There are about 32 million uninsured drivers in the U.S. That’s about four times the population of Arizona. A car accident with an uninsured driver could end badly.
So let’s say you’re on a visit to Phoenix. As your friend shows you around town, his car gets involved in an accident. You then realize your friend’s car has no coverage. Settling on what could be at stake and steps to take after the accident could be very confusing.
No doubt, you’ll need help from the best Phoenix injury lawyers. However, before contacting one, we’ll advise reading this useful guide on automobile insurance in Phoenix, Arizona.
Can I Drive Without Insurance in Arizona?
Arizona is one of several states in the U.S. where not having any form of auto insurance is a civil violation. Section 28-4135 of Arizona’s State Legislature deems driving without insurance illegal.
The law spells out all the driving requirements for Arizona’s roads. Every driver in Arizona must have insurance and carry proof that they do at all times when driving. This proof can be a hardcopy certificate or a digital file on your phone or any wireless communication device.
Keep in mind that authorities have no right of access beyond the insurance proof. You will have to give consent to any officer before they can access other personal documents.
Legal Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Arizona
Studies show that approximately 12% of Arizona’s drivers have no form of auto insurance. Almost all the several legal ramifications of uninsured driving from other states also apply to Arizona.
After an accident, law enforcers often query your insurance status. And drivers without appropriate insurance end up with tickets or citations.
Some of the penalties legally applicable to insurance offenders include:
For first-time offenders who cannot provide insurance after an accident, the law mandates you to pay a fine of $500. And the insurance offender will have to sit out of all driving activities for at least three months. All essential driving credentials, including driver’s license and plates, will be suspended during the waiting period.
After the period, Arizona’s traffic laws mandate offenders to pay an additional $35 to reinstate their credentials. Thus $10 for the driver’s license and $25 for the plates. It can get more costly when the state mandates offenders to provide an SR-22 insurance guarantee for up to two years.
An SR-22 is mandatory for U.S. citizens who need to reinstate driving privileges after moving violations, including driving under the influence or without insurance. On average, offenders may have to pay about $230 monthly or an annual rate of $2760 to file an SR-22.
The $500 fine jumps to $750 for second-time offenders caught within three years after their first citation. And then the other penalties kick in but with more extended waiting periods.
The state can suspend a second offender’s driving credentials for up to six months. After another insurance offense case, the state may require second-time offenders to file an SR-22 for up to two years.
Third-time insurance offenders in Arizona caught within three years risk losing their driver’s license, registration, and license plates for an entire year.
Additionally, the law mandates them to pay a $1000 fine to the state. After the waiting period, they may also need to file an SR-22 insurance guarantee for two years to ensure compliance and financial responsibility.
What Happens If I Get Into a Car Accident Without Insurance?
In almost all U.S. states, driving with no insurance doesn’t legally tick as a criminal offense. However, it can be one of the most expensive civil violations to finance.
When you get into a car accident without insurance, authorities must first ascertain your insurance coverage. There may be some cases where the proof of insurance responsibility doesn’t apply to the driver.
Take test-driving a car, for instance. In such cases, all the responsibility goes to the dealership of the uninsured vehicle.
Aside from these exceptional cases, all first, second, and third penalties apply to insurance offenders. The only time the state can reduce or waive the penalty is when offenders prove that they haven’t been convicted in the past three years.
Also, whether or not they have satisfied Arizona’s six-month auto policy requirement counts.
Depending on the accident’s severity, you may have to make out-of-pocket settlements to sort out repair and replacement costs. The other driver has all the right to sue if you fail to comply.
Let Us Assist With Your Claim
Generally, driving without insurance is a bad idea, even in no-fault states. Out of pocket settlements and other related costs may not be your only bother. Accident deaths can extensively aggravate your case.
Whether you’re driving or merely enjoying the ride, it pays to ensure you’re entirely covered on Arizona’s roads. Because it can be more frustrating if you have very little knowledge about all these technicalities.
Our team of professionals is well versed with all the necessary due diligence to guarantee your peace of mind as a road user in Arizona.
Unfortunately, you can’t be too careful on the road. Accidents are inevitable. But with insurance and professional help from our Phoenix injury lawyers, dealing with the aftermath of accidents can be a little more manageable.