Driving without insurance is against the law in California. You face legal penalties if you are accused of driving without insurance. This leads some drivers to wonder if driving without insurance goes on your record.
Driving without insurance results in a civil penalty much of the time. This means that driving without insurance does not usually end up on your criminal record. However, it may appear on your driving record. Learn more about driving without insurance in California right here.
Minimum Car Insurance Levels in California
All drivers in California must obtain car insurance to legally operate a motor vehicle. The state has set certain minimum levels for car insurance. According to the regulations of the state, you must always carry at least:
- $15,000 for personal injury for a single person in an accident
- $30,000 for personal injuries for all individuals in an accident
- $5,000 for property damage in a single accident
Some drivers decide to carry additional insurance. Also, commercial vehicles may need extra insurance. This is especially true if the commercial vehicle carries hazardous substances. The above numbers represent only the minimums for auto insurance in the state.
Auto Insurance and Vehicle Code 16029
Vehicle Code 16029 states that drivers must provide proof of financial responsibility when ordered to do so. Financial responsibility is another term for car insurance. You must provide this information when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer.
An officer may issue a ticket if you cannot provide proof of insurance. Note that you may not avoid a ticket if you have insurance but do not have the paperwork. You must legally have physical proof of your insurance policy in your vehicle. Failure to carry an insurance card could lead to a ticket.
You should be aware that a digital copy of your auto insurance may be accepted by a police officer. Law enforcement officers should not look at other information on a mobile device in this situation. This could help you avoid a ticket.
Penalties for Operating a Vehicle Without Insurance
Operating a vehicle without insurance is against the law in California. However, this act is treated as an infraction. Infractions are not like misdemeanor or felony charges. Infractions do not generally appear on your criminal record.
The penalties for driving without insurance vary. You may face harsher penalties if you are caught driving without insurance multiple times. You may face:
- Fines of up to $200 for a first arrest
- Fines of up to $500 for additional arrests
You may face additional criminal charges alongside an arrest for driving without insurance. For example, you could be charged with a crime for reckless driving. Reckless driving is often prosecuted as a misdemeanor. This means a reckless driving conviction would go on your criminal record. Get help in this situation by calling (310) 862-0199.
Driving Without Insurance and Your Driving Record
Driving without insurance does not usually show up on your criminal record. However, it does show up on your driving record. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps these records. It may remain on your driving record for a period of years. This may impact your insurance costs in years to come.
Insurance companies often raise your rates if they see infractions on your driving record. This could make it harder for you to get auto insurance. Some drivers get multiple charges for driving without insurance for this reason.
However, it is important that you get auto insurance before operating your vehicle. Note that you are legally supposed to get car insurance from the state of California. However, you may get insurance from a different state if:
- You attend college in said state, OR
- You live in said state for several months out of the year.
Get Help Handling Charges for Driving without Insurance
Accusations of driving without insurance should not go on your criminal record. However, they may still lead to fines and increases in your insurance rates. You can get help handling charges for driving without insurance. Just reach out to a lawyer in Los Angeles.
Your lawyer can work to show that a law enforcement officer stopped you without a good reason. Officers are not supposed to stop you just to see if you have insurance in California. You can speak with a lawyer by calling (310) 862-0199. You could also complete our online contact form.
Get in touch with us to allow our team to assess your legal situation immediately. A member of our team will provide you with a free consultation. Focus on handling charges for operating a motor vehicle without insurance in California. Get help now.