Is it Legal to Drive Without Insurance in Nevada?

Like all other states across the country it is, indeed, illegal to drive without insurance coverage in Nevada. Any offense that occurs while you are behind the wheel without proper auto liability insurance can be charged as a misdemeanor. In fact, depending on the number of days you are driving around without proper insurance (i.e., your policy lapsed) an uninsured or underinsured driver can face monetary penalties between $250.00 and $1,000.00. You also run the risk of having your Nevada driver’s license revoked, with reinstatement costs ranging from $250.00 to $750.00. Nevada law has three levels of offenses that may be charged against an uninsured driver.

Not surprisingly, it is much easier to search for and purchase a Nevada car insurance policy than it is for you to deal with the charges and penalties resulting from not being properly insured.

Insurance Coverage is the Law in Nevada

It is important to understand that the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (NDMV) can determine whether or not a motorist is complying with the state’s insurance requirements. The NDMV does so through its Liability Insurance Validation Electronically (LIVE) system. Once a car is identified as possibly not being insured, a written notice will be sent to the owner of record asking to clarify the status of the auto insurance policy. If you or someone you know receives one of these notices in the mail, you should immediately respond with proof of proper insurance coverage within 15 days.

Beyond this written notice, any law enforcement officer who stops you for a traffic violation -- or even at a checkpoint -- has the authority to ask for proof of insurance. He or she can also check and verify your vehicle’s insurance status on Nevada’s LIVE system. Proof of insurance includes a valid insurance ID card or the declaration page of your car’s active insurance policy. LIVE validates the auto insurance liability coverage status of every vehicle that is registered with the state. LIVE can also determine how many days your insurance policy has lapsed, including any days you were without coverage before you were even cited by a Nevada law enforcement officer.

Potential Penalties in Nevada for Not Having Insurance

If you are facing your first offense of a lapse in your car insurance coverage in Nevada, it is important to know that state law has different levels of fines depending on the number days you have been driving uninsured. The first 30 days of car insurance lapse results in a loss of your driving privileges, without a monetary fine. If you go 31 to 90 days without insurance coverage, you will be fined $250.00. For 91 to 180 days without coverage, the monetary fine is $500.00. Finally, drivers who have been operating their vehicle for 181 days or more without proper insurance coverage will face a $1,000.00 fine.

Beyond monetary penalties, the individual’s driver’s license will be suspended until acceptable proof of insurance is provided to the NDMV. If you have been convicted of having your car insurance coverage lapse for more than 91 days, you will have to have your insurer file an SR-22 form in order to reinstate your license. The SR-22, which raises your insurance premiums, must stay on your driving record for a minimum of three years.

In short, driving without insurance is illegal in Nevada. If you have more questions about Nevada’s car insurance requirements or any other legal question contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Parry & Pfau today.

(image courtesy of Cara Fuller)