Written by Stryder Wegener
If you got pulled over and you weren’t able to show the officer proof that you have car insurance, chances are you left the scene with a hefty ticket. It is possible to lower, or even dismiss, the penalties of a no proof of insurance ticket. Contact the Seattle traffic lawyers at Emerald City Law Group to learn more about your options. Schedule your free, initial consultation today by calling 206-973-0407, or by reaching out through our online form.
Car Insurance Requirements in Washington
Like most states, Washington requires drivers to carry a certain amount of auto insurance, should they get into an accident. Per the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.29.090, the dollar amounts include:
- At least $25,000 for bodily injury costs for one person in a single accident
- At least $50,000 for bodily injury costs for two or more people in a single accident
- At least $10,000 for destruction of another person’s property in a single accident
Considering the expenses involved with an accident, such as hospital stays, rehabilitation costs, and car repairs, your coverage can disappear. Having no insurance as the at-fault driver means you will likely be sued for these bills, meaning you will have to add attorney’s fees and court costs to damages awarded to the other driver. Many drivers in Seattle cannot afford to pay these fees out of pocket.
On top of these costs, the court is likely to suspend your license if you did not have insurance. Not being able to drive can make it difficult to get to work and earn the money you need to pay off your debts.
Penalties in Washington for Driving Without Insurance
Driving without insurance is a secondary offense, which means a Seattle police officer would have pulled you over for a primary offense, like speeding, and found you couldn’t produce proof that you are insured. A no proof of insurance ticket can cost around $550 or more. You may also receive a ticket for the primary offense, which increases your overall costs. Additionally, the court imposes a mandatory $25 administrative fee to all offenders.
Court costs and tickets may not be the only expense you face. If you do have insurance, your insurer may raise your rates due to the accident. Auto insurance amounts are decided by several factors, but moving violations and other driving-related offenses are chief among them. A few tickets can raise your car insurance rates for several years.
What to Do About Your No Proof of Insurance Ticket
When you are pulled over and unable to show proof of your insurance, the court will assume you are not properly insured. However, if you do have insurance, but were unable to prove it at the time, you can appeal your ticket in court. You will need to provide proof that you were insured at the time you received your ticket, and the court will dismiss the fine. You will still be on the hook for the administrative fee.
If you did not have insurance at the time your ticket was issued, don’t worry – you may still be able to make things right. Although you violated the law at the time of your infraction, you can still get insured after and provide proof of your current insurance. The court may accept this proof and reduce the amount you owe in relation to your no proof of insurance ticket.
Call a Seattle Traffic Lawyer Today
While it may seem like such a small offense, a no proof of insurance ticket can make a big impact on your wallet and your driver’s license. If you find yourself in this situation, call Emerald City Law Group right away. We can review your case and advise you on what to do to minimize the damages you might incur. For a no-cost consultation, contact us today at 206-973-0407.