Driving Without Insurance in Minnesota, or “Failure to Provide Proof of Insurance” (aka no proof of insurance) is a misdemeanor crime.
Penalties: driving with no proof of insurance
A common driving offense, the maximum penalty is 90 days jail and $1,000 fine.
If convicted, the court will also “certify” the conviction to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. And Minn DPS will then:
- put the conviction on driver’s license record,
- revoke the vehicle registration, and
- suspend your driver’s license.
If you then drive without a valid license, you can face a driving after suspension charge. Minnesota DPS requires proof of insurance prior to license reinstatement. See, Minnesota Statutes Section 169.797.
So the best plan is to have car insurance for every driver and vehicle driven in Minnesota.
Plan B: after driving without insurance ticket
But what if something goes wrong with that plan; and you get a traffic ticket for no proof of insurance? The first thing to do is to get insurance coverage for that vehicle and driver.
Getting insurance coverage after the violation will not be a legal defense to the criminal charge. But it will help persuade a prosecutor or judge to exercise leniency.
The defense goal for most people in a Driving Without Insurance case in Minnesota is to prevent a conviction. After all, if there is no conviction; the court cannot “certify a conviction” to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. So, it would not:
- go on the driver’s license record,
- trigger a license suspension or
- vehicle registration revocation.
Avoiding jail for repeat offenders
With multiple prior convictions for driving without insurance, judges may sentence the repeat offender to executed jail time. So in that situation, the defense goal may become to reduce or avoid jail time.
“Should I hire a lawyer?”
Hiring a good defense attorney to defend you will cost money. But in the long run, a lawyer may be cheaper than a driving without insurance conviction.
The cost of losing your license for 30 day or more, can cause employment problems. And for repeat offenders, the jail time can be costly as well. Bringing a good lawyer with you to court can send the right message. Show you’re taking this seriously. And you fully intend to drive within the laws of Minnesota from that day forward.