The State of California currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability insurance. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle. California drivers are required to show their insurance info when requested by an officer, renewing their registration, involved in an accident, within 30 days of registering a new vehicle, or 45 days of the cancellation of a policy for a currently registered vehicle.
The State of California minimum liability amounts are as follows:
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add collision and comprehensive coverage to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
The penalties for driving without insurance in California are:
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. California does not require UM/UIM coverage.
Some states have “No-Fault” laws where a policy holder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. California is not a “No-Fault” state.
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. California does not require drivers to purchase PIP insurance.
An SR-22 form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. California requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for California are:
For more information, please contact California Department of Insurance: 1-800-927-HELP or visit their website at www.insurance.ca.gov.