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Does Every Driver Need Proof of Financial Responsibility?

16028(a) VC states that “upon the demand of a peace officer…any person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway must show proof of current auto insurance for the vehicle at the time the demand is made.” A ticket for not having insurance in California is a violation. Offenders will be issued a ticket and will be required to pay a fine ranging from $100 to $200.

What Are the Minimum Requirements of Insurance?

Insurances have different minimum requirements. It is important to note and understand such requirements for private passenger vehicles. The list of minimum requirements of insurance are as follows: 

  • 15,000 for a single persons injury/death
  • $30,000 for multiple person’s injury/death
  •  $5,000 for property damage

Note: liability insurance compensates a person for property damage and/ or personal injury, VC 16028 requirements are not satisfied by comprehensive or collision insurance as well as med pay. Also, California does not require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to be carried by a driver

For motorists who cannot afford insurance, they may be eligible for the Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Program, information can be found at mylowcostauto.com or via phone at 966-602-8861

Auto Insurance Fraud- If a person carries another state’s insurance due to lower rates. If the fraud is committed, the driver license of the person may be revoked or suspended, drivers insurance will be canceled, and the driver may face time in county jail

What If One Does Not Have Proof of Insurance?

  • The person will be charged with an infraction 
  • For a first offense-there will be a charge between $100 and $200
  • For subsequent offenses-there will be a charge between $200 and $500 

According to vehicle code 16028, proof of liability insurance must be carried by drivers at any given time they get behind the wheel.  

Proof of insurance must be displayed: 

  • When a police officer asks 
  • If an accident occurs 
  • When the person registers/ renews their car 
  • When the drivers car gets inspected 

Police officers cannot stop a person just to request proof of insurance, however, they can if they have other justifications for stopping the vehicle. 

A person can prove they have insurance by providing the insurance card given by the insurance company, if they have an authorized letter from the California DMV stating that the driver has made a cash deposit or is self- insured, if they have a California Proof of Insurance Certificate(SR-22) , if there is evidence that the vehicle is owned or leased by a public entity, as well as if there is a Notification of Alternative Forms of responsibility(REG 5085) or a Statement of Facts(REG 256) form. 

Can One Carry Insurance from Another State While Residing in California?

If you move to a different state without informing your insurer, your insurer may refuse to honor your contract because you did not follow the terms of the agreement. Auto insurance rates vary by state, and purchasing out-of-state auto insurance to receive lower rates is considered insurance fraud and is punishable by law. Many people who live in two states simply get their insurance in the state where their vehicle is registered or where they spend the most time. To register your vehicle and obtain a license plate, you will need proof of insurance.

For Further Questions Regarding your Case…

If you or someone you may know has questions regarding such topics related to this article, please feel free to give our office a call to schedule a consultation. We would be more than happy to help guide you along the right path and your benefit for the case.

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