You can drive without insurance in California if you provide proof of “financial responsibility” instead. To show proof of financial responsibility in California, you will need to place a $35,000 cash deposit in order to get a self-insurance certificate from the DMV or a “surety bond” from a company licensed in California. You must carry proof of either insurance or financial responsibility in your vehicle at all times.
Driving without insurance in California generally leads to a fine of $100-$200 for a first offense. A second offense within three years triggers a fine of $200-$500. California police can also impound the uninsured driver’s car.
These fines are just the beginning, though. California adds a series of extra charges to all tickets, including a county penalty fee, a state penalty fee, and more. Consequently, a $500 base fine can easily rise to a total of $2,500. Plus, you can have your license suspended for up to four years if you get into an accident while you don’t have insurance.
Even if you have a history of driving without insurance, you can still save on your premium by comparing quotes from the cheapest insurance companies in California. For more information, check out WalletHub’s complete guide to cheap car insurance in California.
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