Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Utah

Is Your Car Insurance Being Electronically Tracked?

Car Impounded
••• Getty Images/WoodenDinosaur

Do you know what the penalties are for driving without car insurance in the state of Utah? Well, it is a very valid question, especially if you are considering letting your car insurance lapse to save a few bucks. Utah is a "no fault" state and requires all drivers to carry car insurance -- without insurance, tough fines and possible driver's license and vehicle registration suspension are both a real possibility.

Does the State of Utah Track Your Car Insurance?

Yes, they do! It is actually pretty tough to get away with driving without car insurance and come out ahead financially in Utah. If you are pulled over without car insurance, the police officer will know about it fairly quickly regardless of what you tell her or him. All residents are required to provide their car insurance info to Insure-Rite, which the state is then able to access. If Insure-Rite does not have your current information, you will receive a notification and the chance to send in proof or verify a change in usage. If you do not provide proof or verify the change in usage, your vehicle registration will be canceled. Law enforcement will then see information stating you do not have current insurance on file. You will be responsible for the $100 vehicle registration reinstatement fee and probably more penalties if you are caught.

Utah State Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Getting your vehicle registration reinstated would only be the tip of the iceberg if you are caught driving without insurance in Utah. Driving without a license in the state is a Class B Misdemeanor, and you’ll also be on the line for:

• Driver's License Suspension ($30 Reinstatement Fee)

• Vehicle Registration Suspension ($100 Reinstatement Fee)

• Having Your Vehicle Impounded (Tow and Impound Fees)

• Ticket On Your First Offense: $400 Minimum Fine

• Ticket On Any Subsequent Offense: $1000 Minimum Fine

If you’re a good driver, you can usually obtain car insurance in Utah for an entire year for less than $900. Is it really worth risking so much just to save a little -- especially when there’s such a large chance of getting caught?

When You’re In a Car Accident Without Car Insurance

This rule is pretty much extended to all states: you will be held personally liable if you are in a car accident without insurance. All of the expenses related to the accident will come directly out of your pocket. If your health insurance doesn't cover auto accident injuries, you will have to pay all the medical expenses. If the accident was your fault, you will have to pay all of the other driver's expenses as well. If you caused any property damage, you will be responsible for covering the cost of repairs. Sounds expensive, huh? It is -- unless you have endless piles of cash lying around. It often leaves people with no options other than bankruptcy.

Since starting up with the electronic tracking of car insurance in Utah through Insure-Rite, Utah's uninsured motorists rate has dropped down to 4%. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2012, the national average was 12.6%. It is much better for all drivers if everyone is insured properly. It lowers the overall cost of insurance and greatly reduces the hassle of getting back to normal after a major accident. Keep your car insurance in force to avoid high fees and a whole lot of trouble. If you’re not sure which insurance option will be right for you, talk to a qualified car insurance agent to figure out how to make sure you’re insured affordably.