Auto Insurance Basics

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Mississippi

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Breaking the Mississippi Code for Motor Vehicle Safety and Responsibility is considered a misdemeanor. It only takes one violation of the auto insurance law for a motorist to face a $500 fine and driving privilege suspension for one full year, or until you can prove that you've purchased the mandatory car insurance. Reinstating one’s license will create some financial burden as well.

Type of PenaltyFirst Offense
Fine $500
Driving Privilege License suspension for 1 year or until Proof of Insurance is provided
Penalties Reduced/Waived If proof of future financial responsibility (SR-22) is submitted before the hearing, fine will be reduced to $100; If proof of current insurance policy is submitted before the hearing, fine, court costs, and suspension will be waived
Reinstatement Requirements SR-22 to be maintained for 3 years; $25 reinstatement fee plus applicable fees related to renewing a license of varying validity length; and $10 for a suspension related to writing a bad check

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Mississippi

In Mississippi, you must have liability insurance in at least Mississippi’s required coverage amounts in order to drive. Failure to present proof of coverage that equals or is greater than the mandatory 25/50/25 limits, in the form of valid insurance ID card or equivalent proof, can have you convicted, and punished with a fine of $500 and a suspension of your driving privileges for one year or until you can satisfy the court with valid proof of insurance. 

Unlike other states that have escalating penalties for every time you violate the insurance law, Mississippi only has one sentence to cover your first and future offenses. The State also employs various ways to catch you driving uninsured: while evidence of financial security is most needed when you’re involved in a traffic accident, Mississippi also requires you to carry proof of insurance in your car at all times. Police officers can ask for your insurance ID card as you’re pulled over for a minor road infraction, or even as you pass a routine roadblock.

Waving or Dismissing Your Penalties

This quick verdict, however, does not mean that motorists will no longer be allowed to redeem themselves. If you are able to produce a newly purchased insurance policy or an SR-22 certificate filed by your insurance agency on or before the date of your court hearing, your fine can be reduced to $100. It you are able to prove that you do have an active insurance policy at the time the citation was passed, your fine, court costs, and suspension will be waived and your case dismissed.

Reinstatement Procedures and Fees

Another way the state of Mississippi tries to convince you to stop driving uninsured is with more fines when you get your driving privileges restored. 

To reinstate your license, you will need to show an SR-22 filed by your insurance carrier to the court. If this satisfies the court, you will have to maintain the SR-22 for 3 years without a single lapse on your policy’s premium payments. You will also need to pay the $25 reinstatement fee. Plus, the license renewal fee that applies best to your situation: an extra $18.00 license renewal fee and the applicable photograph fee for a four-year license; a $40.00 license renewal fee and the applicable photograph fee for an eight-year license; a $3.00 license renewal fee and the applicable photograph fee for a one-year license.

Make sure your check is valid if that is how you are paying your fines and fees. The State orders a $10 fine, too, in case your check bounces as you make these reinstatement payments.

Re-applying for Auto Insurance in Mississippi

Committing a misdemeanor against the Mississippi insurance law will create a damaging feature to your driving record. Car insurance companies will see this and will consider you a driver too high-risk to cover. Even if you plan to finally purchase an insurance policy to avoid being convicted again, you can be denied by the carriers in the voluntary market, where you will have higher chance of finding best Mississippi auto insurance.

The State of Mississippi offers you another option. The Mississippi Automobile Insurance Plan (MSAIP) helps high-risk drivers get car insurance as long as you have a valid Mississippi driver’s license and a motor vehicle currently registered in the State.

Sources:
Miss. Code Ann. § 63-15-4: penalty
Miss. Code Ann. § 63-15-61: Duration of maintenance of proof of financial responsibility

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