A ticket for driving without insurance (a no insurance citation) carries a $1,000 penalty in Mississippi and a year suspension of your driver's license.
Mississippi has compulsory motor vehicle Liability requirements but this unlike most states it is not enforced through vehicle registration. The MS State Tax Commission states that every motor vehicle operated in this state shall have an insurance card maintained in the vehicle as proof of liability insurance that is in compliance with the liability limits required.
The insured party is responsible for maintaining the insurance card in each vehicle. Upon stopping a motor vehicle for any other statutory violation, a law enforcement officer, who is authorized to issue traffic citations, shall verify that the insurance card is in the motor vehicle.
The Mississippi Code, Section 63-15.4 Subsection (3), states that failure of the owner or the operator of a motor vehicle to have the insurance card in the motor vehicle is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and suspension of driving privilege for a period of one (1) year or until the owner of the motor vehicle shows proof of liability insurance that is in compliance with the liability limits required by Section 63-15-3(j).
Subsection (4) goers on to say that if, at the hearing date or the date of payment of the fine, the motor vehicle owner shows proof of motor vehicle liability insurance in the amounts required by Section 63-15-3(j), the fine shall be reduced to One Hundred Dollars ($100.00). If the owner shows proof that such insurance was in effect at the time of citation, the fine of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and court costs shall be waived.
So it appears that by complying with the MS financial responsibility laws and obtaining car insurance by your court date you can reduce your penalties for being caught driving without insurance.
Mississippi law requires that all drivers maintain liability insurance (in at least the amounts required by Section 63-15-3(j)), and carry a card in their vehicles at all times showing that you have liability insurance. On January 1, 2006, the minimum liability requirements increased to the following: $25,000 per person (limited to a single accident), $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. These limits are referred to as 25/50/25.
Technically as a Mississippi driver, can legally satisfy these requirements by:
- Showing proof of liability insurance with bodily injury and property damage limits at least equal to the minimum requirement; or
- Posting a bond for these same amounts; or
- Making a cash or security deposit equal to the minimum requirements.
As the Mississippi Insurance Department notes on their auto insurance guide for consumers, the initial penalty for failing to maintain an insurance card is $1,000 and suspension of driving privileges for one year or until the motor vehicle owner shows proof of insurance.
If you are in an accident without insurance you could face more penalties and be held personally responsible for the damages you caused. You will also need an SR-22 filed for you by your insurer if your license which has been suspended for your failure to pay for an accident which you are responsible or you want to reinstate your license after it has been suspended due to your failure to have proof of Financial Responsibility at the scene of the accident.
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