Georgia law requires that all drivers must have at least the minimum auto insurance coverage on their vehicles or the driver will be charged with a traffic violation. Georgia has two different offenses that can apply when a person is pulled over without insurance. The first offense is when the driver does not have valid insurance and the second is when the driver does not have proof of insurance. We will discuss the laws surrounding each of these instances and how our Georgia Traffic Attorneys can help.
The first way to violate O.C.G.A. §40-6-10 is by driving without insurance.
O.C.G.A. §40-6-10(b) makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle without adequate insurance on the vehicle. The penalty for violating this statute will be a fine between $200.00 and $1,000.00, or a prison term up to 12 months, or both.
It does not matter if you do not own the vehicle. If you are driving someone else's car, make sure they have the required insurance on it, or you can receive a ticket. Furthermore, it is not a defense that you believed adequate coverage was on the vehicle when it was not.
It is also a crime for a person to knowingly make a false statement concerning insurance coverage. It will be treated as a misdemeanor with a penalty of a fine between $200.00 and $1,000.00 or a prison term not to exceed 12 months, or both.
The second way O.C.G.A. §40-6-10 can be violated is by driving without proof of insurance.
This occurs when a person gets pulled over by an officer and fails to provide proof of insurance to the police officer. They can have valid insurance coverage, but if they do not provide evidence, they will be charged with No Proof of Insurance. However, the maximum fine for this is $25.
If you are in an accident and you do not have insurance, the penalties extend beyond the consequences from the state. You may be facing a civil action that could cost you the assets you have spent a lifetime accumulating. Your home and savings could be subject to forfeiture if you drive without insurance. You also face having your license suspended if you cannot pay for the damages to the other person's vehicle.
What Happens If My Insurance Lapsed?
Many people do not understand the seriousness of letting their insurance lapse. Insurance companies send a notice to the State of Georgia notifying them of the lapse in coverage, which can result in a person having their license suspended. Insurance companies generally give a 30-day grace period. However, if you fail to reinstate your insurance within the 30-day period, then you will have to take steps to reinstate your license. This includes paying a $25 fee for the lapse in the coverage and a $60 reinstatement fee.
How To Avoid Being Charged with No Insurance in Georgia
Some steps you can take to make sure this does not happen to you include:
- Stay up to date on your insurance information. Make sure you make your insurance payments on time and that there is never a lapse in coverage.
- Make sure all of your vehicles are covered by your policy. If you get a new vehicle, you need to add it to your insurance as soon as possible.
- Put insurance information in your car. Have your insurance information easily accessible, so you can find it if pulled over by an officer.
- Be polite to the officer. If you know you have car insurance but can't find your card for some reason, being respectful to the officer may convince him not to write you a ticket. He may just give you a warning instead.
If you have been charged with driving without insurance or proof of insurance, call the Law Offices of Richard Lawson now. We will put our decades of experience to work to get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Remember, being pulled-over for any reason can draw attention to you and may result in a DUI investigation. Do not assume your case is hopeless! Contact us today and and Georgia Traffic Lawyer will discuss your case