If you live in New Hampshire and Virginia, auto insurance is optional.
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Nearly every state, 48 out of the 50, requires drivers to have some level of auto insurance. However, in New Hampshire and Virginia, where there are no insurance requirements, driving uninsured is completely legal for some drivers. If you live in those states, it is important to know what is legally required before hitting the roads.
Driving without insurance in Virginia and New Hampshire is legal. But there are some liability requirements drivers must adhere to.
SR22s are also be required if your driver’s license has been suspended due to:
An FR44, which requires double the minimum coverage, is required if you’ve been convicted of:
You can prove you have the required funds by depositing money or securities into a banking account and sending the receipt to the state treasurer. If you’re using securities, you can buy them from a savings bank or retrieve them from a trust fund.3
Not having insurance is illegal in every state except New Hampshire and Virginia. That’s why when you’re at a dealership, buying a car requires insurance in order for you to leave the lot.
To find out your state’s minimum coverage requirements, read our full auto insurance guide. Or read on to find out the states with the least strict requirements.
Although New Hampshire and Virginia are the only states with no auto insurance requirements, Florida and New Jersey are the other two that don’t require bodily injury liability, which pays for the other party’s injuries in the event of an accident that you caused.
The minimum car insurance in Florida is:
The minimum coverage in New Jersey is:
Both Florida and New Jersey are no-fault states, meaning that in an at-fault accident, each party is responsible for its own injuries. Learn more about Florida’s no fault auto insurance.
Whether or not you purchased car insurance or its alternatives in Virginia and New Hampshire, you’ll need to have proof of financial responsibility if you get stopped while driving. This can be done by showing your insurance card. In all states except for New Mexico, you can show digital versions of your insurance card on your mobile phone.
Drivers in Virginia and New Hampshire who choose not to purchase auto insurance must demonstrate that they paid the Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee or the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements, respectively. Drivers should be sure to receive a certificate to show proof of financial responsibility in either state.
Most people won’t get to decide if they want auto insurance, as 48 states require it. However, if you’re on the fence, let’s break down the costs and benefits of having insurance versus not having insurance.
Having insurance means that you can be covered for your and the other party’s property damage and bodily injuries. It also means that, in most states, you won’t get in legal trouble for not having insurance.
You have to pay auto insurance premiums, which could be expensive. Also, even if you never get into an accident and have no claims, you won’t get your premiums refunded.
The main benefit of not having insurance is not having to pay for insurance.
In every state except Virginia and New Hampshire, not having insurance is illegal. You could face fines, penalties, license suspensions or revocations, and/or registration suspension and revocations. See below for your state’s penalties for not having insurance.
|State||Fine for first offense||More penalties|
|Arizona||$500||License and registration suspension|
|California||$100||No other penalties|
|Connecticut||$100||License and registration suspension|
|District of Columbia||$150||Suspended license|
|Georgia||$200||License and registration suspension|
|Idaho||$75||No other penalties|
|Iowa||$250||No other penalties|
|Kansas||$300||License and registration suspension|
|Louisiana||$500||No other penalties|
|Maine||$100||License and registration suspension|
|Maryland||$1,000||No other penalties|
|Massachusetts||$500||License and registration suspension|
|Minnesota||$200||License and registration suspension|
|Montana||$250||No other penalties|
|New Hampshire||$125||License and registration suspension|
|New Jersey||$300||Licenses suspension|
|New Mexico||$300||License and registration suspension|
|New York||$150||License and registration suspension|
|North Carolina||$50||Suspended license|
|North Dakota||$300||Suspended license|
|Oregon||$130||License and registration suspension|
|Pennsylvania||$300||License and registration suspension|
|Rhode Island||$100||License and registration suspension|
|South Carolina||$550||Suspended license|
|South Dakota||$100||Suspended license|
|Texas||$175||No other penalties|
|Washington||$550||No other penalties|
|West Virginia||$200||Suspended license|
|Wisconsin||$500||No other penalties|
Aside from facing fees and penalties, if you get into an at-fault accident, you’ll be responsible for the property damage and bodily injuries of both you and the other driver or drivers involved. This can be expensive. Not having the money to pay for this could result in a lawsuit and further fines; your wages could even be garnished, in extreme cases.
Technically, every state has a self-insurance option, which usually requires tens of thousands of dollars to obtain as well as more than 25 vehicles owned. While self-insurance isn’t an option for most people, it may be an option for businesses or organizations with large fleets of vehicles, such as universities. See below for your state’s self-insurance requirements.
|State||Is self-insurance allowed?||Minimum requirements|
|Alabama||Yes, if you own more than 25 vehicles.||At the discretion of the director of the Department of Public Safety|
|Alaska||Yes, if you own more than 25 vehicles.||$125,000|
|Arizona||Yes, if you own more than 10 vehicles||$90,000|
|Arkansas||Yes, if you own more than 25 vehicles.||$100,000|
|Colorado||Yes, if you own more than 25 vehicles.||At the discretion of the insurance commissioner|
|Connecticut||Yes||At the discretion of the insurance commissioner|
|Delaware||Yes, if you own more than 15 vehicles||$130,000|
|District of Columbia||Yes, if you own more than 25 vehicles.||Yes, at the discretion of the mayor|
|Florida||Yes||Must have an unencumbered net worth of at least $40,000 for the first vehicle and $20,000 for each additional vehicle, as well as $85,000 for liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage|
|Idaho||Yes, if you have at least 5 vehicles||$50,000-$120,000|
|Illinois||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||At the discretion of the director of the Department of Insurance|
|Iowa||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||At the discretion of the Iowa Insurance Division|
|Kansas||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$100,000|
|Louisiana||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$100,000|
|Maine||Yes||At the discretion of the Secretary of State|
|Maryland||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$105,000|
|Massachusetts||Yes||At the discretion of the commissioner of the Division of Insurance|
|Michigan||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||At the discretion of the commissioner|
|Minnesota||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||Current net worth or the equivalent of $5 million|
|Mississippi||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||At the discretion of the Mississippi Insurance Department|
|Nebraska||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||At the discretion of the Nebraska Department of Insurance|
|Nevada||Yes, if you have more than 10 vehicles||Either 130% of the average annual claims in the previous 3 years or:
$55,000 for 11 to 50 vehicles
$80,000 for 51 to 100 vehicles
$130,000 for 101 to 250 vehicles
205,000 for 251 to 500 vehicles
$280,000 for 501 to 750 vehicles
$355,000 for 751 or more vehicles
|New Jersey||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||At the discretion of the commissioner of insurance; also includes a $1,000 filing fee|
|New Mexico||Yes||At the discretion of the superintendent of insurance|
|New York||Yes||Liquidity of $160,000 times the square root of the number of vehicles, the average dollar amount of claims from the past 4 years, $85,000 times the number of other vehicles, etc.|
|Ohio||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$30,000|
|Oklahoma||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$100,000|
|Oregon||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles and are a public body or federal agency||$185,000 in liability insurance
$100,000 for 26 to 100 vehicles
$190,000 for 1010 to 250 vehicles
$295,000 for 251 to 500 vehicles, etc.
|Pennsylvania||Yes||$50,000 for the first vehicle
$10,000 for each additional vehicle
Maximum of $1 million
|Rhode Island||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles, but only for property damage and bodily injury coverage||$100,000|
|South Carolina||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$3,000
Minimum net worth of $20 million
|Tennessee||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||At the discretion of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance|
|Utah||Yes, if you have more than 24 vehicles||$200,000 plus $100 for each vehicle up to the first 1,000 vehicles, then $50 for each vehicle over 1,000 vehicles|
|Virginia||Yes, if you own more than 21 vehicles||$95,000|
|Washington||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$60,000 certificate of deposit/liability bond|
|West Virginia||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$100,000 in total assets|
|Wisconsin||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$110,000|
|Wyoming||Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles||$200,000 plus $100 for each vehicle after the 25th vehicle|
What happens if you get into an accident with no insurance depends on whether you live in an at-fault (liability) or no-fault state.
In at-fault states, you are responsible for the other party’s property damage and bodily injury costs as well as your own. The victim can sue you for economic and non-economic damages.
In no-fault states, you have to pay for the other party’s property damage only as well as your own property damage and bodily injuries (covered by medical coverage/personal injury protection). The victim can only sue you for non-economic damages such as anxiety.
You’ve read about all of the minimum coverage requirements, but what do they actually entail if you have a covered claim?
While minimum coverage is all you need to avoid trouble with the law, we recommend adding on full coverage.
Unlike liability, full coverage includes:
You need auto insurance on a car that doesn’t run, as it can still be stolen or damaged by vandalism or weather-related incidents. We recommend getting comprehensive rather than collision coverage to save money.
Minimum requirements aren’t the only laws surrounding auto insurance. While we can’t provide an exhaustive list of all state auto insurance laws, here is a general overview:
When it comes to auto insurance, knowing your state’s minimum requirement (or lack thereof) is only the first step. Next, you have to decide which coverages and limits are best for you. If you’re not sure where to start, an agent can help you decide which coverages you need and how much you’ll pay for them.
Keep reading for answers to the questions we got the most about auto insurance requirements.
No, only 48 require auto insurance. The exceptions are New Hampshire and Virginia.
Car insurance is required in Florida with minimum liability limits of:
Texas requires car insurance with minimum liability limits of:
The states that don’t require car insurance are Virginia and New Hampshire.
Insurance Requirements. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. (2022).
Coverage of owner’s policy. Virginia Law Library. (2022, Jan 1).
Title XXI Motor Vehicles: Chapter 264 – Accidents and Financial Responsibility. The General Court of New Hampshire. (2022).
Insurance Requirements/SR-22. New Hampshire Department of Safety Division of Motor Vehicles. (2022).
Get Legal with New Jersey’s Basic Auto Insurance Policy. State of New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance. (2011).
Women pay more on average than men for car insurance, despite getting into fewer accidents, study finds. CNBC Make It. (2021, Apr 19).