Driving Without Insurance in Missouri

You might be thinking you are saving money by not paying your auto insurance premium, but that choice could cost you big in the long run.  Missouri has some pretty tough provisions for those caught driving without insurance who end up in an accident.  Not only are no insurance traffic tickets costly point-wise (see my previous post), there are real ramifications whether you get a no insurance ticket or not.

If you have been involved in an accident and did not have insurance, you and the other driver are required by Missouri law to file an accident report with the Missouri Department of Revenue within one year of the accident.   See Missouri Revised Statute §303.040.   

That is where the fun begins.  If you didn’t have insurance, your license will be suspended by the Department of Revenue, for up to a year.  This will happen whether or not the accident was your fault.  See §303.042, 303.044

If the accident was your fault, you will be suspended AND you will not be able to get your license back until you can prove you have taken care of the damages.  This simple issue could hold your license up for years.  The other driver and their insurance company have a lot of power in this situation.  You will not get your license back until you can show you have made payment arrangements with the other party that are satisfactory.  If the damage amount is large, you could be paying that party off for years. 

Not only will you have to take care of the damages, you will have to get SR-22 insurance for 3 years in order to get your driver license reinstated.  This could cost thousands of dollars.  See what I mean about the cost?  You might think you are saving on a monthly premium, but in reality you are risking your privilege to drive and potentially thousands of dollars that you will have to pay out before you can ever get your driving privilege back.


19 thoughts on “Driving Without Insurance in Missouri

  1. accident Missouri unaware insurance had been canceled got the ticket for no insurance and fro wrongful plates hit semi truck no damage to the truck what happens now my car is totaled, due to ice on road town plowed st at 4:30 pm and never sanded the road officer had trouble making it up and down the hill

    1. Hi Darcy – I apologize that I was not previously receiving notice of comments and my late reply. Usually if there is was an accident, even with not damage to the other driver, an accident report will be sent to the state and you may be subject to license suspension with the requirement of an SR22 filing to get your license back. I know it has been a few months, but let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. My fiance rear-ended a car while driving her friend’s car. Unbeknownst to her, the car wasn’t insured. She’s been to court twice now and essentially they keep telling her to get a lawyer but she’s on disability and can’t afford one. The prosecutor is seeking $1300 in reparations. But what’s to be done? She’s just going to go back in two weeks and have no lawyer. Then what?

    1. You may want to ask if a public defender or legal aid is available for her case. I would assume that if she doesn’t hire an attorney, she will be found guilty of the offense and assessed a fine. She will also most likely be ordered to pay restitution and possibly given time to pay that amount. However, if she is unable to pay the restitution or fine, she maybe risking further sanctions from the judge, including jail time. Insurance tickets are 4 points in Missouri. I am without sufficient information to supply further (gratuitous) legal advice.

      1. They told her she didn’t qualify for a public defender because there’s no threat of jail time for her offense. Thanks for your input.

  3. My nephew is only 16 and was driving a friends car, little did he know there was no insurance. He hit a truck and totaled the car he was driving. No one was hurt but he did get two tickets. One being no insurance and the other failure to yield to a red light, what would the ramifications be for him and/or the family?

    1. The ramifications as far as the tickets themselves is that they can’t really be plead down unless there was no injury to the other driver and your nephew can pay for the damage to the other vehicle. That is for most Missouri courts, each will vary. As far as punishment for the tickets, if he were to plead guilty, he is probably looking at just a fine or maybe probation with a driving class. Again, each court will vary.

      If this accident is reported to the Department of Revenue, he could be facing an accident suspension and may risk loosing his license until he can show he is making payments to the other driver or their insurer for the damages. It really depends on how it plays out with the other driver and reporting to the state.

      The fact that the owner of the car he was driving did not have insurance will play very little role in mitigating any of these consequences. If you are driving someone else’s vehicle, you should have personal liability insurance for yourself, whether or not the car owner was insured. However, the insurance company for the other driver in the accident may also go after the car owner for damages as well.

  4. I was involved in an accident with a person who had no insurance, the accident was their fault but they produced an insurance card at the scene. We contacted the officer but to date she has not been ticketed. Is this normal for this situation? To date I am out a good sum of money and I do not want her driving around with the possibility of doing this to another driver.

    1. I recommend you try to file another police report stating that there as no insurance for the other driver. Also call the Missouri Department of Revenue to see what form you need to fill out to report that you were involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. The number is 573-526-2407.

  5. My step daughter was in an accident in St Louis. She was driving her room mates mother’s car. Unannounced to her it didn’t have insurance. Step daughter has insurance but they wont cover because it wasn’t her car. Now both the mother of the room mate and the other vehicle in accident wants my step daughter to pay for damages and its only been 2 days since the accident. Is step daughter responsible for mother’s car when she didn’t even have car insurance in the first place and it was her car.

  6. Hi there,
    My sister was stopped with no insurance in Kansas City Missouri. She has a court date but will not be able to attend. Can she just pay the fine online and be done with it. She wasn’t involved in an accident.

    1. Yes, she can, but she should be aware that she will be assessed 4 points on her license if she is licensed in MO. If not licensed in MO, the no insurance conviction will be transferred to her state of residence. Also, I quite often observe people who obtain insurance later but who still want to plead guilty get a significant break on their fines if they appear in front of the judge.

      If she needs a continuance and it is at least 48 hours before her court date, she can request one online at https://www.kcmo.org/McTicket/faces/ContinuanceEntry.jspx or she can call (816) 513-2700.

    1. Yes in the sense that you can be given a citation for driving without insurance. These citations are typically considered an civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor criminal charge.

  7. I was a moron an was driving without insurance and a car hit me as I was making a right turn in front of three lanes. The first two lanes had halted and both cars were waving me on, so I went ahead with my turn. In the third lane, a car came and t-boned me, mid-turn. Now I was a complete idiot for driving without insurance, but I later realized that the car that hit me had been driving in a bus lane that has a sign posted that says Buses Only from 4pm-6pm and this happened around 5.

    A few questions….there were no cops called to the scene and the driver who hit me is willing to go around the insurance company(who did did in fact tell their insurance about the situation). he wants me to pay for his car as well as a rental car. the thing is, I am wondering if it would just be better for me to let him go to the authorities and just let them sort this out. I looked it up on the Missouri department of Revenue website and it looks like they wouldn’t even suspend my license(http://dor.mo.gov/drivers/insurinfo.php#failuremaint)?

    I am supposed to meet the guy at his body shop tomorrow and drop $200 for the estimate and then he wants me to pay him the $3K they already estimated that the damage repair would cost. Once they give a final estomate(after looking inside the car to see if there is any further damage) he wants me to pay whatever the difference is between the final estimate and the amount I had already paid him. On top of that he wants me to pay for a car rental for him.

    He mentioned that even if we setlle this way, his insurance company could still sue me?! So I am not sure if I really want to go this route or not.

    Please help!

    1. First – yes it is true that a first no insurance suspension with the Missouri Department of Revenue is 0 days. However, you will likely be required to provide proof of SR-22 insurance for the next 2-3 years in order to be reinstated. SR22 insurance very expensive.

      Second – you can be separately suspended for unpaid accident damages. This is a request made by the insurance company that is separate from the mandatory insurance suspension above. In order to be reinstated from this kind of suspension, you must pay off the damages to the insurance company or be on an installment payment plan from them. If there are any missed payments, they can request that you be re-suspended.

      I think that if the insurance company makes any payments towards their insured, they could in turn sue you. You should keep very good records of the payments you have made to the other driver, so that he is not double-dipping (being paid by you and his insurance company). A rental car is typically provided for in any full coverage policy and you would be liable for that amount if you were ever sued anyway (in my opinion).

  8. I got a driving on a suspended right before my dl was reinstated and I had one pior 4 years ago or more. If I reinstated it before my court date will I get jail time?

    1. That all depends on the jurisdiction and whether you are represented by a lawyer. In most Missouri Courts, your only option if you are representing yourself, is to plea guilty and risk jail time as a sentence. The judge will likely not take into consideration that you are reinstated by the court date. If you are represented, you will likely not face jail time.

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