Penalties For Driving Without Insurance in Missouri

In Missouri, driving without a minimum amount of car insurance is illegal. If you are caught, the Department of Revenue may suspend your driver's license and plates.

Imagine cruising down the open road, windows down, enjoying the breeze. Suddenly, a car cuts you off, causing an accident. You’re shaken but unharmed. Then, reality hits: the other driver doesn’t have insurance. Now, you’re stuck footing the bill for repairs and medical expenses. This scenario, unfortunately, is a harsh reality for many Missourians caught driving without insurance. Before you consider taking that chance, understand the significant penalties you face in Missouri:

First Offense

The first time a driver in Missouri is caught without car insurance, it is likely going to result in a fine. This depends on how the ticket is handled and varies from state to state. For example, in Edmundson Municipal Court in St. Louis County, the first offense is a class D misdemeanor punishable by a fine between $175 and $225.

The state also keeps track of the number of points accumulated by drivers, and a driver who gets caught multiple times may have their license and registration suspended. Generally, drivers will need to pay a fee and provide proof of insurance before getting their license and vehicle back.

In addition, if a vehicle owner is found to be driving without car insurance and they get into an accident, their insurer will not cover all of the associated costs. This means they could end up having to pay out of their own pocket for the damage to their car and injuries sustained by other parties in the accident.

As stiff as these penalties are, they pale in comparison to the financial hit that a driver who gets into an accident and does not have insurance will face. For this reason, keeping your vehicle insured at all times is essential, even if you are a good driver with no prior infractions on your record.

Second Offense Driving without an Insurance in Missouri

Second Offense

If you get caught driving without insurance in Missouri a second time, the penalties become more severe. You will receive four points on your driver’s license and could face fines up to $500, an order of supervision by the court to monitor your car insurance status, and possible suspension of your driver’s license. A second conviction within 18 months can result in a mandatory driver’s license suspension.

It’s also important to know that “no-insurance” tickets can never be removed from your record, even if you subsequently obtain car insurance. This is because the state of Missouri has a mandatory minimum liability coverage requirement that cannot be waived, even if you have since obtained a valid drivers’ license.

It’s also worth remembering that if you’re in an accident while driving uninsured, you will be responsible for property damage and medical expenses of anyone injured. That’s why having adequate car insurance is so important, especially if you live in a high-risk area. Fortunately, many insurance companies offer affordable, specialized policies for high-risk drivers that provide the necessary financial protection. You can also purchase an SR-22 certificate from the Department of Revenue to prove your financial responsibility for a specified period. This can be an excellent option for drivers recently convicted of traffic violations or considered at-risk for future offenses.


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