Tuesday, 1. January 2013
Minnesota state law requires you to have insurance for the car you are driving. You must also have proof of this insurance on you whenever driving and you must be able to produce it if an officer requests you do so.
If you are pulled over and aren’t able to give the officer your proof of insurance you could be charged with a driving without insurance offense. This is a misdemeanor charge that brings fines ranging from $200-$1,000, and a potential 90 days in jail. Any subsequent driving without insurance offenses are gross misdemeanors. If the offender can prove a financial hardship, community service may be sentenced instead of a monetary fine.
Your driver’s license may be temporarily revoked or suspended as a result of a driving without insurance charge.
If you have insurance but don’t have the proof on you when pulled over, you have until the date of your first court appearance to send the court your proof. If you fail to do so, the proceeding will move forward.
But what happens if the offender is not the owner of the vehicle? Perhaps they were borrowing the vehicle from a friend. If the offending driver is not the owner of the vehicle in question, they cannot be convicted unless it can be proved that the driver knew that the owner of the car had no proof of insurance. In this instance, law enforcement will mail a request for proof of insurance to the owner of the vehicle. The owner then has 10 days to provide proof of insurance or they will be charged with misdemeanor driving without insurance.