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Driving Without Insurance in Pennsylvania

Here's what you need to know...
  • Pennsylvania has strictly enforced laws on auto insurance
  • There are severe penalties for driving without insurance including loss of car registration and driver’s license, to name a few
  • Protect yourself from unnecessary fees by carrying the required insurance
  • Shop and compare rates for the best deals

It’s important to carry the proper insurance in any state that requires insurance.

Every state–except for New Hampshire and Virginia–requires auto insurance.

Even in these two states, there is some requirement to prove that you have some financial backing so that you could manage the fiduciary responsibility if you are negligent in an accident.

If you are in need of auto insurance in Pennsylvania, start comparing auto insurance rates and choose the best option for you by entering your ZIP code above!

State Minimum Requirements

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The minimum state requirements for Pennsylvania insurance are:

  • Bodily injury liability ($15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident)
  • Property damage liability ($5,000)
  • Uninsured Motorist coverage ($15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident)

If you live in Pennsylvania, you are in a state that is quite strict about carrying insurance.

The minimum punishment for being caught driving uninsured is a $300 fine, a three-month suspension of your driver’s license, and a three-month suspension of your vehicle registration.

In order to get your driving privileges back, along with all of the other legal paperwork, there are other fees involved such as:

  • $88 restoration fee to restore your driver’s license
  • $88 fee to restore your car registration
  • $188 fee to restore any commercial license

Also, no one is allowed to drive the vehicle that has been suspended while it is in the suspended condition for any reason. If they do, they risk further legal issues due to driving a car illegally while it is suspended.

How do officers know I have no insurance in Pennsylvania?

Some drivers may try to get by without carrying insurance, but police officers have a way of knowing who is insured and who is not insured.

They cannot check without probable cause. But if a police officer stops you for any other reason, they are free to check your insurance by running your tags through the system. If it is determined that you are uninsured, they can then cite you for failure to carry insurance.

Every state has different requirements that specify what they do in the case of drivers who are caught driving without proof of insurance.

In Pennsylvania, you will have your license suspended, and you’ll be fined according to the above stipulations.

Pennsylvania law is strict, but the cost of accidents and court costs, not to mention fatalities that often fall on the shoulder of the courts in such cases, has made this necessary. Also, Pennsylvania is a large state and one that cannot afford to deal with multiple lawsuits each year from auto collisions.

Requiring that auto insurance is with the driver at all times and strictly enforcing the law ensures that such cases will be kept to a minimum.

Showing Proof of Insurance

In addition to actually having coverage, Pennsylvania residents are also required to show evidence of insurance if they are stopped by a police officer at any time.

You must have a copy of your “proof of insurance” in your glove compartment or somewhere in your car at all times. It must include the signature of a licensed insurance agent and your policy number plainly in site on the card.

You are also required to hold a copy of the letter that certifies that you have coverage at the time you were stopped.

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Lapse in Coverage Clause

If you are between coverage periods without coverage and allow your policy to lapse, you will need a signed affidavit stating that you did not drive your motor vehicle at any time during the lapse in coverage. The affidavit must further state that you secured new insurance not more than a period of 31 days following your cancellation of your previous policy.

If you can provide proof of your continued coverage after the 31 days from cancellation, you are exempt from losing your driving privileges, driver’s license, and car registration for the period in question.

The Opt-Out Clause

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If you are caught without proof of insurance and wish to immediately waive the penalties and suspended driving privileges, you can pay $588 instead of to the DMV office of Pennsylvania.

$588 is a stiff fine indeed, but it may beat the added cost of lost jobs or employment income when you are not able to drive to work because you lost your driver’s license and car registration.

There you have it. These are the rules and legislation that is on the books right now for the state of Pennsylvania. The laws are strict, and penalties are severe.

You must have proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times. You must be covered for the minimal requirements when driving anywhere in the state.

A No-Fault State

Another unique factor about Pennsylvania is that it is a “no-fault state.”

A no-fault state means that the normal protocol is that each driver reports their claim to their insurance company to pay regardless of who was at fault in the accident.

Paying for the accident is usually done up to the PIP (personal injury protection) limits in Pennsylvania.

However, Pennsylvania is unique in that the driver may choose to use the traditional insurance claims route (no-fault) or choose to claim fault and sue the other driver.

Although, if it is determined that you are at fault instead, you could be sued as well.

As Hamlet once said, “Thy potent poison hath turned itself on me.”

Since Pennsylvania insurance law is so different in many ways, it is up to the individual driver to make sure they understand and follow the rules and study up on what is allowed and enforced to avoid stiff fines or lawsuits.

How to Protect Yourself


No matter what state you live in, you should know the law and avoid being guilty of failure to follow them while traveling the highways of the east coastal state. Pennsylvania is a great state, but they have laws that demand that people comply or face the penalties.

To make sure you’re protected, know the laws and make sure your insurance is set up to be automatically deducted each month at the same time.

That way, you won’t ever miss a payment and risk your insurance lapsing, which could open you up to huge penalties and loss of driving privileges.

You may think insurance is expensive. You may believe that it’s an unneeded expense that you don’t need.

But just wait until you don’t have it. Then you’ll discover just how necessary and important it was. Hopefully, you won’t find out the hard way.

Browse our site and shop and compare to find the best deal, and then keep your insurance current. That’s the best way to ensure that you won’t have to deal with even more challenging legal or financial issues.

Start comparison shopping today by using our FREE online quote tool! Enter your ZIP code below to get the best auto insurance rates!

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