Almost every state mandates that drivers have auto insurance. Oklahoma requires drivers to have liability car insurance. It is not just a legal requirement but a crucial safety net for drivers.
Unfortunately, there is a significant number of uninsured vehicles on Oklahoma roads, leading to serious consequences. According to the Oklahoma Insurance Department, around 13.4% of drivers in the state lack proper auto insurance coverage.
In this article, we will delve into the implications of driving without insurance in Oklahoma, from the mandatory requirements to the potential penalties and financial risks involved. By understanding these aspects, you can make informed decisions to protect yourself and others on the road.
Oklahoma’s Mandatory Insurance Requirements
To ensure the safety of all drivers and passengers, Oklahoma has specific requirements regarding car insurance coverage. Under state law, all drivers must carry a minimum level of liability coverage. This includes:
- bodily injury liability – which will help pay for the injuries and damages of the other driver(s) and passengers if you are at fault in a car accident
- property damage liability – which pays for another driver’s vehicle, damage to houses, fences, lampposts, mailboxes, and some legal fees or legal defense
The minimum liability coverage required in Oklahoma is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Oklahoma
In some states, driving without car insurance is a misdemeanor that can land you in jail. Oklahoma, Kansas, Idaho, Michigan, and Kentucky are just a few of the states that may impose jail time for driving uninsured.
You should know that Oklahoma launched the Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Diversion Program (UVED) in 2018 to capture and register uninsured drivers. The program works with a statewide camera network, so driving without coverage is not really an alternative.
Driving without insurance in Oklahoma can result in severe penalties. Whether it’s your first offense or subsequent violations, the consequences can have a significant impact on your finances, driving privileges, and even freedom. Let’s take a closer look at the penalties you may face.
Fines and Jail Time
Whether you are caught driving without insurance for the first time, or it’s your second or subsequent offense, you may face a fine of up to $250, serve jail time of up to 30 days, or even both. You could also get a moving violation on your permanent driving record.
Driving without insurance in an accident
Regardless of fault, the accident has to be reported to the DMV if it resulted in injury, death or property damage exceeding $300. If you don’t have car insurance, you may face the following consequences:
- Hefty fines
- Mandatory one-year license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment
- Maintain an SR-22 and liability insurance for three years
Driving without insurance at a checkpoint
On top of the fine or jail time, your license plate would be immediately confiscated. License and registration could be suspended after 10 days of not complying.
What happens if I get my license suspended?
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) offers a modified driver’s license option for individuals whose licenses are suspended. By requesting a $175 modified driver’s license, you can continue driving to work during the suspension period. However, it’s important to note that accepting a modified driver’s license means waiving your rights to dispute the suspension through a hearing.
To have your driving privileges reinstated after the suspension period, certain requirements must be met. This includes paying a $300 reinstatement fee and a $125 administrative fee to the sheriff’s office. Additionally, you must present the court with a current auto insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum liability requirements. It’s worth mentioning that you won’t need to have an SR-22 form on file, alleviating that specific requirement.
Are There Other States That Will Suspend My License for Driving Without Insurance in Oklahoma?
Yes. Forty-four states suspend licenses for driving without car insurance.
The Financial Responsibility Law in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s Financial Responsibility Law is designed to ensure that drivers can take financial responsibility for any damages or injuries they may cause in an accident. It sets the minimum liability coverage requirements for drivers to maintain adequate protection.
Minimum Liability Coverage Requirements
To comply with Oklahoma’s Financial Responsibility Law, drivers must carry liability insurance with minimum coverage limits of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. These minimums provide a basic level of protection, but it’s advisable to consider higher coverage limits to safeguard your assets and personal finances in case of a severe accident.
Providing Proof of Insurance to Authorities
In Oklahoma, law enforcement officers may request proof of insurance during routine traffic stops or following an accident. It is crucial to keep an up-to-date proof of insurance card or electronic proof readily available to provide to authorities when required. Failure to provide proof of insurance may result in penalties and complications, even if you are insured but unable to present the necessary documentation.
Consequences of Uninsured Motorist Accidents in Oklahoma
Uninsured motorist accidents have far-reaching consequences, not only for the at-fault driver but also for all parties involved.
Legal Consequences for At-Fault Uninsured Motorists
If you cause an accident while driving without insurance, you may be held personally liable for the damages and injuries you cause. This can result in costly legal battles and potential judgments against your assets, making it crucial to have adequate insurance coverage to protect yourself and your financial well-being.
Effects on Insurance Rates for All Drivers Involved
Uninsured motorist accidents can have ripple effects on insurance rates for all parties involved. Even if you are not at fault, your insurance premiums may increase due to the higher risk associated with uninsured motorist accidents. Therefore, maintaining proper insurance coverage not only protects you legally but also helps maintain reasonable insurance rates for yourself and others.
Financial Impacts of Uninsured Motorist Accidents
In an uninsured motorist accident, the financial burden of repairs, medical bills, and other damages can fall squarely on your shoulders. Without insurance coverage, you may be responsible for these costs out of pocket, potentially leading to financial hardship.
Avoiding Penalties and Consequences
It is essential to take proactive steps to ensure you are adequately covered and compliant with the state’s insurance laws. Consider the following strategies:
Obtaining Proper Insurance Coverage
Research and obtain auto insurance coverage that meets or exceeds Oklahoma’s minimum requirements. Reach out to insurance providers to explore available options and find a policy that suits your needs and budget.
Remember, having insurance is the law, but it also protects you in case of an accident. Your car insurance will cover damages done to your vehicle, other people’s property, and even bodily injuries. Liability car insurance is mandatory, but you can add comprehensive, collision, and uninsured motorist coverage to your policy for more protection.
Understanding and Complying with Oklahoma’s Insurance Laws
Take the time to understand the specifics of Oklahoma’s insurance laws and requirements. Educate yourself about the mandatory liability coverage limits, proof of insurance requirements, and penalties for driving without insurance in Oklahoma. By being well-informed, you can navigate the insurance landscape confidently and avoid unnecessary complications.
Strategies to Lower Car Insurance Rates
While maintaining proper insurance coverage is crucial, it’s also important to explore strategies to lower your car insurance rates. Consider factors such as your driving record, vehicle safety features, deductible choices, and possible discounts for which you may be eligible, like attending a defensive driving class, or bundling multiple insurance policies with the same provider. By taking advantage of available discounts and driving responsibly, you can potentially reduce your insurance premiums while maintaining adequate coverage.
I Have Tickets and a DUI, Can I Still Get Reliable Car Insurance?
The Importance of Having Auto Insurance in Oklahoma
Maintaining proper car insurance coverage is not only a legal obligation but a responsible choice that safeguards your financial well-being and protects others on the road. Getting reliable and affordable car insurance is easier than you think.
Freeway can help you get back on the road quickly. We provide affordable coverage for all drivers. Let us help you find the Oklahoma auto insurance you need today.