In Arizona and all the other U.S. states, driving without insurance is a risky business. However, if you decide to drive without insurance, be prepared to face multitude of consequences, that can include (but not limited to) license suspension, traffic citations, major fines and even the requirement to purchase an SR-22 certificate, which has a pretty high price. Furthermore, if you get involved in an accident, and you don’t have insurance, you could be found civilly liable for the injuries that were cause to other parties involved in the accident.
In today’s post, we want to go over the auto insurance requirements in Arizona and also the possible consequences of failing to obtain it and driving without insurance.
What are the car insurance requirements in Arizona?
Every U.S. state is allowed to determine the requirements for the type of auto insurance and what is the minimum a driver must carry in order to be legal on the road. Every driver in Arizona (without exception) must have auto insurance, even the ones that meet the following minimums:
- Minimum $25,000 for bodily injuries per person and $50,000 per accident
- Minimum $15,000 for property damage liability coverage
If you take a closer look, you will see that drivers in Arizona are not required to have coverage for uninsured or underinsured bodily injuries. Some U.S. states require this and even though it’s not legally required in Arizona, we strongly recommend it. Uninsured and underinsured coverage policies are not that expensive but they are very beneficial in case you need them e.g., you’re in an accident and the other diver doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the expenses caused by the accident.
Driving without insurance in Arizona – Penalties
According to the data released by the Insurance Information Institute, about 13% of all motorist in the U.S. were driving without insurance. In Arizona however, that number is around 12%.
In Arizona, law enforcement officers can ask you to provide proof of insurance during traffic stops or after you’ve been involved in a car accident. If you cannot provide such proof i.e., you were driving without insurance, you will most likely get a traffic citation. However, aside from citation, a driver that has been driving without insurance can also face the following penalties:
- Hefty fine – The first offense i.e., failing to show proof of auto insurance the first time, can result in a fine of $500. Beside this, your license, registration and license plates will be suspended for three months. Which basically means that you won’t be able to drive your car for that time. After the three months are up, you will also have to pay additional $10 to reinstate your license and another $25 fee to get your license plates and registration back. You might also have to ask your insurance provide to file for an SR-22 certificate for two years, and it can be quite expensive.
- Second offense – If you drive without insurance within three years of your first offense and you’re not able to provide proof of auto insurance, you will receive a traffic citation for $750. This time, instead of suspending your driver’s license, registration and license plates for three months, they will be suspended for six months. Once that period is over, you will yet again have to pay the fines to get back your license, registration and license plates. And you might, yet again, be required to file an SR-22 certificate for two years.
- Third and every subsequent offense – If you get pulled over by a police officer and don’t have proof of auto insurance again (within three years of your first two offenses), you will receive a fine for a $1,000 and your license, registration and license plates will be suspended for a year. The fees we mentioned before and well as the SR-22 certificate, also apply in this situation
You do have the possibility of reducing or even eliminating the fine for driving without insurance, which is possible in the following circumstances:
- If you haven’t been convicted for traffic violations in the last three years OR
- If you purchased a short-term, six-months auto insurance policy that meets the requirements define by the state of Arizona.
We do hope that this information is valuable and that it will prevent you from driving without insurance. And in the even that you (or your loved one) have insurance but you were in an accident, contact our attorneys and schedule a consultation.