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What Will a No Proof of Insurance Ticket Cost Me?

“Let Me See Your License, Registration, and Proof of Insurance”

Whenever you’re pulled over by law enforcement (LE) for whatever reason, that’s the likely the first thing you will hear from the LE officer. California has a “mandatory” insurance law, but what that actually means is you must be able to show proof of financial responsibility in case of an accident. In lieu of automobile insurance, you could keep $35,000 on deposit to cover accident claims. But, for most of us, that is not a viable alternative. So, many wonder what would it cost me to just not bother? Why pay all that money, year after year, when they have been driving for so many years without so much as a fender-bender? It is a “Catch-22” if you don’t carry insurance and get caught, say you have a broken taillight and get pulled over and hear the request for those three documents, what then? A fine will probably cost as much as one-year’s premiums by the time you add all the surcharges, fees, and assessments. And, future premiums will be higher as well.

The Factors That Determine Your Insurance Premiums

Many people wonder why they must pay more in premiums than their brother or sister-in-law. There are many factors that determine how much you pay, even where you live or park your car, such as the following:

· Driving record

· Miles driven

· Occupation

· Age

· Location

· Gender

· Marital status

· Year and Model of car

These factors must be considered before an insurance company fixes your annual premium, which in CA ranges from city to city, and even zip codes within cities, to the suburbs and rural areas between $1100 to nearly triple that, depending on the insurance provider. Fortunately, in CA, insurance companies cannot use creditworthiness as a factor.

The Laws Requiring Financial Responsibility

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Sections 16000-16078, Compulsory Financial Responsibility requires that any driver involved in an accident with monetary damages of more $1,000 or with injuries or death, shall report the accident within a ten-day period and CVC 16430, Proof of Financial Responsibility requires proof that such as financial responsibility (SR-22) exists to cover injuries or death, in the amount of a minimum of $15,000 maximum per person bodily injury, $30,000 maximum per accident when two or more are injured, and $5,000 maximum property damage, or what is known as 15/30/5.

Which is really a farce and why everyone with a lot to lose should consider Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist insurance. When there is more than one person injured and the $30,000 is used up, the injured must try to recover the rest from the at fault individual. In addition, how many new cars in CA are worth less than $5000? This is where the real answer to the question, “What will no insurance or not enough insurance really cost me?” lies.

The Penalties for No Insurance

A first offense of driving without proof of insurance is a fine between $100 and $200, but with county and state surcharges, could be around $1000, and if the LE decides to impound your car, you will owe the towing fee and $40 or $50 per day while it is impounded, until you can provide proof of insurance and pay the fees plus a 10% tax. A second offense will cost between $900 and $2500 plus those other expenses.

When the LE officer asks for proof of insurance and you have no proof of insurance or you cannot find it, you will be issued a ticket. However, after enactment of Assembly Bill (AB) 1708, a driver can now use a mobile device application (app) to provide proof of insurance. At some point, after you are issued a ticket the court will send you a reminder, which tells you to pay the fine, over $1000, pay the correction fee of around $900 and show proof of insurance or financial responsibility, or show up in court for your arraignment. The best thing you can do at this point is to call a traffic ticket attorney to straighten it out if you had insurance and just couldn’t find it or get insurance.

Where it gets really expensive is if you are involved in an accident without insurance, on top of the fine, your license will likely be suspended for up to four years whether or not you were at fault for the accident. If you were at fault, you will pay fines, impound fees, suspension, negligent operator points, a reinstatement fee, and be required to provide an SR-22 (Proof of Financial Responsibility) to get your license back. Whatever the case, consult an attorney.

Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Central Valley

Central Valley is home to one of the best law firms in CA, Bigger & Harman. They represent clients who have received traffic tickets in traffic court nearly every day. And, when they’re not in court, they are working on the justification for dismissal for a client’s case or providing advice and counsel. Therefore, they have knowledge of the CVC and the recent decisions in traffic court cases that could affect your ticket’s outcome.

For more than ten years, Bigger & Harman have successfully represented clients on no proof of insurance violations in Central Valley traffic courts in Fresno, Kern, Mono, Kings, and others, and even a few SoCal counties, such as San Bernardino, Riverside, LA, and SLO. Bigger & Harman can be depended on to give you the time required to defend your driving record in traffic court even when you cannot attend. Call for a free phone consultation, 661-349-9300 Or, email attorney@markbigger.com.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.