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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Driving without insurance: An extreme risk in New York

No one should ever drive without insurance. Driving without insurance is an incredible risk. If you get into an accident, there's a potential for you to face a lawsuit. If you're stopped by police for another traffic issue, you could face the loss of your license and other penalties.

Part of maintaining your vehicle is keeping car insurance on it. If you do not have insurance, you are required to turn in your registration and license plates before your insurance expires, according to the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code. Your vehicle registration is immediately suspended when your policy lapses, and the insurer does send an electronic notice to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

You will have to pay fees to get new insurance if you wait longer than 90 days to do so. If your registration is suspended after 90 days, your license will also be suspended, meaning that you cannot drive legally until you obtain insurance and a reinstated registration and license.

If you are caught driving without insurance, your license will be revoked for at least a year. You will spend time in jail or be required to pay fines between $150 and $1,500. You will also have to pay a civil penalty to the DMV once the license suspension ends.

These are only a few things you'll need to consider if your insurance lapses. If you end up in an accident, you could end up having to pay for all property damage and costs out of pocket. Your attorney can help you fight tickets and fees associated with not carrying insurance, and you may be able to fight a claim that an accident was your fault. Everyone's situation is different, but you do have a right to defense if you face a charge.

Source: The Balance, "Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in New York," Emily Delbridge, accessed May 26, 2017

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