Wyoming's Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility law states that all registered motorists who choose to drive without insurance are committing a misdemeanor. This offense is punishable with fines up to $1,500, imprisonment of up to six months and license suspension for an indefinite period of time. Also, finding cheap auto insurance in Wyoming may be more difficult, as insurers view spotty driving records as undesirable.
Penalties for driving uninsured in Wyoming
As a registered motorist in the Equality State, you should have liability coverage with minimum limits of 25/50/20. The law further requires that you be prepared to present proof of liability coverage at all times.
Law enforcement officers are authorized to request your proof of insurance at routine checkpoints, when you're pulled over for a road infraction or during an accident you're involved in. Failure to show proof in the form of an official insurance ID card can lead to severe penalties.
Type of penalty
Second and subsequent offenses
|Fine||$250 to $750||$500 to $1,500|
|Imprisonment||Not more than six months or a combination of both jail time and fine||—|
|Driving privileges||License suspension until proof of insurance is provided||License suspension until proof of insurance is provided; surrender registration and license plates|
|SR-22 maintenance||Three years||Three years|
Suspensions: License and registration
When you are caught driving without insurance in the state of Wyoming, the law enforcement officer will give you a citation stating that you have seven days to come to court with proof of financial responsibility. If you fail to submit proof within the given timeframe, you will be sent a notice of suspension. The suspension will be made effective 30 days from the day you receive the notice.
Within those 30 days, you should have enough time to secure valid proof of insurance and an SR-22. An SR-22 is a filing made by your insurance carrier, which tells the Department of Transportation (DOT) that you are insured, and it may require a fee depending on your insurer. If you are unable to accomplish this, the suspension of your driving privileges will be in effect until you can provide proof of insurance with an SR-22 filing.
For a first offense, the Wyoming DOT will only have your license suspended. But for future offenses, your registration and plates will be confiscated as well.
The Wyoming DOT expects you to maintain an SR-22 on file for at least three years. Generally speaking, your insurer files a new SR-22 for you every time your policy is renewed. On the other hand, whenever your insurance policy is canceled or non-renewed, the insurer will also notify the DOT of this change. In the case of early cancellation, your license may be resuspended unless you can find new insurance coverage and submit the new proof in time.
If this is your first time getting caught driving uninsured in Wyoming, you will be charged a fine between $250 and $750. If not, your fine will increase to an amount between $500 and $1,500 depending on the circumstances.
The financial consequence extends beyond these penalties if you are caught driving uninsured after a car accident you caused. Without proper liability coverage, you will have to shoulder the other party's losses or car repair bills out of pocket.
Violating the compulsory insurance law is considered a misdemeanor offense in Wyoming, which comes with possible imprisonment. For a no-proof-of-insurance conviction, you can serve up to six months of jail time. It is up to the court to decide whether you will be punished with a fine, imprisonment or both.
Disputing your conviction
The state of Wyoming allows you to dispute your conviction through a hearing. The request for a hearing should be made in writing and sent to the Wyoming Department of Transportation within 20 days of receiving notice of a license suspension.
You may also request a record review if you accept the conviction but still want limited driving privileges. This can only be done if your driving record is spotless apart from the insurance offense. Likewise, the written request should be delivered within 20 days of the conviction with a written explanation of why you should be permitted to obtain limited driving privileges. If your request is approved, you will be allowed to acquire a probationary license from the Wyoming DOT.
A successful court hearing can have your conviction dismissed or your sentence period shortened. If evidence of excusable neglect is presented, the judge may decide to have your conviction partly or wholly dismissed.
Another way to waive your penalties is by coming to your scheduled court appearance with documents proving financial responsibility. If you can prove that your insurance policy was active at the time of the citation, your conviction will be dismissed.
Reinstating your driving privileges in Wyoming
License suspensions for an insurance offense in Wyoming are indefinite suspensions until you fulfill the requirements and judgments decided by the court. You will need to get auto insurance and file an SR-22, then pay a $50 reinstatement fee.
Depending on your specific case, you may have to settle certain fees — such as a $30 registration renewal fee if your sentence includes a registration suspension. You may have to pay $15 for a record review, a $25 probationary license fee and a $25 reissuance fee if you choose to proceed with a hearing. When all court and administration costs have been paid, you can reclaim your driving privileges.
Reapplying for auto insurance in Wyoming
When you're reapplying for auto insurance, the first thing agents and companies will review is your driving record. If your driving history has had bouts of convictions and accidents, carriers will naturally be hesitant to provide you coverage. This is why the state has the Wyoming Automobile Insurance Plan — a last resort for high-risk drivers.