Driving Without Valid Insurance
In the unfortunate event of an accident, auto insurance is essential to protecting yourself as well as any other drivers on the road. In Georgia, the statute requiring that drivers have adequate insurance can play out in multiple ways, depending on the specific circumstances. The best way to keep yourself safe and prepared is to stay informed about Georgia’s insurance requirements and the consequences for allowing insurance lapse.
The state of Georgia requires that the owner or operator of a motor vehicle has adequate minimum insurance. While the “owner” portion of this law is well understood, there are often misunderstandings about the second item. Anyone operating a motor vehicle needs to have adequate insurance, regardless of whether or not they are the owner of the vehicle. “Borrowing” a car does not excuse the driver from having the required insurance.
What Is The Maximum Fine For A Conviction Of Driving Without A Valid Driver License?
If a driver does not have adequate insurance or a vehicle is not adequately insured by its owner, they will be charged with Driving Without Insurance in Georgia. This is the more serious charge of the two relating to this statute. Driving Without Insurance is a misdemeanor that can result in fines of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail. The driver will also lose the privilege to drive for 60 to 90 days. If you are facing this serious charge, you will need the services of an attorney well-versed in Georgia traffic law.
As part of this statue, drivers are required to present proof of insurance to a police officer. If the driver has insurance but does not have the appropriate documentation, they can be charged with No Proof of Insurance. When the driver goes to court, they will be asked if they had valid insurance when they were ticketed. If documents proving that the accused was insured at the time are presented, they will face a maximum $25 fine.
It is important to recall that a court date may be weeks or months after receiving a ticket; the insurance card or binder needs to be one that covers the date of the ticketing. In the case that you did have insurance at the time of the ticket, you do not need a lawyer. Many courts will dismiss the case, and you will not even have to pay the $25 fine. A conviction for No Proof of Insurance in Georgia will not be reported to your insurance company or the Department of Driver Services; apart from the fine, it will be as though it never happened.
Understanding Insurance Lapse in Georgia
If your insurance lapses, the insurance company will send a notice to the State of Georgia. The state may then suspend your license. Driving with a suspended license is a serious offense that is often self-perpetuating; one of the penalties for driving with a suspended license is an additional six-month suspension. And if you are caught driving under the second suspension, the cycle begins again. Driving with a suspended license can also lead to fines of up to $1000 or even jail time.
If you do not reinstate your insurance during the 30-day grace period extended by your insurance company, you will be required to pay a $25 lapse fee and a $60 license reinstatement fee. Do not forget that your license will not be automatically reinstated; you will need to take steps to have it reinstated, or it will remain suspended.
Cited for Driving Without Insurance? Contact Us Today!
Though getting insurance coverage after being charged with Driving Without Insurance does not erase the crime, it is in your best interest to get coverage as soon as possible. If you show that you are willing to quickly rectify the situation, your attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction in charges.
Driving without insurance in Cumming, Georgia is a serious offense. Make sure your insurance coverage does not lapse, and always keep a valid card or other proof of insurance with you in your vehicle. Even though a No Proof of Insurance charge is relatively minor, it is still an inconvenience that could easily be avoided. A Driving Without Insurance charge is much more than an inconvenience. With large fines and jail time on the line, do not hesitate to seek out the counsel of an experienced attorney. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner we can start working on getting you back on the road.