Posted by Jim Yeargan in Jim's Blog on May 9, 2018
Getting motor vehicle insurance is one of the first things that a new car owner must do before driving the car home. Once you have purchased your car in Georgia, you must maintain insurance coverage on it in order to operate it legally. Unfortunately, some car owners make the mistake of letting their insurance coverage lapse. While it is possible that a financial emergency or other problem may impact your ability to pay for coverage, there are penalties associated with failing to maintain insurance. Being aware of these three things every Georgia driver should know about driving without insurance will help you understand why operating an uninsured motor vehicle is never a good idea.
Once your vehicle’s insurance coverage lapses, the lack of coverage is reported to the Georgia department of revenue. If you do not maintain at least liability insurance on your vehicle, your registration will be suspended. This means you cannot operate your vehicle legally within the state of Georgia and driving without a valid registration will lead to additional penalties than those associated with not having current liability coverage.
You Might Get Towed
If you are pulled over in Georgia for driving without any insurance, the police officer can do more than just issue you a warning or citation. Your vehicle can be towed and impounded for driving without insurance. When this happens, you will have to pay the towing and impound fees along with motor vehicle insurance. Proof of insurance is required before you can get your vehicle from the impound lot. A person who is already struggling to pay monthly liability insurance premiums can rarely afford the high fees charged by most towing companies.
The Fines are Expensive
After you get caught driving without insurance, the fees add up very quickly. There is a $25.00 fee simply for letting your liability coverage lapse. If you do not pay the insurance lapse fee and get your insurance reinstated in a timely manner, then your registration is canceled and you will have to pay a reinstatement fee. The first two times your insurance is reinstated, the fee is $60.00, but after the second offense the fee jumps to $160.00. Tickets for driving without insurance vary, but on average expect to pay $185.00 plus any fees charged by a third-party towing and impound company.
Know Your Rights
Driving without insurance and being pulled over can quickly turn into a financial nightmare. Paying the costs associated with getting coverage and keeping your registration current is often hard enough without the added burden of tickets or towing fees.
Failing to pay your tickets in a timely manner or not showing up for court can lead to the loss of your driver’s license and additional charges if you continue driving.
If you or someone close to you is trying to deal with the consequences of driving without insurance, consider calling Yeargan & Kert. Our attorneys work hard to protect your rights and ensure than you are not overwhelmed. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation so that we can begin discussing your legal needs.