Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.30.020 states in section 1b that a person who drives a motor vehicle that is required to be registered in another state that requires drivers and owners of vehicles in that state to maintain insurance or financial responsibility shall, when requested by a law enforcement officer, provide evidence of financial responsibility or insurance as is required by the laws of the state in which the vehicle is registered.
Subsection c of this part of Washington state law goes on to say that when a motorist is asked to provide evidence of financial responsibility by a law enforcement officer and fail to display an insurance identification card this creates a presumption that the person does not have motor vehicle insurance.
Failure to provide proof of motor vehicle insurance is a traffic infraction and is subject to penalties as set by the supreme court under RCW 46.63.110 or community restitution. RCW 46.63.110 states that a person found to have committed a traffic infraction shall be assessed a monetary penalty. No penalty may exceed two hundred and fifty dollars for each offense however there are other associated fees that may be added to the penalty amount.
So driving without proof of insurance is punishable by a minimum fine of $250. There are other fees and assessments that can be added to this fine so it typically costs about $450 from our research.
However since you have insurance but just were without proof in your vehicle, your current insurance card, at the time you sere cited then section 2 of RCW 46.30.020 would pertain to your situation. Here it state that if a person cited for a violation of subsection (1) of this section appears in person before the court or a violations bureau and provides written evidence that at the time the person was cited, he or she was in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of subsection (1) of this section, the citation shall be dismissed and the court or violations bureau may assess court administrative costs of twenty-five dollars at the time of dismissal.
Or in lieu of personal appearance, a person cited for a violation of subsection (1) of this section may, before the date scheduled for the person's appearance before the court or violations bureau, submit by mail to the court or violations bureau written evidence that at the time the person was cited, he or she was in compliance with the financial responsibility requirements of subsection (1) of this section, in which case the citation shall be dismissed without cost, except that the court or violations bureau may assess court administrative costs of twenty-five dollars at the time of dismissal.
So it would appear that with proper documentation that you were insured at the time of your citation for driving without insurance then the court should dismiss the ticket and you will only need to pay administrative costs of $25. You should contact the court listed on your ticket to find out what insurance documentation you will need to bring and to make certain that the fee amount has not changed.
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