Published: April 15, 2022Updated: August 16, 2022

States With No Auto Insurance Requirement

If you live in New Hampshire and Virginia, auto insurance is optional.

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.

States With No Auto Insurance Requirement

Driving without insurance in Virginia and New Hampshire is legal. But there are some liability requirements drivers must adhere to.

Virginia

  • What’s required instead of auto insurance: Instead of auto insurance, you have to pay the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee.1
  • Who’s required to get auto insurance: Drivers with SR22s or FR44s must buy auto insurance. An SR22, proof of the minimum coverage in Virginia, is required if you have an unsatisfied judgment against you or an uninsured motor vehicle suspension, or you’ve been convicted of:
    • Failure to provide proof of insurance associated with insurance monitoring
    • Falsifying an insurance certification

    SR22s are also be required if your driver’s license has been suspended due to:

    • Conviction for voluntary or involuntary manslaughter from operating a motor vehicle
    • Perjury to the DMV regarding motor vehicle registration or a driver’s license application
    • Felony under motor vehicle law
    • Hit and run
    • Driving for rent or hire without a license

    An FR44, which requires double the minimum coverage, is required if you’ve been convicted of:

    • Maiming while under the influence
    • Driving under the influence of intoxicants and/or drugs
    • Driving while your license has been forfeited for a conviction or while you have been found not innocent for a juvenile
    • Violating federal law, the law of any other state, or any valid local ordinance similar to the above
  • Minimum auto insurance requirements: If you decide to get auto insurance in Virginia (or if you’re forced to), the minimum coverage is bodily injury liability of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident, or property damage liability of at least $20,000.1 These laws are effective January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2024.

New Hampshire

  • What’s required instead of auto insurance: Rather than purchasing auto insurance, you can demonstrate that you meet New Hampshire’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements, which total $100,000:
    • $25,000 bodily injury liability limit for accidents involving one person
    • $50,000 bodily injury liability limit for accidents involving two or more people
    • $25,000 worth of property damage liability.

    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

  • Who’s required to get auto insurance: Auto insurance for drivers who have an SR22, which include those who have:
    • Been convicted of driving while intoxicated
    • Been decertified as habitual offenders
    • Appeared at hearings for certain offenses like Demerit Points
    • Been found at fault for uninsured accidents
    • Left the scene of an accident
    • Had poor conduct after an accident
    • Had a second offense of reckless operation4
  • Minimum auto insurance requirements: Bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, property damage coverage of $25,000, medical payments coverage of $1,000, and uninsured motorist coverage equal to your liability coverage, a minimum of $100,000.

Is Not Having Insurance Illegal?

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.

Minimum Coverage in Each State

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.

States With Minimal Car Insurance 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.

Florida

The minimum car insurance in Florida is:

  • Property damage coverage: $10,000
  • Medical payments coverage: $10,000 per person, $10,000 per accident

New Jersey

The minimum coverage in New Jersey is:

  • Property damage coverage: $5,000
  • Medical payments coverage: $15,000 per person, $15,000 per accident5

NOTE

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.

Proof of Financial Responsibility

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.

Pros and Cons of Having Insurance

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

  • 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.

Not Having Insurance

  • 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
Alabama $500 Suspended registration
Alaska $500 Suspended license
Arizona $500 License and registration suspension
Arkansas $50 Suspended registration
California $100 No other penalties
Colorado $500 Suspended license
Connecticut $100 License and registration suspension
Delaware $1,500 Suspended license
District of Columbia $150 Suspended license
Florida $150 Suspended license
Georgia $200 License and registration suspension
Hawaii $500 Suspended license
Idaho $75 No other penalties
Illinois $500 Suspended license
Indiana $250 Suspended license
Iowa $250 No other penalties
Kansas $300 License and registration suspension
Kentucky $500 Suspended registration
Louisiana $500 No other penalties
Maine $100 License and registration suspension
Maryland $1,000 No other penalties
Massachusetts $500 License and registration suspension
Michigan $200 Suspended license
Minnesota $200 License and registration suspension
Mississippi $500 Suspended license
Missouri $20 Suspended license
Montana $250 No other penalties
Nebraska $100 Suspended license
Nevada $250 Suspended license
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
Ohio $100 Suspended license
Oklahoma $250 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
Tennessee $300 Suspended license
Texas $175 No other penalties
Utah $400 Suspended license
Vermont $250 Suspended license
Virginia $600 Suspended license
Washington $550 No other penalties
West Virginia $200 Suspended license
Wisconsin $500 No other penalties
Wyoming $250 Suspended license

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.

States That Allow Bonds Instead of Car Insurance

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
California Yes $50,000
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
Georgia Yes $50,000
Hawaii Yes $90,000
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
Indiana Yes $100,000
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
Kentucky Yes $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
Missouri Yes $175,000
Montana Yes $55,000
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 Hampshire Yes $100,000
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.
North Carolina Yes $205,000
North Dakota Yes $205,000
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

Earnings of:

$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

South Dakota Yes $175,000
Tennessee Yes, if you have more than 25 vehicles At the discretion of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance
Texas Yes $115,000
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
Vermont Yes $115,000
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?

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

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

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.

Types of Required Coverage

You’ve read about all of the minimum coverage requirements, but what do they actually entail if you have a covered claim?

  • Bodily injury coverage: Pays for the other party’s injuries in an at-fault accident.
  • Property damage coverage: Pays for the other party’s property damages in an at-fault accident.
  • Medical payments coverage: Pays for the insured’s medical bills regardless of who was at fault.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage: Reimburses you for your bodily injury and property damage in a collision with an uninsured/underinsured motorist or a hit-and-run.

Should I Get Minimum Coverage or Full Coverage?

While minimum coverage is all you need to avoid trouble with the law, we recommend adding on full coverage.

Full Coverage

Unlike liability, full coverage includes:

  • Bodily injury coverage
  • Property damage coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Collision coverage: Collision coverage pays for your property damage in the event of an at-fault accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to your car from events other than collisions, such as theft, vandalism, hail, floods, sinkholes, etc.

DID YOU KNOW?

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.

More State Car Insurance Laws

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:

  • Credit scores: It’s illegal to use credit scores to determine auto insurance premiums in four states: Massachusetts, Hawaii, Michigan, and California. Learn more about car insurance laws in Massachusetts.
  • Gender: Similarly, in every state except California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, men pay more for car insurance. That’s because 43 states have no laws preventing auto insurance companies from gender discrimination when determining auto insurance premiums.6
  • Negligibility: When it comes to negligibility, states can either have comparative negligence systems, meaning fault is split between two parties, or contributory negligence, which means that if the plaintiff acted negligently in any way, they can’t receive any compensation.
  • At fault vs. no fault: Whether your state has an at-fault or a no-fault system determines who pays for what in a car accident, and who can sue for what damages.
  • Statutes of limitations for claims: States have different statutes of limitations for personal injury and property damage claims, meaning that you have a certain period of time to file a claim after an accident.
  • Notifications of cancellations/non renewals: Insurance companies also have certain periods of time to notify you of a cancellation or nonrenewal of your current policy.

Recap

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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:

  • Property damage: $10,000
  • Medical payments: $10,000 per person, $10,000 per accident

Texas requires car insurance with minimum liability limits of:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury coverage per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage coverage

The states that don’t require car insurance are Virginia and New Hampshire.

Citations

  1. Insurance Requirements. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. (2022).
    https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/vehicles/#insurance.asp

  2. Coverage of owner’s policy. Virginia Law Library. (2022, Jan 1).
    https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter3/section46.2-472

  3. Title XXI Motor Vehicles: Chapter 264 – Accidents and Financial Responsibility. The General Court of New Hampshire. (2022).
    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xxi/264/264-mrg.htm

  4. Insurance Requirements/SR-22. New Hampshire Department of Safety Division of Motor Vehicles. (2022).
    https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/financial-responsibility/insurance.htm#required

  5. Get Legal with New Jersey’s Basic Auto Insurance Policy. State of New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance. (2011).
    https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/insurance/basicpolicy.shtml

  6. Women pay more on average than men for car insurance, despite getting into fewer accidents, study finds. CNBC Make It. (2021, Apr 19).
    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/19/women-pay-more-than-men-for-car-insurance-in-21-states-study-finds.html