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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Is It Illegal to Drive Without Insurance in New York?

Driving a vehicle without insurance can pose a severe threat of committing a crime throughout New York. Thus, it becomes crucial to maintain coverage on the car, which is one of the significant responsibilities of a driver.

Failing to have an insured vehicle not only puts the driver at risk but also innocent people. Therefore, the driver is required to carry a reasonable minimum amount of vehicle insurance coverage within the state premises of New York.

If a person does not comply with the requirements of purchasing even the minimum required insurance coverage amount, they will have to face serious legal actions and consequences for going against state traffic laws. The driver could be charged with heavy penalties or be withheld by the police for driving an uninsured car, and in severe cases, the driver could lose their driving license.

Here is a detailed guide by the Law Office of Carl Maltese on the illegality of driving a car without insurance in the state of New York.

Is it Illegal to Drive Without Insurance in NY

Is It Illegal to Drive Without Insurance in New York?

New York has strict laws when it comes to traffic regulations. Being one of the most populous states of the United States, it becomes crucial for the state of New York to establish laws that could decrease the probability of accidents. Although it is a necessary factor, certain rules confuse the residents, one of which is driving an uninsured car on the streets. It is completely illegal to do so. For help after an accident, contact experienced Long Island vehicle accident attorneys.

What Happens If a Person Is in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

The no-fault insurance law system of New York puts a portion of safety from accidents involving drivers with uninsured vehicles. This insurance takes control of the concerned expenses as decided under the terms of the policy limit. If the car is uninsured, then the victim might not be able to receive any compensation for damages.

Hence, it becomes a good idea to choose among the impressive levels of insurance coverage that the driver can reasonably pay for.

Why Shouldn't Someone Drive an Uninsured Car?

Driving a car without insurance brings with it some legal consequences. Hence, it is suggested to avoid doing so.

  • Traffic police ensure that an individual driving car has a decal label over their vehicle, which indicates that the car is insured. If an individual fails to have that, they may be counted as a lawbreaker and can be withheld.

  • The NY state has some severe penalties for not having vehicle insurance. These can include fines as high as $900 and a reinstatement fee that may cost nearly $750. In addition, if someone repeats the incident, their license can be revoked.

  • Driving the vehicle without insurance leaves the driver and the car at serious risk. New York is a no-fault state, which makes the driver dependent on their insurance for coverage in case of an accident. No insurance ultimately creates a financial burden for all expenses on the victim.

NY State Laws Regarding Driving an Uninsured Car

What Are the NY State Laws Regarding Driving an Uninsured Car?

The New York State Department of Financial Services states that the minimum required amount for the insurance of vehicles is $50,000. Drivers are also expected to have coverage for bodily injury ranging from $25,000 to $50,000.

If the driver does not have the least amount of coverage, they could get stuck in serious legal trouble. Apart from this, the driver must turn down the vehicle’s license plates and turn in the vehicle's registration to the Department of Motor Vehicles if the car is not in use. The insurance should not lapse on the vehicle if this isn't done.


If someone is accused of allowing their vehicle insurance to lapse, they are under the impression of facing the threat of some serious potential consequences, including the possibility that one could have their license revoked temporarily, forbidding them to drive.

Fines are very high for not getting the vehicles insured, so this can cause a significant increase in financial burdens on top of the civil penalty already imposed due to operating or driving an uninsured car.

For other questions regarding traffic laws in New York, such as the NYS limit for brake pads, contact a specialized attorney.

The driver must consult for legal help from established law firms like The Law Office of Carl Maltese that can assist them in better understanding the options available in case of being accused of driving without insurance. These options can range from getting a defense against the accusations or a firm defense showing appropriate reasons stating the vehicle was not insured.


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