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Penalties in New York if you don’t have car insurance

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It is not advisable to drive without insurance in any state, including New York. We all know how costly it is to buy a car. There is always something that needs repairing, restoring, or fueling up, whether it’s paying for petrol, changing the oil, or testing the tires and brakes. Let’s face it: if these items aren’t in working order, your car won’t run as smoothly as it could—assuming it can even start and make it onto the path. 

What about auto insurance, though? You’re well aware that you need it. You are aware that driving without it is dangerous. You also know that even if you don’t have car insurance, your engine can start, shift into gear, and drive you to work, the store, or anywhere else you need to go. When you need to save money, you can feel compelled to let your car insurance policy expire for some time. The best advice we can offer you is to gather all of your power and battle the urge.


Is it illegal to drive without insurance in New York?

In New York, it is illegal to drive an uninsured car. If a police officer pulls you up while driving without insurance, you get impounds. You have to pay for storage and impound fees to release your car.

Is car insurance required in NY? Driving without insurance in New York is a serious offense. It results in a driver’s license suspension without notice. This follows a driving ban in the range of 28 days. It can get significantly longer sometimes.

When it comes to motorists charged with driving without insurance, the courts take a very strict stance, and it is considered a strict liability offense because you either had valid insurance at the time of driving or you didn’t. In addition to a fine, this offense carries a penalty of 6 – 8 penalty points on the driver’s license. This will impact your car insurance premiums. In short, car insurance in New York is mandatory.

A person holding a car sterling

What is the process when your car insurance lapses

As soon as your policy lapses, the insurer will contact the DMV electronically, and your vehicle registration will be suspended immediately. This will happen even though your car or truck is parked off the public road or placed in storage. If you do not turn on your plates and get new insurance within 90 days, you will have to pay a re-registration charge depending on the number of days your registration has been suspended.  

Currently, the regular charge in New York State is $8 for the first thirty days, $10 for the next thirty, and $12 for the final thirty days. If the suspension of registration is longer than 90 days, you must surrender the registration of your vehicle and the plates. Your driver’s license will also be withheld for the same amount of days as the suspension of your registration.

You must pay a $50 fee to restore your driver’s license to the DMV. In light of the applicable redemption fees and fines, the bottom line is that you are unlikely to save any money by allowing your car insurance to expire. In the state of New York, insurance companies and the government coordinate with each other daily.  

a person holding a lot of insurance papers

What to expect if you don’t have car insurance

If the insurance lapses, you can’t just assume that no one notices—because the authorities would be informed. However, a simple lapse in your insurance policy will be the least of your problems. What if you plan to take a spin on your uninsured vehicle? 

If you are found driving your vehicle without proper car insurance in New York, you may be ticketed, fined, charged, or the DMV may revoke your registration and driver’s license. The expense of your summons would be between $150 and $1500, or 15 days in prison. You will also have to pay a civil penalty to the DMV for $750 after your license revocation period. 

If that sounds fair, note that you would still need to include in these expenses the amount of money you spend on public transport and pay more for insurance premiums in the future. Worse still, since New York is a state that is theoretically imposing a car without insurance, you might find yourself spending a lot of money that you may not have to get your car out of pocket or risk losing your vehicle.

These costs pale compared to what you may end up paying for if you’re causing an accident. If you get into an accident and it is your fault, you are liable for any damage to property or personal injury that might result from it. Those costs may have been catastrophic. 




In conclusion, we’re all trying to save money. Often we don’t have a say. However, we almost always have a preference as to when to cut back. Just note, if you’re tempted to save money by sacrificing your car insurance, as I said, you’re going to battle the urge. Potential damage could have been enormous. And the fact is, at the very least, you’re not going to save any money. 

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, the most affordable insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


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