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Consequences of Driving Without Car Insurance in Kentucky

April 22, 2024

Most people understand that they need to have insurance before they can drive legally on the roadways in Kentucky. Not only is auto insurance required, but it is your protection. Kentucky is what is known as a choice “no-fault” car insurance state. For drivers who choose no-fault insurance, they will turn to their own insurance carrier to cover their medical bills regardless of who is at fault for the crash. However, these drivers will not be able to file a lawsuit for any pain and suffering damages. Drivers can opt out of the no-fault system and choose a traditional insurance type of coverage, and they will retain the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

However, drivers who choose to operate without insurance could end up in serious trouble. Not only will they have no protection in the event a crash occurs, but they could face legal consequences at the hands of a Lexington injury lawyer.

What Are the Kentucky Car Insurance Minimums?

Consequences of Driving Without Car Insurance in Kentucky

In Kentucky, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage if they use the no-fault system. Aside from the PIP coverage, the state requires drivers to carry the following minimum liability coverage:

  • $25,000 for injuries per person in an accident you cause
  • $50,000 total for all injuries in an accident you cause
  • $10,000 for property damage resulting from an accident you cause

Kentucky Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

There are two ways that the state of Kentucky will find out whether a driver has insurance or not. First, if you are pulled over by law enforcement, they will ask for proof of insurance. Second, if your insurance lapses, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s monitoring body will be notified. The penalties for a first offense of driving without insurance include the following:

  • A fine ranging from $500 to $1,000
  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Registration suspension for one year or until proof of insurance is submitted
  • $40 fee for registration reinstatement in addition to court fines

For those who receive a second or subsequent driving without insurance offense, the following penalties will apply:

  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,500
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Registration suspension one to two years (two years for every offense after the second)
  • $40 fee for registration reinstatement in addition to court fines and requirement to re-take driving exam is license suspension is over one year

In many states, drivers who have their driver’s license suspended are required to obtain SR-22 filing for their insurance before their license can be reinstated. That is not a requirement in Kentucky.

Moving to Kentucky – What Should You Do With Your Insurance?

If you are planning to move to Kentucky, we know that you’re probably overwhelmed with other responsibilities associated with the moving process. However, do not forget about your vehicles. Kentucky law requires that any person who brings a motor vehicle into the state should apply for a registration within 15 days in the county where that individual now resides.

We encourage you to plan ahead of time before you make your actual move. Go ahead and look up the location of the DMV in relation to your soon to be address. When you make your move, call your insurance carrier to let them know so you can find out whether or not your carrier serves Kentucky in the first place. You may need to switch insurance carriers.

We do want to point out that, since Kentucky is a no fault insurance state, switching your insurance from where you are coming from may seem a little more complicated, particularly if you are currently living in a state that uses tort based insurance.

College Students Attending a School in KY

Kentucky law states that college students can keep home state registrations and insurance for the duration of their time at a Kentucky school so long as they keep a current student identification card when driving through Kentucky.

For Kentucky college students attending university outside of the state, we encourage them and their parents to check with the requirements of the state where they are going to be sure they remain compliant with the law.

Pro tip – If you graduate college and decide to remain in Kentucky, you need to switch your insurance correctly. The exemption under Kentucky law only applies to active college students.

What About Active Duty Military?

Active duty military personnel are allowed to use out-of-state insurance when registering and titling any vehicle in their name in Kentucky. It is important for active military personnel to register their vehicle appropriately because if they do not, the vehicle could get flagged as being uninsured. This could cause significant issues within the Kentucky DMV, leading to potential license suspension.

Pro-tip – Just like college students who stay in Kentucky after they graduate, if you are active duty military and decide to settle in Kentucky permanently, you need to be properly insured. You we’ll have to switch your insurance over from your previous state to the Commonwealth.

Resources for Finding Affordable Insurance in Kentucky

We know that finding affordable insurance in Kentucky can be tough. The price of everything seems to have gone up over the last few years, and this is certainly evident when it comes to insurance premiums.

Finding affordable insurance usually means shopping around. Drivers can contact individual insurance carriers on their own for a quote, or they can use an insurance broker online. We encourage all drivers to explore options between insurance carriers, and we also want to remind individuals that each carrier typically has discounts available.

Getting Into an Accident

If you get into an accident and do not have insurance, you are going to be on the line for the expenses. You will not have any coverage if you are injured due to another driver’s actions if the at-fault driver has no-fault coverage. If you cause a crash and have no insurance, you will be on the line for the expenses of the other driver and their passengers, which could be a significant amount of they have opted out of no-fault coverage.

If you’ve been injured by a driver with no insurance, speak with a Lexington car accident lawyer today for a free case evaluation.