If you get caught driving without insurance, you could get your driver’s license suspended, and you might even face criminal charges punishable by jail time.
Oklahoma requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, but there is a good chance that at least one driver with whom you shared the road today did not have it. Driving without insurance does not seem like such a big deal unless you get into a car accident or get pulled over at a traffic stop. Then you could get your driver’s license suspended, face criminal penalties, or both. The good news is that lawmakers in Oklahoma recognize that you might be driving without insurance simply because you did not have enough time or money to renew your policy before it expired. Therefore, they give you a temporary insurance policy and temporary license plate which are valid for 10 days; if you reinstate your policy within those 10 days, you can avoid civil and criminal penalties. If you have been injured in a car accident where one driver did not have insurance, contact a Tulsa car accident lawyer.
Oklahoma Insurance Requirements
To drive legally in Oklahoma, you must carry liability insurance coverage. Your insurance must cover at least $25,000 for property damage. As for liability for accident-related injuries, it must cover at least $25,000 per person or at least $50,000 per accident. If your insurance expires, your insurance company will report the lapse in coverage to a statewide database.
Financial Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Oklahoma
If the police find out that your insurance has lapsed, you must pay a $250 fine. If the police found this out because you were involved in an accident, you must pay the fine immediately. If it was at a traffic stop, you have 10 days to reinstate your insurance before the fine is assessed. After an accident, the police will suspend your driver’s license immediately and will impound your car. After a traffic stop, they will only suspend your license if you do not reinstate your insurance within 10 days.
Reinstating your car insurance and driver’s license is not cheap. Besides paying for a new insurance policy, you must pay a $275 reinstatement fee to the DMV and a $125 administrative fee to the Sheriff’s Office in your county. If you lost your license because of getting in an accident while not carrying insurance, you can get a modified driver’s license for $175; this license allows you just enough driving privileges to commute to and from work. The biggest financial hit you can face, however, is that the person you injured can sue you for their accident-related financial losses. Since you did not have insurance coverage, you are personally responsible for the injured person’s medical bills and vehicle repairs; the insurance company will not pay it for you.
Driving without insurance is a criminal misdemeanor in Oklahoma. If convicted, you could get a jail sentence of up to one year instead of or in addition to the $250 fine.
Contact BDIW Law About Car Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
A car accident lawyer can help you if the driver who hit your car and caused your injuries did not have liability insurance. Contact BDIW Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma or call (918) 728-6500.