You’ll face fines and other penalties if you drive without the state minimum amount of car insurance in Tennessee.
Get caught driving without insurance in Tennessee and you’ll face penalties as light as a $25 fine and as heavy as a year in jail.
You’ll also face those penalties even if you have car insurance but don’t carry at least the state minimum amount of auto liability coverage.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about:
You have to carry at least the state minimum amount of auto liability insurance coverage if you want to avoid fines and other penalties. In Tennessee, that means you need:
Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law doesn’t require drivers to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. You might want to buy it anyway, though.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your passengers if you get into an accident and the other driver doesn’t have car insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage protects you if that driver doesn’t have enough car insurance to cover your repair or medical expenses. This kind of coverage also protects you if you’re injured in a hit-and-run accident.
You can show proof of insurance in Tennessee with a variety of documents:
These documents can be paper or electronic. Also, they need to be associated with a car insurance policy bought from a company authorized to do business in the state.
If you don’t have car insurance, to avoid the fines and penalties highlighted here you need a certificate from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security that notes one of the following:
Tennessee will hit you with different fines and penalties depending on when it discovers you’re driving without car insurance.
If Tennessee’s online insurance verification system can’t confirm you have auto insurance, the state sends a notice and asks you to provide proof of coverage or exemption.
Failing to show proof of car insurance--or financial responsibility of some other sort--when you’re pulled over for a traffic stop is a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee.
Here’s how the state may penalize you for not showing proof of insurance in this situation:
If you’re unable to show proof of insurance after getting into an accident, the state can charge you with a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to:
That may be just the tip of the iceberg as far as your troubles are concerned here. If you cause the accident and the other drivers or passengers sue over it, you might have to pay their damage and medical expenses, too.
The state can charge you with a Class A misdemeanor for knowingly providing false proof of car insurance, too.
If convicted, it could make you pay fines of no more than $2,500 and put you in jail for almost a year.
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