New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that doesn't require drivers to carry auto insurance — unless you're convicted of certain driving offenses. If you're required to have insurance and you're caught without it, you'll lose your driving privileges and pay a fee to get them reinstated. So although insurance isn't usually the law of the land, it's smart to purchase liability coverage and keep proof of it handy in your vehicle at all times.
Consequences of driving uninsured in New Hampshire
If you cause an accident while driving uninsured, the state may suspend your driver's license and vehicle registration until you've paid for any damage and file a SR-22 form. This form acts as proof you've purchased car insurance. The most basic policy you can buy in New Hampshire has the following coverages:
- $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
The accident must also be reported to the Bureau of Financial Responsibility in an accident report. You'll receive a notice about your suspension along with an explanation of how to reinstate your driving privileges. If you're at fault for the collision and the other party decides to sue, then your suspension will last until you pay for the damages. This might mean compensating the other party up to the same amounts as a basic auto insurance policy would cover.
Here's what you can expect if caught driving without insurance in New Hampshire:
Type of penalty
Driving 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|
Contesting your suspension
You can appeal the suspension by requesting an administrative hearing within 10 days after the accident report is made. To prepare for the trial, you may need to purchase these documents from the New Hampshire department of motor vehicles:
- A driver report record: $15
- A copy of your crash report: $5 for the first five pages
- Each additional page: $1
Reinstating your driving privileges
After satisfying the judgment, you can begin reinstating your license and registration by getting a valid insurance policy and asking your insurer to file an SR-22. You must submit proof of insurance to the court along with receipts for paid reinstatement fees, which include a $100 license/operation privilege fee and a $25 registration privilege restoration fee.
You are expected to maintain your SR-22 filing for three years, provided you never get caught with any traffic violations within that period. But if you don't restore your driving privileges within three years after your suspension has passed, you'll need to retake the driver's license exam when you do.
Applying for auto insurance in New Hampshire
An accident can happen anytime, and dealing with the aftermath is easier when you have a car insurance policy — even when it's not required by law. If insurance carriers are turning you down because of a poor driving history, then check out the New Hampshire Automobile Reinsurance Facility. They help high-risk drivers find auto insurance policies.