What is the law and penalty for driving without car insurance?

Question

I live in California and I have my license but no car insurance yet. I need to drive only a few minutes to get to work but I can't afford car insurance just yet. I know this is a little risky but its only for the time being until I can afford it. I was just wondering what type of penalties and trouble I'd face if I get pulled over? Would a ticket affect insurance later?

Answer

California has strict enforcements for penalizing Drivers without car insurance. There are over 30 million people in California alone and many parts of the state have crowded traffic zones with a high frequency of accidents, so insurance is absolutely essential.

If you get pulled over for not violating any other traffic law and simply get caught with no insurance (and you have no prior record), you'd get a fine for $100-$200. A second offense could suspend your license. However, if you get pulled over speeding or violating any other traffic law in addition to not having insurance, the fine would be $200-$500 plus possible license suspension and other penalty assessments.

There are many cheap forms of car insurance available that can pass the minimum requirement in California, al though they will hardly cover anything in the event of an accident. Also, if your driving destination is only a few minutes away driving, why not bike or walk? It isn't worth the risk. If you get into an auto accident, you'd be in a whole lot of trouble such as being responsible for paying for a huge dollar amount of damages, and not having a license for a few years.

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