Reasons to Not Print a Fake Auto Insurance Card

Car key sitting on money
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Car ownership is expensive, but often very necessary, part of life. In addition to the upfront costs of car ownership, you also have to pay for gas, maintenance, repairs, car washes, and detailing—the list goes on and on. In most states, you also have to pay for car insurance every single month for as long as you drive your car. If you have a poor credit history or driving record, or are young, or are driving around in a sports car, you may have to pay even more than the average driver. But what if there was a way to get out of paying for car insurance?

There really isn’t, but that won’t stop people—and scam artists—from trying.

Here's a really bad idea that has been popping up lately on the amazing world resource of bad ideas, the internet: printing out fake auto insurance cards. Now, I'm not saying all ideas online are bad. In fact, there's really no better clearinghouse for solid, reliable sources of knowledge than the internet. It's just that it is sometimes hard to tell the good information from the bad. Offering printable fake insurance cards clearly fits into the "bad" category.

Do You Really Need a Reason?

Apparently so, since all it takes is a quick Google of "printable fake auto insurance cards" to find literally dozens of websites that offer them, along with fake college diplomas, birth certificates, employment records, bank statements, marriage licenses, and on and on. It's really kind of scary. The possibilities are endless, though, and may be tempting. Our advice to you is to resist temptation because using a fake document of one of the types just mentioned can get you into a lot of trouble.

Which brings us back to fake auto insurance cards.

Not Just About Cheaters

It's not hard to understand that using a fake insurance card is wrong. Anyone who purposely seeks one online, prints it out and carries it around as if it is real, knows what they're doing. But what if you don't realize that your fake card is fake? You see, there are some people out there with websites set up, not to help you cheat on your insurance, but to cheat you into believing that you have legitimate coverage. That's right, cyber fraud has hit the world of auto insurance in the form of websites that look real, purport to sell actual policies, but are totally fraudulent.

Some of them have made up company names while others use the brand names and logos of real insurers, ones that you would recognize and trust instantly. These sites rarely stay operational for long, but long enough to rip off plenty of honest drivers. The trouble is that whether you intend to cheat or you've been cheated yourself, the results of using a fake auto insurance card are usually very serious, and not in a good way.

Can You Say ​Insurance Fraud?

This is not insurance fraud the way most people think of it, which is where an accident is staged or someone files a phony or exaggerated claim involving a legitimate policy or insurer. Fraud it is, nevertheless. And fraud is illegal. Just exactly what penalties you will face for brandishing a fake insurance card depends on where you live. At the very least, you will be looking at monetary penalties for driving without insurance that can amount to hundreds and, in some states, thousands of dollars.

You will also face suspension or revocation of your driver's license and/or vehicle registration. And all that's before we get to the fraud part, which in many jurisdictions will land you in jail, sometimes on convictions of several years.

Getting Into an Accident

Fake insurance is not going to pay a claim, no matter how realistic your fake card appears. That seems obvious, doesn't it? You may be able to avoid criminal and monetary penalties if you thought you had purchased real insurance and presented your card in good faith. But it's going to be a big hassle proving it and you are still going to be on the line for the costs of any damages or injuries resulting from your negligence, costs that could add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Still Not Convinced?

The successful use of a fake insurance card is temporary, at best, and limited to those situations where a vehicle is pulled over and the law enforcement officer makes a cursory check of the driver's proof of insurance. Beyond that, it's not going to work. In almost all states today, you must provide proof of insurance in order to register a vehicle and get your tags. Further, insurance carriers are required by law to immediately notify the DMV if a vehicle policy lapses. So, for example, if you let your legitimate policy lapse and start using a fake insurance card, you will not be fooling your DMV and they will catch up with you in short notice.

In addition, there is a trend in interconnectivity between state databases, which means that you still stand a good chance of getting caught if you use a fake insurance card from one state when stopped in another. In other words, carrying a fake card is quickly on its way to total obsolescence.

What You Need to Know

If you've paid for a policy, but think you may have been conned, contact the insurance company listed on your card immediately and directly, not through the agent or website you used to purchase it. You may also try contacting your state DMV or insurance department. If you are carrying around a fake insurance card and know it, or thinking about printing one out and using it in lieu of real coverage, think again. Remember, every day you go without legit insurance, you run the risk of a big monetary loss or worse.