When you are caught driving without insurance in Oregon, the penalties may range from fines to vehicle towing to a suspension of your driving privileges. To prevent being tickets for driving without insurance, you must present proof of insurance that shows you have met the minimum coverage requirements for the state. State minimum requirements include:
- $25,000 per person bodily injury liability
- $50,000 per accident bodily injury liability
- $20,000 per accident property damage
- $15,000 personal injury protection
- $25,000 per person uninsured motorist
- $50,000 per accident uninsured motorist
You will be required to produce proof of these minimums during a traffic stop or when you renew your vehicle registration.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Oregon?
Failure to produce valid insurance is a Class B violation in Oregon. With this type of violation, you may be subject to fines, suspensions, and insurance verification requirements.
According to Wallethub.com, fines in Oregon for driving without insurance are considered the lowest penalty, which comes with a minimum amount of $130. Fines can range up to as high as $1000, and if your case goes to court, you can be fined for any amount up to that point. Some reasons drivers may receive higher fines is if it is a subsequent citation, they were found to not have insurance after being pulled over for reckless driving, or they were uninsured when involved in an accident.
If you enter a No Contest plea in Oregon for driving without insurance, you are offering to resolve the citation with a fine. You will not need to show up to court for this option. You will simply need to send in a letter of explanation and a $260 flat fee, as mentioned on Valuepenguin.com. If the court accepts this, you will be notified, but if they feel the circumstances surrounding the offense warrant more serious consequences, they can still increase your financial sentence.
You can face both suspensions of your driver’s license and your vehicle registration when you drive without insurance. In some cases, an officer may even decide to have our vehicle towed and impounded.
If you are caught without insurance after being involved in an accident, a suspension f your license and registration are likely to occur and stay in full effect for a year. This can occur even if you were found to be not at fault for the accident.
After reinstatement, you will need to pay a $75 fee. If your vehicle were impounded, you would have to pay the administrative, towing, and storage fees associated with the impound, good2go.com states. You will receive a notice within 48 hours of your vehicle being impounded to provide the exact fees needed for the vehicle to be released.
Another penalty that comes with driving without insurance in Oregon is a monthly verification requirement, says the Oregon State Bar. The monthly verification program requires that each month your insurance company must submit Proof of Compliance to the ODOT, which states that you continue to maintain the appropriate insurance coverage after and suspension period has been lifted.
It is important to note that you could still be required to provide some form of verification for insurance in the state of Oregon, even if you have not incurred a violation. Oregon will randomly request verification from drivers to help ensure that the population is maintaining the correct coverage. If you receive this request, you will need to re4psond with proof in 30 days.
What Happens if You’re in an Accident Without Insurance?
While citations can be costly in Oregon for driving without insurance, getting into an accident without insurance can be even more so. To start, you will receive the same citations for driving without insurance, even if you weren’t at fault for the accident.
If you are not at fault for the accident, you may have difficulty obtaining compensation for the damages, as normally, this would fall on your insurance company. The other driver’s company may also use the argument that you were operating the vehicle illegally by not having insurance.
An at-fault accident without insurance can cause even more problems as you will be financially responsible for paying for all of the damage from the accident out of your own pocket, including car repairs and medical bills. These costs can quickly reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Being in an accident without the minimum insurance allows the other driver’s insurance company to file a lawsuit against you for damages. Likewise, the driver of the other vehicle can sue you for lost wages and damages as well. If you are ordered to pay compensation, you could face wage garnishment and even personal bankruptcy. Damages can be even higher if the other driver does not carry personal injury protection or uninsured motorist coverages.
What Is Oregon’s Comparative Negligence System?
Oregon uses a comparative negligence system, which allows the state to consider all of the surrounding factors regarding the accident. This means that while the other driver will bear some responsibility if the accident was their fault, the fact that you were driving without insurance could be considered contributing negligence, which would hinder you from collecting all the damages that you would if you had insurance.
No Pay, No Play
Oregon is a “no pay, no play” state. This means that if you are in an accident where the other driver is at fault but you are uninsured, you will likely have to pay some money out of pocket before being paid for damages. In Oregon, you will not be able to recover non-economical damages, such as payments for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional stress
The only exception to this rule is if the at-fault driver was acting recklessly, with intent, or the accident occurred during a felony.
Reapplying for insurance after a citation for driving without insurance can be costly, as you may be labeled high-risk. Avoid the extra costs of reinstatement, fines, and impound expenses by shopping around to find Oregon insurance rates that you can afford.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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