation, including completing your full suspension period and paying all associated fines. Also, you'll need to provide proof that you carry Maryland's minimum required auto insurance from a company in the state.
Once you believe you are eligible to have your license and registration reinstated, call or visit the MVA's Driver Wellness and Safety Division (DW&S) and request a license reinstatement.
- Driver Wellness and Safety Division
- 6601 Ritchie Highway
- Glen Burnie, MD 21062
- MVA Customer Service Center: 410-768-7000
- TTY/Hearing Impaired: 301-729-4563
To request the reinstatement of your license, you'll need to supply the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Driver's license number
The DW&S will review your driving record for outstanding fines or other violations that may preclude you from reinstating your driving privileges. If they determine that you qualify for reinstatement, they will send you an application form. You will need to complete and submit that application form along with an application fee of $45 to reinstate your license.
However, if your license was suspended for alcohol-related reasons, you may have to pay $75. If they approve your application, they will send you an approval letter that you can take to your local MVA branch to apply for a new license.
Other causes for license and registration suspension
Depending on the number and severity of your offenses, your license may be either suspended or revoked. The main difference between the two is that revocations apply for a longer time. For example, if you commit multiple speeding violations, you may accrue enough points for a license suspension. However, if you're convicted of a DUI or flee from the scene of an accident, your license may be revoked.
How do points affect my driving record?
You acquire points on your driving record for committing traffic violations. In addition to the penalties below, adding points to your record may cause your insurance company to increase your annual rates. You'll receive a notice of suspension if you accumulate eight to 11 points on your driving record. Your license can be revoked for 12 or more points.
|3–4||Warning letter from the MVA|
|5–7||You must complete a Driver Improvement Program (DIP)|
|12 or more||Notice of revocation|
If you receive a notice of suspension based on points, you may respond in two ways: Accept the suspension and return your driver's license to the MVA, or request a hearing. Your notice will include instructions on how to complete the request for a hearing, which must be submitted within 15 days from the notice date.
If you receive a notice of suspension, you have a third option. You may avoid suspension by applying for the Ignition Interlock Program. This program will enable you to continue driving, but under restricted privileges, including the requirement to pass an alcohol detection breathing test that will be installed in your vehicle.
Your license could be revoked for the following reasons:
- You accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record.
- You're convicted of a DUI/DWI.
- You refuse to submit to an alcohol test.
- You fail to pay the fine for a traffic citation or attend a court-ordered hearing.
As with suspensions, you may accept your revocation, apply for a hearing or apply for the Ignition Interlock Program, if one of your offenses was due to alcohol or drugs. The length of your revocation period will increase based on the number of times you've had your Maryland driver's license revoked in the past.
Six-month revocation period
|Two revocations||12-month revocation period|
|Three revocations||18-month revocation period|
|Four or more revocations||24-month revocation period|
Your revocation period begins on the day that you turn in your driver's license or the official date of revocation, whichever is later.
How can I avoid suspension?
If you've committed a traffic violation and failed to pay the associated fines or appear in district court to contest the fines, you will receive a notice of suspension from the MVA. If you meet the demands of the court before the suspension date printed on that notice, you may be able to avoid suspension.
Court fines may be paid in the following ways:
Note that if you pay the fine, you are admitting guilt. This means that any points associated with the conviction will be applied to your driving record.
Additionally, the MVA might require you to take a defensive driving course in order to keep your license.