Since every state has somewhat different laws regarding auto insurance, if you live in New York and operate or have a vehicle registered in the state, you must comply with New York auto insurance laws.

Mandatory Liability Insurance

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) advises that a vehicle registered in the state and driven on a public highway or road in the state must be covered by liability insurance. This is true whether you drive the vehicle or allow someone else to drive it. New York State is a No-Fault state.

Liability insurance must be issued by a company authorized to do business in the state and licensed by the New York State Insurance Department. Coverage must be in the exact name of the registrant. The insurance company must file an electronic notice of the coverage with the DMV. Out-of-state insurance coverage is not acceptable or valid.

New York State Financial Responsibility Law

Vehicles registered outside the state of New York but operated within the state of New York  must comply with the New York state financial responsibility law. This law, in essence, requires liability insurance to protect you and others on the highway who may be involved in a crash with you.

New York State law requires a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 for injury, $50,000/$100,000 for death, and $10,000 for property damage caused by one accident.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The New York State DMV stipulates that vehicles without valid auto insurance must not be driven. If you do drive an uninsured vehicle in the state, you could be arrested, and the vehicle impounded, by a law enforcement officer.

If a vehicle is not insured, the registration will be suspended and you are required to turn in your license plates to the DMV. The suspension period lasts the amount of time that your vehicle remained without liabiity coverage and plates had not been turned in.

In the event the registration suspension period is more than 90 days, your driver’s license will also be suspended. Your license suspension will remain in effect and will not be reinstated until after the end of the registration suspension. The fee to reinstate a suspended driver’s license is $25, payable to the DMV as a license suspension termination fee. For suspensions effective on or after July 6, 2009, the termination fee is $50.

If you were driving without valid New York auto insurance and were involved in a traffic crash – and the DMV receives notification of the incident – your driver’s license and registration will be revoked for at least one year. Your license and registration will also be revoked for at least one year if someone else was driving your uninsured vehicle and was involved in a traffic crash and is convicted of operating without insurance. Penalties are stiff. The traffic court fine for driving without insurance or allowing someone else to drive your uninsured vehicle could be as much as $1,500. There’s also an additional $750 civil penalty fee you’ll  have to pay the DMV to reinstate your license after it’s been revoked.

For more information, see the New York State DMV website.

For more tips on car insurance, visit our section on car insurance where you can get additional tips and insurance quotes.

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