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Driving without insurance in NY shows financial irresponsibility and adds on cost when an accident occurs. In New York, there are legal penalties for the offense.

Get an auto insurer that will work for your budget, and the best part is numerous companies offer the service.

Penalty levels depend on how many times you repeat the offense. Meet the state’s minimum for automotive insurance, and you will be safe.

Keep reading as we learn about the penalties for driving without insurance in New York.

How Does the Insurance Policy Work in NY?

penalty for driving without insurance and registration


Once you register with your preferred insurance policy, the insurer electronically communicates with the NY DMV to show you are covered. You will get the insurance identification card you should carry when driving.

When pulled over by a traffic officer in New York, you must provide proof of liability coverage alongside your license and vehicle registration. The officer will assume you aren’t under any policy if you fail to provide the above documents.

What Are the New York Car Insurance Requirements?

You need automobile coverage, and in New York, here are the minimum requirements for liability insurance:

The liability insurance coverage must remain effective even when you aren’t using the vehicle. The New York state insurance coverage should be from a NY State Department of Financial Services licensed company and certified by NY DMV. 

Penalties for Getting Behind the Wheel Without Insurance in New York

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The New York department of motor vehicles states that if you are caught driving with an uninsured car or allowing someone else to use it, you get a fine. You also get the same penalty if you are involved in an accident without insurance.

There’s a civil penalty of $750, and you may incur other costs. If you repeat the offense, it may lead to license suspension or revocation. The state penalties can increase to $1500, and sometimes you will even serve a jail term of up to 15 days.

What Can Cause an Insurance Lapse?

You get an insurance lapse when you don’t get liability insurance for your car for some time. 

A lapse in insurance coverage happens to registered cars that aren’t insured. The period is between the insurance cancellation date and the date:

The lapse can happen between your car registration date and the day your new insurance coverage starts. When a registration suspension goes beyond 90 days, you may be asked to surrender the vehicle plates and registration. You stand a chance of losing your driver’s license.

After suspension, the DMV requires you to pay $50 for the reinstatement fee.

Can You Drive with Lapsed Insurance?

There are penalties for driving with lapsed insurance, including arrest and getting a traffic ticket. A law enforcement officer can also impound your car, leading to license revocation.

Do You Need Insurance to Register Your Vehicle?

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Yes. Auto liability insurance is a requirement when registering a car in New York. Your insurance company will give two original copies of New York insurance cards or access to the electronic version.

It will also send an electronic notice to the NY DMV as proof of insurance coverage. 

Ensure you register your vehicle within 180 days from the date on your insurance ID. 

Remember to carry a copy of the ID card that will remain with the DMV, plus everyone operating the vehicle must provide proof of insurance.

What Happens When Your Uninsured Car Gets Into an Accident?

What happens if you drive without insurance and get pulled over


With New York’s strict laws on uninsured vehicles, you get a license suspension and can only get it back after paying the fine.

When driving a car without insurance or you have given it to someone else, and it’s involved in an accident, the DMV will revoke your vehicle registration and driver’s license for at least one year. You can also face a traffic fine of up to $1500 for driving a vehicle without insurance or allowing someone else to drive it.

What Are the Penalties for Insurance Lapse?

Once the DMV is notified of an insurance lapse, you face penalties, including registration and driver’s license suspension. Here are the fines for the lapse in coverage.

If you don’t meet the penalties, surrender the plates and registration of the vehicle, and if you fail to offer them, be ready for license suspension.

How Can You Avoid Insurance Lapse?

One way to prevent an insurance lapse is to ensure the address on your vehicle registration is current and that the NY Department approves the liability coverage company of Financial Services. Ensure the company reports any changes to the department of motor vehicles.

Summary of Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in New York 

PenaltyFineDriving privilegeJail term 
Traffic stop$150 to $1500 plus a $750 civil penalty when a license is revoked.License and registration revocation for up to 3 yearsUp to 15 days
Insurance lapsesUp to $900 civil penaltyLicense suspension if you fail to pay the penaltyN/A
Collision$150 to $1500 plus a $750 civil penalty when a license is revokedYou may get an immediate revocation for at least one year. You can go up to 3 years.Up to 15 days

Wrap Up

Driving without insurance in NY should not cross your mind since it comes with penalties. Don’t let anyone go for a car registered in your details after an insurance lapse since you will face the consequences. Remember to update the details when you move to New York since out-of-state coverage is never allowed.

Liability insurance coverage shows your sense of sensibility and accountability. Before getting a car, book driving classes at our school for the best experience.