Driving without Insurance, what happens in Missouri.

Driving without Insurance, what happens in Missouri.

As with most states, Missouri included, drivers are required to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to meet the legal requirements of the state.  Missouri’s currently requires drivers to have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, (up to $50,000 per accident), along with $25,000 in liability coverage for property damage.  You will also need uninsured motorist protection.

Drivers must be able to present proof of that insurance coverage, usually with an insurance card, to law enforcement when requested to do so. 

Even if your car is registered, but never leaves the driveway, in Missouri, you must obtain the liability insurance to maintain your legal standing.   In fact, Missouri car insurance laws gives permission to authorities to ticket both the driver and the owner of the vehicle if proper insurance proof is not submitted when requested.

Missouri Department of Insurance has severe penalties for drivers who fail to obtain enough car insurance.  Even if the vehicle is insured, failed to provide proof of said insurance could lead to a traffic conviction of four points, supervision by the courts or even an order to suspend the driver’s license.  It only takes eight points in an 18-month period for a driver to lose their driving privileges in Missouri.

Missouri does not mess around with uninsured drivers.  If a driver manages to get their license suspended for not having adequate auto insurance, the first offense is minor. 

            First Offense:  Provide proof of car insurance and pay a minimum of a $20 reinstatement fee to regain their driving privileges.

            Second Offense: 90 day waiting period and a minimum of $200 reinstatement fee,  with proof of insurance and possibly up to 15 days in jail.

            Third Offense:  Wait an entire year and a minimum of a $400 reinstatement fee, plus provide proof of insurance before you a driver is allowed to operate another vehicle in Missouri and possibly up to 15 days in jail.

After a suspension, drivers will need to file and keep updated insurance records for three years with the state’s Department of Revenue to get their license from being suspended again.  In addition to the reinstatement fees, your auto insurance rates will likely increase.  In Missouri it is reported that annual premiums increase by approximately 9% (or roughly $114).

Car insurance companies in Missouri are required to give the Driver License Bureau regular reports on the drivers and vehicles they insure.  This is then matched with the registered drivers in the state to locate registered vehicles who are not insured.

Having insurance and not being able to prove it at the time of an accident or being pulled over is a different violation than not having insurance at all.  If you have insurance but cannot prove it, this is an administrative violation, similar to a seat-belt ticket.  In Missouri, your violation (ticket), might be dismissed if you can provide the court with proof of valid insurance for the date of the citation on or before your court date.

If you are in an accident while driving without insurance in Missouri, you will be cited and all the penalties for driving without insurance will apply, even if you are not at fault for the accident.

Driving uninsured can make it difficult to be compensated for damages if you are not at fault and can have long-lasting and life-changing consequences if you are at fault.

If the accident is your fault, you will have to pay for all the damages out of your own pocket.  In addition to the legal consequences for driving without insurance, you could be responsible for tens of thousands of dollars or more in damages to your own vehicle, the other driver’s repair and hospital bills, and your own medical care.  Both the other driver and their insurance company can sue you and have future wages ands savings garnished to pay for damages. 

To avoid penalties of driving without insurance, shop around for at least the minimum requirements listed above.  The consequences of driving without insurance are ultimately more costly than purchasing minimum auto insurance coverage.