Auto Insurance Basics

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in New Hampshire

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New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t require drivers on its road to have financial responsibility for any accidents they may cause. It's only required in NH when you're convicted of certain violations, or meet some conditions. What it has are strict penalties in the form of suspensions when a registered motorist is caught without proof of insurance in a traffic accident. In this scenario, uninsured drivers can lose their driving privileges, which takes quite a bit of fees and procedures to reinstate. Suffice to say, even if it’s not the law, it is safer and smarter to purchase liability coverage and keep it handy in your vehicle at all times.

Type of PenaltyDriving without Insurance in An Accident
Driving Privilege Suspension License plate, vehicle registration, and driver's license suspended until judgement and requirements fulfilled.
License/Operation Privilege Reinstatement Fee $100
Registration Restoration Fee $25
SR-22 Maintained for 3 years

Consequences of Driving Uninsured in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, any traffic accident, which results in property damages amounting to $1,000 and/or any sort of bodily injuries, must be filed with the Bureau of Financial Responsibility in an Accident Report. 

If you are uninsured when you get into a car crash, you will not be charged violation fines. But your driving privileges will be suspended until you’ve paid for the damages you cause, and file a SR-22 as proof of future financial responsibility. The most basic insurance coverage amounts you can purchase in New Hampshire are 25/50/25.

The department will send you a notice regarding the suspension, as well as the requirements to reinstate your driving privileges (see below), 10 days before the suspension takes effect. If you are proven at fault for the collision and are being sued by the other party involved in the crash, your suspension will last until you are able to satisfy the judgments. That can mean paying however much you are ruled to the other party. A court may consider your judgments fulfilled if you have compensated the other party up to the same amounts as would an auto insurance policy with the basic coverage amounts.

Contesting Your Suspension

You may choose to appeal the suspension by requesting for an administrative hearing about your citation. By law, the Uninsured Accident Suspension hearings must be requested within 10 days after the accident report is made. Prior to this, you may need to purchase documents for the trial from the New Hampshire DMV: your Driver Report Record that costs $15, and a copy of your Crash Report that costs $5 and $1 for every additional page after the first five pages.

Reinstating Your Driving Privileges

After satisfying judgment, you can begin the process of having your license reinstated and your registration restored. To do this, you must obtain a valid insurance policy and an SR-22 filed by your insurer. You must submit proof of insurance to court along with receipts for paid reinstatement fees. The fees include a $100 License / Operation Privilege fee and a $25 Registration Privilege Restoration fee.

You are expected to maintain your SR-22 filing for 3 years, provided that you never get caught with any traffic violations within that period. On the other hand, note that if you do not restore your driving privileges in 3 years after your suspension has passed, you will be required to retake the driver’s license exam when you do. 

Applying for an Auto Insurance in New Hampshire

An accident can happen anytime. With all the financial aggravation that comes with it, you will want to purchase an auto insurance policy even if it is not required by law. But, with your poor driving history, insurance carriers may turn you down. It’s a good thing the New Hampshire Automobile Reinsurance Facility can help. The Facility is available to assist high-risk drivers as a last resort for auto insurance and financial protection.

Sources:
New Hampshire Statues: proof required upon convictions for motor vehicle law violations
New Hampshire Department of Safety: FAQ
New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles: Fees and Fines

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