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Last updated: April 6, 2024

Driving Without Insurance in New Hampshire

Not having insurance is legal for drivers in New Hampshire, as long as they’ve proved financial responsibility in another way.

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Along with Virginia, New Hampshire is one of only two states in the U.S. that does not require its drivers to have car insurance. But ironically, the state has the seventh-lowest rate of uninsured drivers at only 6 percent, according to the most recent data from the Insurance Research Council. That’s because if drivers opt not to have insurance, they have to prove that they can cover up to $100,000 for other parties’ injuries and property damage, which most New Hampshire residents cannot do.

Regardless, can you get in trouble for driving without insurance if the state doesn’t require it?

Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in New Hampshire

Unless the state requires you to have an SR-22, proof of minimum insurance, then you can’t get in trouble for driving without insurance in New Hampshire. That being said, a police officer may ask you for proof of insurance, but you can’t be punished for not having it with you.


You may have to have your insurance company file an SR-22 with New Hampshire’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you were convicted of:

  • DUI/DWI: Any conviction for driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated will result in an SR-22.
  • Failure to report an accident and remain at the scene: In New Hampshire, you’re required to report any car accident that involves injury, property damage exceeding $1,000, or death to the police within five days of the accident. In these accidents, you must also stop at the scene and exchange information with the other driver before leaving the scene; otherwise, it’s considered a hit-and-run.
  • Homicide or assault resulting from a car crash: Even if you stayed at the scene of the accident and reported it to the police properly, the state will make you carry an SR-22 if there were any deaths or injuries due to a car crash.
  • Second or subsequent conviction for speeding or reckless driving: Speeding means driving any number of miles per hour (mph) over the posted speed limit. Reckless driving occurs when someone is driving 100 mph or faster, or anytime someone is “endangering public lives” by driving under a bet, race, or wager, or for the purpose of making a record.1

New Hampshire requires people convicted of these violations to carry an SR-22 for three years from the date of their conviction, or longer if they have any:

  • Convictions
  • Accidents
  • Forfeitures of bail
  • Unsatisfied judgments

What happens if you drive without car insurance in New Hampshire after needing an SR-22? The state will revoke or suspend your driving privileges until you can provide you have the following liability limits:


Liability coverage pays for the other party’s bodily injuries and property damage only. To cover you and your passengers, you’ll need to purchase collision, comprehensive, and medical payments coverage.

For more information, contact New Hampshire’s Bureau of Financial Responsibility at 603-227-4010.

How to Find Insurance After a Lapse in Coverage

After a lapse in coverage, insurance companies will see you as a high-risk driver, so finding insurance will be more difficult than if you had continuous coverage. However, the process will look the same: Request quotes from multiple companies, read the reviews on, and call to see which company wants you as a customer.


If you’ve been convicted of a DWI, not every company will want you as a customer. Look for the best auto insurance for DUI.

More Car Insurance Laws in New Hampshire

Here is some more information about the rules of the road in the Granite State.

Is Insurance Required in New Hampshire?

Car insurance isn’t required in the state of New Hampshire. Instead, you can prove that you have the money to meet the state’s financial responsibility requirement, which is a total of $100,000 of liability coverage. If you don’t want to get regular insurance, you’ll need to deposit money or securities in the amount of $100,000 to the state treasurer. If you’re going the securities route, you can buy them from a savings bank or from a trust fund.

This isn’t an option for most people, which is probably why 94 percent of New Hampshire’s drivers have purchased car insurance.2 Even though it’s not required, it’s a good idea to carry proof of insurance whenever you’re driving. If you get into an accident, having your insurance information on hand to exchange with the other party will be helpful.

Vehicle Registration

Since the state doesn’t require insurance, you won’t need to show proof of insurance to register your vehicle. Rather, for new registrations, the process is twofold:

  • Town or city: First, you’ll demonstrate your residency in a town or city, show your vehicle title, and pay the town/city fee.
  • State: Then, you or the town/city clerk will complete the state part of the transaction. Again, you’ll have to pay a fee.3

Registration renewals occur at your town or city DMV office only.


Even though it’s not legally required, we recommend full coverage car insurance for all drivers who can’t prove that level of financial responsibility. Liability coverage won’t cover damage to your vehicle or your and your passengers’ medical bills. Even with healthcare coverage, when it comes to insurance, redundancy is key.

Plus, even the most careful drivers can cause an accident, and sometimes it’s impossible to avoid auto theft, vandalism, or inclement weather events that could damage your car. If your car is declared a total loss, insurance could reimburse you for either its actual market value or the amount you’ll need to buy a new car of the current model year. Saving money on insurance now could mean spending thousands of dollars more down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if the person at fault in an accident has no insurance in New Hampshire?

If the person at fault in an accident has no insurance in New Hampshire, they will be responsible to pay out of pocket for the other party’s property damage and medical costs, as well as their own and their passengers.

Is New Hampshire a no-fault insurance state?

No. New Hampshire is an at-fault state for car insurance. This means that drivers can buy medical payments coverage only as opposed to personal injury protection. Medical payments coverage covers only medical costs and not childcare costs or lost wages resulting from an accident.

Do 16-year-olds need car insurance in New Hampshire?

Legally, 16-year-olds do not need car insurance in New Hampshire, as the state doesn’t require it for drivers of any age unless they have to get an SR-22. However, we recommend getting car insurance for 16-year-olds, in particular, as they lack driving experience and are most likely to get into an accident.



  2. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured: $13 Billion Spent in 2016 to Protect Against Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers. Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar 22).

  3. Vehicle Registrations. New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles. (2023).