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Q

Are you required to carry proof of insurance in your car in North Carolina?


A

North Carolina law requires the registered owner of a motor vehicle to maintain continuous liability insurance coverage as long as there is a valid license plate for that vehicle. Liability coverage must be continuously maintained with a company licensed and authorized to do business in this state.

The minimum requirements of liability for private passenger vehicles are $30,000 for bodily injury for one person; $60,000 bodily injury for two or more people and $25,000 property damage. North Carolina law requires each company to notify DMV upon the insurance of a new policy and when coverage has been cancelled.

The NC DOT does not note specifically that an insurance card or proof of insurance is required to be carried with you in your vehicle they do state that if you are in an accident the insurance information needed will want to show and collect (from the other driver involved) be the name your insurance company and policy number exactly as shown on the proof of insurance card.

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You can check with the North Carolina state statutes, especially Chapter 20, Article 9, to see if it specifically states that proof of insurance must be on your person at all times while driving or not.

Even if the state statute does not expressly state that the insurance card must be in a vehicle with a person while they are driving, it is always advisable to carry the car's insurance card with the vehicle in case a law enforcement officer requests proof of insurance or if you must provide this insurance information to others after being in an accident.

While insurance companies are supposed to inform the NC Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when you start an insurance policy or cancel one. The DMV insurance system though is not infallible. One common problem we have heard law officers of various states note is that a driver has and the cancellation has been received by the DMV but the new policy information somehow did not make it in the system. If this happens to you then a lot of times your tag and possibly your license will be revoked for an insurance lapse.

So by having your proof of insurance or current insurance card with you so that if that is a discrepancy, the officer can look at that and weigh all the evidence that he has and possibly avoid giving you a citation for driving without insurance. This will then help you avoid a day in court. We would thus advise that you have your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance when an officer stops you.

For more NC insurance laws questions try contacting the North Carolina Department of Insurance. To get North Carolina auto insurance quotes online click here.


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