Auto Insurance Basics

Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Michigan

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Driving without insurance in Michigan can result in serious penalties, depending on the circumstances. If you’re found to be driving a car without proper insurance in place, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor, pay a fine, face jail time, or a combination of all three. Driving uninsured can also result in a license suspension until you’re able to provide proof of valid no-fault insurance. More importantly, if you own a car and drive it uninsured, or allow someone else to drive it without insurance, you could be sued and held liable for all injuries and damages that result from an accident, including your own. Should you have trouble finding insurance coverage, check out the Michigan Automobile Insurance Facility as your last resort. You'll have to have at least the state’s minimum coverage requirements: PIP, PPI, and Residual BI/PD of 20/40/10.

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Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Michigan state law considers driving without insurance a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail. The penalties punish both drivers without proper insurance coverage and drivers who have insurance, but forgot to carry proof of it in their car. The Secretary of State can suspend a motorist’s driver’s license if the driver cannot produce proof of insurance when stopped by law enforcement. You can pay as much as $1,125 in total over the course of two years for driving without insurance, and at least $425 for not providing proof of insurance. You can even face up to one year in jail.

Here is a table that illustrates the penalties for either lapse in insurance or just lack of proof when requested, followed by explanation in more details (these penalties are in addition to any fines or penalties imposed by a court of law):

PenaltyDriving without Proof of InsuranceDriving without Insurance
Driver responsibility fee $200  for 2 years ($400 total) $500 for 2 years ($1,000)
Driving Privilege Driver's license suspended for up to 30 days. Driver's liense suspended for up to 30 days. 
Reinstatement fee $25 $125
Other Up to one year of jail time. Up to one year of jail time.

Penalties for Driving without Proof of Insurance

Police officers can ask you to provide evidence of your insurance status at traffic stops or at the scene of an accident. If you fail to present valid proof of active insurance when requested by law enforcement, you can face a $200 driver responsibility fee which is assessed for two consecutive years for qualifying expenses. The second year’s fees will be assessed on the anniversary date of the first year’s fees. If your license is suspended and you can show proof of adequate coverage, a $25 service fee must be paid in order to reinstate it.

Penalties for Driving without Insurance

Driving without insurance is considered a misdemeanor in Michigan, and according to MCL 500.3102(2) an individual who is convicted faces a $500 driver responsibility fee for two consecutive years, plus court costs. On top of this, you could face a maximum of a year in jail and lose your driver’s license for up to 30 days. A driver’s license suspension due to driving without insurance requires a $125 service fee to be paid for reinstatement.

Michigan generally ranks with the nation's highest auto insurance costs due to its generous personal injury protection coverage, but that doesn't mean drivers should skip it altogether. Comparing quotes can go a long way towards insuring your car more affordably in the Wolverine State.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance In An Accident

If you are involved in a traffic accident without the appropriate insurance coverage, severe penalties can apply in the state of Michigan. If you are uninsured and injured, you are responsible for paying your own medical bills. If you had been insured and the accident was the fault of the other driver, you lose out on getting compensated for pain and suffering, or reimbursement for vehicle damage or lost wages. In fact, uninsured motorists may be held responsible for payment of other individuals’ lost income, medical costs, pain and suffering, vehicle damage, and more. According to MCL 500.3177(1), “even if the other party is completely responsible for the accident, the uninsured motorist can be sued and held personally accountable for the other party’s lost wages and medical bills.” 

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