Every driver is required to have proof of insurance for the vehicle they’re driving. They are required to have this on them whenever driving, and must be able to produce it upon the request of a police officer. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor offense of driving without insurance.
Later Production of Proof
If a driver doesn’t have their proof of insurance with them when they are pulled over, they still have an opportunity to produce it. The driver has until the date of their first court appearance to send the court proof of insurance for their vehicle involved in the incident. If the court receives this proof of insurance before the specified court date, the charges will be dropped.
If the Vehicle is not Yours
A driver who is not the owner of the vehicle may not be convicted unless the driver knew that the owner did not have valid proof of insurance. In this instance, the driver must provide the officer with the name and address of the owner, or risk criminal charges.
Police will mail a request to the owner for their proof of insurance. Within ten days after receiving the notice, the owner must produce the required proof of insurance, or be charged with a misdemeanor.
Providing False Information
It is also a crime to provide a police officer with false information. A person who knowingly provides false information to an officer or district court administrator is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Minnesota Traffic Attorneys
Driving without insurance is usually a misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine of $200 – $1,000 and/or a maximum 90 days in jail. An offender may also have their driver’s license and registration revoked. The fine may be replaced by community service if a financial hardship is shown.
It is a legitimate defense that the driver used the owner’s vehicle without consent. However, failure to notify the Department of Public Safety of a name or address change is not a defense.
Driving without insurance offenses can bring fines and jail time. A Minnesota traffic lawyer can review your case and plot a course for successfully defending your case—keeping you out of jail and the fines to a minimum.