Penalties for driving without insurance in Tennessee

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Tennessee is third in the country with 23.7% of drivers driving a vehicle that does not have insurance. You could face jail time if you are caught driving in Tennessee without insurance. Tennessee, like many other states, has minimum coverage requirements. You may need to show proof of insurance if you are pulled over or in an accident.

Tennessee requires minimum insurance

Tennessee drivers must have minimum liability car insurance on each vehicle they own. Drivers without insurance could be ticketed or face more severe penalties. Tennessee has these liability limits:

  • $25,000 per person to cover bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per accident bodily injury liability
  • $15,000 per accident in property damage liability

If you can show that you have the financial resources to pay the legal obligation, you may be able to satisfy it without having to purchase the minimum insurance. This can be done with the Department of Revenue one of two ways.

  1. You can post a bond for $65,000
  2. Make a $65,000 cash deposit

Be sure to have proof of financial responsibility or insurance when you drive. You could be penalized for driving in Tennessee without insurance.

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Driving without insurance in Tennessee carries severe penalties

Tennessee’s driving record could be a problem if you don’t have insurance or fail to show proof of financial responsibility.

  • You will not be able to renew your driver’s licence until you provide proof of the same.
  • fine for $300
  • Towing a vehicle

Before penalties are levied, the Department of Revenue sends a notification to verify insurance. You have 30 days to respond. You can expect to be penalized if you do not respond within 30 days.

Tennessee’s online insurance verification program charges fees

After driving in Tennessee without insurance, you will be sent a notice. You can then provide proof of financial responsibility or insurance on the Drive Insurance Tennessee website. The notice will require your license plate number and PIN number. Next, you will be asked for proof of exemption or information about your insurance. These can be found on your insurance declarations page. The following fees are assessed if you don’t act.

In an accident and not having insurance

Neglecting to have insurance or getting into an accident in Tennessee could have severe financial consequences. You could be fined and lose your driver’s licence. In addition, you may also have to pay out-of pocket for any injuries or property damage. The consequences could be worse because Tennessee can be considered an at-fault state. A Class A misdemeanor could result in a $2,500 fine and possible jail time.

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Additional fees may be required for court appearances and legal representation. The car insurance company will typically cover representation if you are sued due to an accident. However, you will need to pay for your own representation if auto insurance is not available.

Questions frequently asked

What happens if you give false information about your insurance?

False information about your car in Tennessee is used to avoid penalties or tickets for driving while uninsured. This is insurance fraud. You could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor of providing false information about your car. This could result in up to 11 months in jail, 29 days in prison, and up to $2,500 fines.

What is the cost of car insurance in Tennessee?

The average rate for minimum car insurance is $371 per annum. To satisfy lenders requirements, full coverage may be required if you finance or lease a car. It is more expensive to drive without insurance than if you have car insurance. The average cost for car insurance in Tennessee is around $1,338 per year.

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What happens if I don’t have proof of Tennessee car insurance?

The James Lee Atwood Jr. law was enacted in 2017. It imposes stiffer penalties on those who fail to show proof of insurance at a traffic stop, or at the accident scene. The Class C misdemeanor charge, which can include up to 30 day in jail, was raised from $100 to $300.