Driving without insurance is considered a misdemeanor in Utah. Every driver is required to carry liability insurance with at least the minimum coverage, which is $25,000 for bodily injury liability coverage per person and $65,000 per accident, plus $15,000 for property damage.
Penalties for driving uninsured in Utah
If you're caught driving without insurance, the state may charge fines and suspend your license and registration — and getting your driving privileges back can be costly. You might be caught when a police officer asks for proof of coverage during a traffic stop, at a checkpoint or at the scene of an accident. Or, the state's Uninsured Motorist Identification Database Program may flag you in the system.
That's why it's important to carry proof of insurance — such as an ID card or the policy's declaration form — anytime you're driving in Utah. Here are the penalties you can expect to face when driving uninsured in this state:
Type of penalty
Conviction after a traffic stop citation
Conviction after an accident
|First offense||Second offense||First offense||Second offense|
|Suspension until proof of insurance is provided||1 year compulsory suspension|
|Maintain for 3 years|
Court security surcharge
License reinstatement fee
Registration reinstatement fee
When you're identified by the database and caught at traffic stops
In Utah, police officers can ask for proof of insurance during routine traffic stops, at checkpoints or at the scene of an accident. The state also tracks insurance policies for every registered car using an electronic monitoring system. If you're caught driving while uninsured, the department of public safety will send you a notice. You can avoid penalties by sending proof of insurance with this notice within 15 days.
But if you fail to send proof of insurance, the state can fine you $400 and add a $50 surcharge on your first offense. A second or subsequent offense carries a $1,000 fine plus a $50 surcharge.
Reducing your fines: Compliance credit
The state offers some relief if you're caught driving without insurance and you manage to buy a policy soon after. Your insurer will need to file an SR-22 form on your behalf before you appear in court. Your fine may be reduced by $300 as a compliance credit.
The state can fully dismiss the charge and your fine if you can prove you had insurance coverage in place at the time of your citation. You'll need to bring proof of coverage to the court hearing.
Driving uninsured in an accident
Drivers face harsher penalties if they cause an accident while driving uninsured. You'll pay the same $400 fine plus $50 surcharge on your first offense, and a $1,000 fine plus $50 surcharge on your second and subsequent offenses. But the penalties can increase if the court finds you at fault for the crash. You'll need to pay an extra $30 accident fee and surrender your license and registration for a full year.
Reinstatement fees and requirements
To reinstate your license, you must present a valid insurance policy to the court or keep an SR-22 form on file for three years. As soon as you've paid your violation fines and the $30 reinstatement fee, you may drive on the streets of Utah again.
You can restore your registration by:
- Providing proof of insurance coverage or an SR-22 form
- Showing you own the vehicle tagged on your ticket
- Showing a valid ID with a photo
- Paying a fine along with a $30 reinstatement fee
If you cause an accident while uninsured, there's a compulsory suspension period you'll need to fulfill before you can begin the reinstatement process.
Re-applying for auto insurance in Utah
The penalties of driving uninsured are often more costly than purchasing auto insurance in the first place. A conviction can tag you as a high-risk driver, which can hurt your chances of getting an affordable Utah auto insurance policy. If you're having trouble finding coverage, consider applying for a policy with the Utah Automobile Insurance Plan (UT AIP) through any Utah car insurance agent.