Although you cannot legally drive with a suspended license, you may still need car insurance. Although obtaining insurance with a suspended license can be difficult, it is not impossible. Find out why you might need car insurance with a suspended license, how you can get it, and what happens if you drive with a suspended license.
If you are convicted of a serious driving offence, your driver’s license may be suspended and your driving privileges temporarily revoked. In some cases, allowances may be granted if you need your car to get to work or to take your child to school, but they are very restrictive.
Suspending your driver’s license is different from revoking it. If your driver’s license is revoked, your driving privileges are usually gone for good. In some cases, you may be able to apply for a new driver’s license after some time. Each state sets its own rules and regulations for the suspension, reinstatement, and revocation of a driver’s license.
Motor vehicle and driving laws vary by state. In general, your driver’s license can be suspended for reasons such as:
- A medical condition that impairs driving
- Driving without insurance
- An unreported accident
- Too many driving or ticket registration points in a specific time period
- Failing to appear in court for an unpaid ticket
- Not paying alimony
- Drink to minors
- A conviction for alcohol or drugs (DUI/DWI/OUI)
- Refusal to perform a blood, breath or urine test
- Failing a drug or alcohol test
- Hit and run/leave the premises
The length of the suspension and the steps to get your license back will vary depending on the state it is suspended in and the reason for the suspension.
Although you are not required to carry insurance if your driver’s license has been suspended, it is a good idea to do so in many cases. Having insurance may also be necessary in order to restore your driver’s license.
To avoid a gap in coverage
If you let your insurance coverage expire, you may face higher rates when you reinstate your license and purchase new insurance than if you had maintained your policy throughout your period of suspension.
To avoid fines and penalties
In some states, you may face penalties or fines if your car has valid license plates but you are uninsured. For example, in Maryland, you can be fined $150 for the first 30 days and $7 per day thereafter if your vehicle is tagged but uninsured, even if the car is not driven.
To satisfy your loan or rental agreement
If you have financed or leased your vehicle, you may be contractually required to carry insurance, regardless of your driver’s license status.
To obtain a difficult or restricted license
If you still have to drive to work or school, you may be eligible for a hardship or restricted commuter permit. Not only will you need car insurance, but you may need to ask your insurer to complete an SR-22 form to prove that you have met your state’s mandatory minimum coverage requirements.
To protect your car
Another reason to get car insurance while your license is suspended is to have coverage in case something happens. For example, your car could be hit by a fleeing driver or damaged by a weather event while parked. Without insurance, you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.
If you get caught driving without insurance, you risk having your license suspended. If this happens, you will need to purchase auto insurance before you can restore your driving privileges. But not all companies insure a person with a suspended license. Those who do will likely classify you as a high-risk driver, which can lead to very high premiums.
If your driver’s license has been suspended and you need to purchase insurance, here’s what to do:
- Apply for a difficulty or restricted license. Many insurance companies won’t insure someone with a suspended license, but they can if you have a difficult or restricted license. Laws on this vary by state. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to find out if you are eligible to apply for a hard or restricted driver’s license.
- Find the cheapest insurance. High-risk drivers pay some of the highest premiums on average, and not all companies will insure them. Comparing quotes can help you get the best rate on auto insurance with a suspended license.
- Get an SR-22 or an FR-44. You may need to ask your insurer to file a certificate of financial responsibility with your state to prove that you have the required minimum amount of liability insurance.
The penalty for driving with a suspended license varies from state to state. If this is your first offense, you’ll likely face misdemeanor charges that could result in a fine of up to $2,500, jail time for a year or more, or impoundment. your vehicle. Additional violations can result in felony convictions with longer sentences and heavier fines. Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute and is not intended to constitute legal advice.
A bond or Form SR-22, also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, is a document that your insurance company files with the state to certify that you have the required minimum amount of liability coverage. You may be required to obtain an SR-22 if you:
- Drive without the required minimum insurance coverage
- Having too many fines or at-fault accidents
- Not paying alimony
- Have been convicted of a serious driving offence, including drug and alcohol related offenses
- Having too many points in a short time
- Need to obtain a difficult or restricted driver’s license
If you live in Florida or Virginia, you will need to obtain an FR-44 certificate instead of an SR-22 bond. Like an SR-22, an FR-44 indicates that you have sufficient liability insurance. Unlike an SR-22, this amount exceeds the state’s mandatory minimum requirements.
The cost of obtaining an SR-22 varies by insurance company. Some file for certification for free, while others charge a fee usually ranging from $15 to $25. In most cases, you will need to carry an SR-22 for three years. It is your responsibility to alert your insurance company when the time comes to remove the SR-22 from your policy.
If you need to get an SR-22, the first thing to do is call your car insurance company and ask for one. Not all insurance companies will file an SR-22 form on your behalf. If your current insurer doesn’t do this, you’ll need to switch car insurance to find a company that does. If you do not currently have auto insurance, you will need to purchase a policy in order to obtain an SR-22.
In some cases, you may still be able to drive on a limited basis if your license has been revoked. The rules for obtaining a so-called difficult or restricted driver’s license vary by state, and not everyone who applies for one will qualify. Generally speaking, you will need to demonstrate that you need your vehicle to get to work, to attend classes or take your child to school, or to receive medical care or addiction treatment.
You may also need to provide proof of employment or class enrollment, pay legal or administrative fees, obtain an SR-22 or FR-44 form, agree to drive only at certain times of the day or on certain routes, or even install monitoring equipment. like an ignition interlock on your car if you’ve been convicted of a drug or alcohol-related offence.
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