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What are the penalties for driving without insurance in the state of California?


If you drive an automobile in California, state law dictates that you must be financially responsible for your actions. All drivers must show their ability to pay for damages or injury to others resulting from the ownership or operation of a motor vehicle.

The statutory minimum limits of liability insurance in California are as follows:

Bodily Injury

  • $15,000 for death or injury of any one person, any one accident.
  • $30,000 for all persons in any one accident.

Property Damage

  • $5,000 for any one accident.

In California, driving without insurance is a serious offense. Failure to show proof of insurance when requested may result in fines or a suspended license. If you are stopped by a police officer and asked for proof of insurance and you cannot produce it, you may receive a citation. You can have the ticket nullified by showing proof of insurance in court. You could, however, be assessed an administrative fee for expenses.

Failing to show proof of financial responsibility is a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 16029. Violating this code could result in fines up to $500 plus other penalties such as the impoundment of the vehicle and suspension of your driver's license. If the vehicle is impounded the owner will have to pay for all storage and tow charges.

If you need to purchase auto insurance on your vehicle, follow this link for a quick quote.


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2 Responses to "What are the penalties for driving without insurance in the state of California?"
  1. Anonymous


  2. Anonymous

    I just registered a vehicle I purchased with the DMV in california and they did NOT require proof of insurance, and there was no insurance policy for this vehicle and currently is not. These answers seem to state that there is a requirement from the DMV