Uninsured Vehicles And Drivers

New York takes automobile insurance seriously.  The Motor Vehicle Financial Security Act imposes serious penalties for drivers who fail to maintain liability insurance.  

Lapsed Insurance

Owners of motor vehicles registered in New York must maintain liability insurance at all times, even if the vehicle is not actually driven on the road.  Your insurance and registration must be under the exact same name and address, and your insurance provider must be approved by New York state.  Out of state insurance for a New York registered vehicle is not acceptable.  

The New York DMV can suspend your registration and driver license should your insurance lapse (VTL 318).  An insurance lapse typically begins from the date your insurance is cancelled and runs until:

  • You obtain new insurance
  • Your old insurance is reinstated
  • Your registration expires without renewal
  • You sell or transfer the vehicle
  • There is a theft or loss of the vehicle
  • The vehicle is seized or impounded
  • The vehicle is repossessed
  • You register the vehicle in another state

The DMV can excuse a lapse if you can provide sufficient proof of hospitalization and nonuse of the vehicle or sufficient proof that the vehicle was stored in a commercial garage, commercial storage area, or a registered repair shop.

The penalty for allowing your insurance to lapse depends on the duration of the lapse.  If the period of lapse is 90 days or less, you will have two options.  The first is to surrender your registration and plates to the DMV for a period of time equaling the lapse in coverage.  The second option is to eliminate the suspension by paying a civil penalty.  The penalty amount is based on the length of the lapse, and calculated as follows:

  • 1 - 30 days = penalty of $8/day
  • 31 - 60 days = penalty of $10/day
  • 61 - 90 days = penalty of $12/day

The option of paying a penalty instead of surrendering your plates can only be used once every 36 months.  If the period of lapse is 91 days or more, both your license and registration will be suspended for a period of time equaling the lapse in insurance coverage.  You will be required to surrender your plates, and pay a suspension termination fee to get your driver license back after the suspension period has expired.

Driving Without Insurance Tickets

It is an infraction under New York VTL 319 for the owner of a motor vehicle to operate or permit another to operate it without insurance coverage.  It is also an infraction for any non-owner to operate a motor vehicle he or she knows to be without insurance coverage. 

The court imposed penalties if convicted are severe:

  • Up to a $1,500 fine
  • Up to 15 days in jail

In addition, the DMV will impose its own penalties if convicted.  They include:

  • A civil penalty of $750
  • Minimum 1 year driver license revocation

Even if you are not charged in court of violating VTL 319, the DMV can on its own initiative find that you have violated VTL 319.  However, you have the right to demand an administrative hearing on the issue unless you were both the owner and operator of the uninsured vehicle.  Imposition of the civil penalty and license revocation will be stayed until the hearing.  The civil penalty and revocation will be imposed by the DMV unless the hearing officer finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the non-owner/operator of the vehicle did not know that the vehicle was not insured or that the owner/non-operator did not expressly or impliedly permit operation of the vehicle.

Contact An Uninsured Driver Ticket Attorney

Contact the Shelton Law firm if you receive an uninsured driver ticket.  The Shelton Law Firm knows how to defend clients charged with uninsured drivers violations.  With our money back guarantee you can relax and we will do all the work.  We will go to court on your behalf and fight to avoid suspension or revocation, reduce your points, reduce your fines and avoid increases in your insurance rate.  With the Shelton Law Firm on your side, you have the peace of mind to know that your uninsured driver ticket attorney will zealously defend your rights.