Driving without insurance is banned on the streets of Oklahoma. When the State discovers a noncompliant motorist, it gives him temporary liability insurance coverage, which he must replace with an actual policy within 10 days. Failure to do so will lead to as much as $825 in total for fees and fines or imprisonment and driving privilege suspensions. If you are caught to be uninsured in a traffic accident, the peril is higher.
|Type of Penalty||Driving without insurance in an accident||Driving witout insurance at a checkpoint|
|Fine||Up to $250||Up to $250|
|Imprisonment||Not more than 30 days; Or both fine and imprisonment||Not more than 30 days; Or both fine and imprisonment|
|Driving Privilege||License and registration suspension for one year or until proof of current financial security is provided; Vehicle impoundment||Immedediate license plate confiscation; license and registration suspension after 10 days of no compliance|
|Reinstatement Requirements||Proof of insurance; $275 reinstatement fee; $125 administrative fee; $175 modified driver's license fee||Proof of insurance; $275 reinstatement fee; $125 administrative fee|
Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Oklahoma
The State of Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety has two ways of finding out who is not abiding by the Compulsory Insurance Law. One, through prior traffic violations and reported collisions. And two, through a verification system that utilizes electronic tag checks.
In both instances, you will need to show proof that you are in compliance with the state's 25/50/25 minimum liability limits. In Oklahoma, driving without insurance is considered a misdemeanor. So if you don’t have your insurance ID card with you at all times, or if you have allowed your coverage to lapse, you'll have to pay penalties. More importantly, if you were convicted during an accident, you will have to shoulder payouts for your personal injury and property damage as well as for the injuries and damages sustained by the other party that you cause. This can't be estimated, but can understandably be high depending on the severity of the accident.
Fines and Suspensions During an Accident
Whether you have received a ticket for running a red light or if you have been cited as a party in a car crash, it will only make matters worse if you are unable to produce proof of financial security when the State’s police officer asks for it. If the conviction is made, you will be charged with a $250 fine, or serve a jail term of not more than 30 days on top of the financial damages. Your license and registration will be suspended for a year, and your vehicle may be impounded.
If you hope to reinstate your driving privileges, you can only do so once you’ve either completed the duration of your imprisonment or paid the fines. You can then request a $175 Modified Driver’s License from the DPS so you can continue getting to work while suspended. It is important to note, however, that if you accept a Modified Driver’s License, you waive your rights to a hearing to dispute the suspension.
To get your driving ability back after the suspension period is up, you must also pay a $275 reinstatement fee and a $125 administrative fee to the sheriff’s office. And finally, you must already have in your possession a renewed auto insurance policy to show the court. In Oklahoma, an SR-22 is not a requirement to reinstatement. You can only get your license and registration back with a valid, physical, and active policy that meets the state’s minimum insurance requirements.
Fines and Suspensions at a Checkpoint
You will need your insurance policy when going through Oklahoma’s routine checkpoints, too. The State has an insurance verification program that mandates all licensed carriers to send status reports of policies to the DPS. This information will be fed into the department’s database. And then, just by running your license plate through the system, law enforcement can find out if you have allowed your coverage to lapse and were driving uninsured.
In the same way, you will be fined $250 and your license will be suspended. But instead of having your motor vehicle towed, the traffic enforcer may confiscate your license plates and assign you a Temporary Motorist Liability Plan. It depends on the officer’s discretion and the situation.
The Temporary Motorist Liability Plan is a temporary insurance that covers the exact 25/50/25 minimum liability amount the state requires. But it can only protect you for 10 days and serve as your temporary “plate.” If you hope to reinstate your license and retrieve your plates, you have to get your own policy to replace the temporary coverage within 10 days. You must pay the $275 reinstatement fee and the $125 administrative fee.
If 10 days have passed and you have not submitted an active insurance policy to the DPS, you would then be charged with the misdemeanor, facing imprisonment up to 30 days and the suspension of your driving privileges for one year. If 90 days have passed since your conviction and proof of financial security is still not available, your license plates will be disposed.
Re-applying for Auto insurance in Oklahoma
Your ordeal doesn’t end after fines, imprisonment, and suspensions. Driving without Insurance is a misdemeanor that will linger on your driving record and may cause you trouble when you shop for insurance in Oklahoma. In the Sooner State, insurance companies can deny you coverage if they think you are a high-risk driver. If you run into this dilemma, you may be able to obtain an insurance policy through Oklahoma’s Automobile Insurance Plan.