Driving without insurance in Utah is a serious traffic violation. At any time, a driver must have a minimum level of coverage for the specific vehicle regardless of its ownership status. You can’t tell when you’ll meet a traffic officer or accidentally cause a collision, hence it’s best to stay insured.
A Look into the Required Minimum Insurance in Utah
All drivers in Utah need to have the following in their coverage:
- $15,000 property damage: This is the sum of money that an insurance provider uses in settling damages caused after a collision. It caters to the hit car’s property and the surrounding items like perimeter walls or fences.
- $65,000 bodily injury on each accident: The amount is paid out to injured persons by the insurance company per accident.
- $25,000 personal injury: This covers injuries sustained by passengers, drivers, or pedestrians.
Utah being a no-fault state, motorists should carry their personal injury protection (PIP) cover with a minimum of $3000. This cover is important in covering medical bills regardless of who caused the accident.
According to the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles, if the treatment costs exceed the $3000 threshold, the injured persons can file a third-party claim. This way, the court shall compel the insurance covering the at-fault driver to cover your medical expenses or reimburse additional costs.
Insurance Laws in Utah
Operating a vehicle without insurance on any road in Utah is illegal. According to Utah’s Motor Vehicles Traffic Code, drivers must maintain no-fault vehicle insurance and have a copy while driving. Besides an insurance card, drivers can produce evidence in an electronic format through a smartphone.
Visitors from other states whose physical presence exceeds 90 days over the last year must also get a valid no-fault coverage in Utah.
Here are vehicles that are exempted from acquiring insurance in Utah:
- Certified school buses
- Motorized wheelchairs
- Farm equipment
- Vehicles classified as off-highway
How Does the State Track Your Insurance History?
Police officers have a right to ask for proof of insurance at any checkpoint, accident scene, or traffic stop. The officers will use your driver’s license to verify the validity of the coverage using the electronic monitoring system called Insure-Rite to track insurance policies. Drivers found without valid coverage for over three months receive a notice from the department of public safety and should act before the end of 15 days to avoid penalties.
As the Zebra states, further delay in sending proof of insurance will prompt the state to penalize you with a fine of $400 and apply a $50 surcharge for the first offense. A $1000 penalty and an additional $50 surcharge applies to the second and subsequent offenses.
Consequences for Driving Without Insurance in Utah
Regardless of who caused the accident, you must have minimum insurance coverage for your vehicle. Here are the consequences of driving without insurance while in Utah:
- You’ll pay substantial fines: First-time offenders part with a $400 fine, whereas second and subsequent time offenders receive a $1000 ticket. However, first-time offenders can have the penalty reduced by acquiring coverage before the scheduled hearing date.
- A high-risk driver: Driving without insurance gets you labeled as a high-risk driver. This raises your insurance costs and may deny you from getting coverage from the best insurance providers.
- Suspension of license and registration: You risk the suspension of your license for over one year. For its reinstatement, you must go through probation, pay reinstatement fees, go through a defensive driving course, and pass an exam.
- Vehicle impoundment: Police officers have strict instructions to tow uninsured vehicles at the driver’s expense.
- Seizure of assets: Compensating affected persons is a costly affair that can force the judge to order a seizure of your assets. According to ValuePenguin, the severity of injuries and property damage determines the amount of money required for compensation.
- A looming jail term: Repeat offenses warrant arrest and jail time, especially when involved in serious accidents. The maximum jail term for driving without a license in Utah is 180 days.
- License and registration reinstatement: To reinstate your car registration and license, you’ll pay a reinstatement fee of $100 and $40, respectively. Prior to the reinstatement, a driver must file and maintain an SR-22 form for three years.
If caught without insurance, buy coverage immediately and request your insurance provider file the SR-22 form for you before a court appearance. Although the fine may not be removed entirely, they may lower it to $300.
Requirements for a Reinstatement
Filing the SR-22 form is mandatory for a driver in need of license reinstatement. With a valid policy and settlement of violation fines, you’ll be ready to drive again. To reinstate your license, you need the following:
- Ownership documents for the tagged vehicle as per the ticket
- Current ID with a clear photo
- Paid fines and reinstatement fees
- Current insurance coverage
If you were not insured at the time you caused the collision, you must fulfill the set suspension period before proceeding with the reinstatement.
The Impacts of Getting into a Collision With No Insurance
Driving without insurance is risky for Utah motorists. Unlike the insured driver, you’ll settle property damage and pay for treatment bills with no one to help you out. Financing all the damages out of pocket is expensive and can lead to asset confiscation.
The magnitude of the accident will determine the type of penalties imposed. Some of the severe repercussions of driving without insurance in Utah include jail terms and vehicle impoundment. Also, providing false insurance is treated as fraud and might land you in more legal trouble.
The repercussions of driving without insurance are more significant than the cost of getting minimum coverage. Before driving out of your parking lot, confirm whether the coverage for your specific car is still valid to avoid issues.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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