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What are the penalties for driving without insurance in New York?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Traffic Defense

You’re driving to work when you see a police officer behind you. You panic because you don’t have insurance. Granted, the penalties for driving without insurance can be serious, so it’s important to know what to expect. This article discusses the potential consequences you may face if you get caught and what you should do in such a situation.


If you’re caught driving without insurance, you’ll face a fine ranging from $350 to $500. Additionally, you’ll have to pay a “driver responsibility assessment fee” of up to $1,000 per year for three years.

Remember that there are certain traffic ticket defenses that you can use if you’re caught driving without insurance. You might improve your situation by saying that you didn’t know you were violating the law. Other common traffic ticket defenses that can help you include the following:

  • You were unaware you had no coverage at the time you got caught.
  • You had coverage, but you didn’t know it had expired.
  • You got insurance but never received the updated card in the mail.

Jail time

You may also get charged with criminal negligence and sentenced up to three months in jail. If you receive a reckless driving charge, you may get sentenced to up to a year in jail.

Revocation of your driver’s license

If your driver’s license gets revoked, you’ll have to go through a driver’s license restoration program. This means that you’ll be unable to legally drive for a certain period of time. You’ll need to get a valid driver’s license before you can drive again. Of course, there are many other consequences that you may face, but these are the most common ones.

Getting caught driving with no insurance can be a big inconvenience, especially if you get charged with other violations. There are measures that you can take to boost your chances of having a positive outcome. One of them is understanding your legal options; you may want to have proper legal representation to help you develop a sound strategy.