Driving without insurance is a risky proposition in Arizona. If a driver in this state decides to operate without insurance, they could face a multitude of consequences. This can include traffic citations, major fines, license suspensions, and a requirement to purchase an expensive SR-22 certificate. Additionally, if a driver is involved in an accident and does not have insurance, they could be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages sustained by other parties involved.
Here, we want to discuss the auto insurance requirements in Arizona as well as the possible consequences of failing to obtain the required insurance.
Arizona Car Insurance Requirements
Just like every other state in the country, Arizona is allowed to set requirements for the types of insurance and the minimums that drivers must carry in order for them to be legal on the roadway. Every driver must have insurance in Arizona, including the following types and minimums:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: Minimum $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: Minimum $15,000
You will notice that drivers in Arizona are not required to carry uninsured or underinsured bodily injury coverage. Some states do require this coverage, and it is strongly recommended that drivers in Arizona consider adding this to their policy. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not terribly expensive and is incredibly beneficial if you are struck by an uninsured driver or driver with an inadequate amount of coverage to pay for your expenses in an accident.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Arizona
Data available from the Insurance Information Institute shows that, during a recent reporting year, 13% of all motorists in the United States were operating while uninsured. In Arizona, approximately 12% of all drivers operate in this state without insurance.
Arizona law enforcement officers can ask for proof of insurance during traffic stops or in the aftermath of a person being involved in a car accident. If a driver cannot show proof of insurance, they will very likely be issued a citation. If a driver does not have insurance coverage, they can face the following penalties:
- First offense. Failure to show valid proof of insurance the first time will result in a person paying a $500 fine. The state will suspend the person’s driver’s license, registration, and license plates for three months. Additionally, there will be a $10 fee to reinstate the license and a $25 fee to get the registration and license plate back. The violator may also have to ask their insurance to file an SR-22 certificate for two years. This can become incredibly costly.
- Second offense. Failure to show valid proof of insurance for the second time within three years of a previous insurance citation will result in a fine of $750. The driver’s license, registration, and license plates will be suspended for six months. The same fees mentioned above will apply, as well as the possible requirement to file an SR-22 certificate for two years.
- Third and subsequent offense. Failure to show valid proof of insurance for the third or subsequent time within three years of the two previous insurance violations will result in a $1,000 fine. Additionally, the driver’s license, registration, and vehicle license plates will be taken for one year. The same fees mentioned above will apply, as well as the requirement to file an SR-22 certificate for two years.
The state of Arizona does allow the possibility of reducing or eliminating the fine for driving without insurance. Upon conviction, the state may reduce or waive the penalty if you present:
- Proof that you have not been convicted of this offense in the last three years period
- Proof that you have purchased a six-month auto insurance policy that meets the Arizona minimum requirements.
If you or someone you know have been injured in an auto accident, contact a Phoenix personal injury lawyer to discuss possible compensation.