A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car Insurance is Required in all 50 States
  • There’s a possibility your car will get impounded without it, but it’s not a guarantee
  • There are consequences besides impoundment
  • You’ll be able to get your car out of impoundment, but it won’t be easy
  • You should learn your lesson the first time because they’re not lenient on repeated offenders

Insurance is an unwanted expense you have to pay on a regular basis, whether you want to or not. It could even save your car from getting impounded. Not to mention, other consequences come along with driving without insurance in addition to getting your car towed.

Make sure you’re getting the best rate possible on the insurance you need. Enter your zip code above to begin comparing car insurance.

Insurance Background Information

Insurance is a requirement in all 50 states, though the level of coverage varies from state to state.

For instance, in New York, motorists must have at least:

  • $25,000 for one person for liability coverage for bodily injuries for one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries for all people involved in an accident
  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $50,000 for “no-fault coverage.”

However, according to California’s DMV, drivers must have $15,000 for injury or death for one person and $30,000 for more than one person. Property damage insurance must be at least $5,000, and there isn’t a “no-fault coverage” law in the Golden State.

All drivers must carry an insurance card in their vehicle. If the person is found without the card, the officer may give a person so many days to come up proof of insurance. The car may get impounded, even if the person has insurance but doesn’t have proof.

Fortunately, many police officers are able to look up the information to count as proof.

In some states, such as Pennsylvania, if the person drops his or her insurance or it’s canceled for any reason, the information is relayed to the state, and the person has a certain amount of time to get insurance.

If the person isn’t compliant, he or she loses his or her plates. However, if a cop catches a person without insurance, the consequences tend to be more severe.

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Will the car get impounded?

It’s possible that the car will get impounded if the person doesn’t have insurance, but it’s not a guarantee. Some states, like New York, require the car to be towed in the event the person is pulled over without insurance.

Other times, it’s the police officer’s decision, and if he or she is in a bad mood, you might find yourself getting towed.

Remember to not become argumentative with the officer if you’re caught without insurance. If you’re friendly and compliant, it may work out in your favor, and your car won’t be towed. This is especially the case if you’re close to home.

If you’re breaking various laws while driving without insurance, the officer might not be lenient, and your car will be impounded.

Keep in mind, the officer more than likely won’t discover you don’t have insurance if you’re complying with other laws because you won’t get pulled over.

Whether your car is impounded or not, other consequences may occur. For instance:

  • You may get a hefty fine.
  • Your registration may be suspended
  • You might even lose your privilege to drive for a certain amount of time.

If your car does get impounded, you’ll be responsible for paying to get it out, and this includes all the fees for each day it’s in there. In order to get it out, you’ll have to get insurance on the car.

The first step is to get insurance on your vehicle. Then, you’ll need to take a trip to the impound lot and show proof of insurance. You’ll be asked to show proof of identity as well. You’ll then need to pay all the fees up front before they’ll let you have your car.

What happens with second-time offenders?

The consequences for second-time offenders is usually worse. The first time the person may get out off with a warning and a fine, but if the person is caught for the second time, the car will more than likely get impounded.

And the fines will be much worse the second time around. The person may even end up serving time in jail. This is especially the case if the person has had any other violations.

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