Driving without insurance can cause your driver’s license to be suspended if you get into an accident and don’t pay for the damages that you caused.
This applies even if you were driving someone else’s car and didn’t know the car was not insured.
What To Do If You Get Into An Accident While Driving Without Insurance
Here’s what to do if you get into an accident in Missouri while driving a car that is not insured:
- Move your car to the side of the road to avoid being hit by oncoming cars
- Call an ambulance if you think anyone has been injured
- Call the police to report the accident
- Turn on your car’s hazard lights, or use flares or a flashlight to warn oncoming traffic
- Exchange information with the other driver, including your name, address, and vehicle identification
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident until a police officer gives permission, or else you risk getting a ticket for “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident“
- File a Missouri Motor Vehicle Accident Report
- Contact the victim’s insurance company to make arrangements to pay for the damages that you caused
The Missouri Department of Revenue website has more detailed information about what to do if you are involved in an accident.
How Long Will Your Driver’s License Be Suspended If You Don’t Pay For Damage To The Car That You Hit?
If you don’t pay for the property damage that you caused when you got into an accident, the state of Missouri will suspend your driver’s license. This is not a temporary suspension. Your license will remain suspended until you pay for the damages.
You can pay for the damages in one lump sum, or you can sign a settlement agreement with the victim’s insurance company and pay off the total amount in monthly installment payments.
Some people choose to deal with the victim personally, without involving the insurance company. Click here to see the Installment Agreement form provided on the Missouri Department of Revenue (Driver License Bureau) website.
How To Get Your Driver’s License Reinstated If It Is Suspended After An Accident
To get your license reinstated after a suspension caused by your failure to pay for damages resulting from an accident, you must do the following:
- Provide the state of Missouri with Form SR-22 to prove that you purchased liability insurance (You will get the Form SR-22 from your insurance agent after you purchase the insurance policy.)
- Pay a reinstatement fee to the Missouri Department of Revenue
- Provide proof that you paid for the damages to the vehicle that you hit (Proof of payment can be a receipt signed by the victim, or a copy of the installment agreement between you and the victim’s insurance company)
For more information, go to the Missouri Department of Revenue website to find out how to get your license reinstated after a suspension caused by failure to pay for damages. Scroll down and you will see the information listed next to “Motor Vehicle Accident Judgment – Missouri.” Or you can call the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 751-4475.
How Many Points Will Be Added To Your Driving Record For Traffic Tickets Involving A Car Accident?
If you are involved in a car accident and your vehicle is not insured, the police officer could issue any of the following tickets:
- Failure to Yield – 2 to 3 points
- Following Too Close – 2 to 3 points
- Careless & Imprudent Driving – 2 to 4 points
- Reckless Driving – 2 to 4 points
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident or “Hit & Run” – 6 to 12 points
- Speeding – 2 to 3 points
- Driving Without Insurance, No Insurance, or Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility – 4 points
The number of points assessed for each ticket depends on whether your case is prosecuted in municipal court or circuit court. In general, if the accident occurs on a highway and a state trooper issues the ticket, your case will be prosecuted in circuit court. If the accident happened on a city street and a city police officer issues the ticket, your case will be prosecuted in municipal court.
If you accumulate 8 points within 18 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, if it’s your first suspension. Your license will be revoked for 1 year if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months.
Click here to see the Missouri Department of Revenue list of traffic tickets and points assessed for all traffic violations.
To find out how many points you currently have on your driving record, call the Missouri Department of Revenue (Driver License Bureau) in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4475.
How Can An Attorney Help If You Get Into A Car Accident While Driving Without Insurance?
You can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to get your car accident ticket reduced to a non-moving violation like “Illegal Parking” or “Littering” so points won’t be added to your driving record.
If you have an experienced traffic law attorney representing you, it is very likely you won’t have to appear in court.
Your attorney can also help you obtain a copy of the accident report. The accident report will give you the name of the victim and their insurance company. You will have to contact the victim’s insurance company to make arrangements to pay for the damages that you caused.
What If You Don’t Pay For The Damages You Caused In A Car Accident?
As discussed previously in this post, if you get into an accident and you (or your insurance company) fails to pay for the property damage you caused, the state of Missouri will suspend your driver’s license until you pay.
If you don’t contact the victim’s insurance company to pay for the damages you caused, eventually they will contact you. However, it may take a while, which will delay the resolution of your case. That’s why many drivers prefer to contact the victim’s insurance company immediately following the accident.
“Driving Without Insurance” or “Failure To Maintain Financial Responsibility” Tickets Can Be Reduced To A No-Point Ticket
When you get into an accident and your car is not insured, the police officer will issue a 4-point “No Insurance” ticket. The wording on the ticket will be either “Driving Without Insurance,” “No Proof of Insurance,” or “Failure To Maintain Financial Responsibility.”
An attorney can get your 4-point “No Insurance” ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction such as “Illegal Parking” or “Littering” that won’t cause points to be added to your driving record. To obtain this result, you will have to provide your attorney with proof that you purchased car insurance.
What To Do If You Get A Ticket For “Driving Without Insurance” And You Don’t Own A Car?
If you receive a “No Insurance” ticket but you don’t currently own a car, you will have to buy “Non-Owner’s” or “Non-Driver’s” insurance before your attorney can get your “No Insurance” ticket reduced. You can call any car insurance company to get a price quote for this type of insurance.
What Happens If You Leave The Scene Of An Accident?
It is very common for someone driving without insurance to leave the scene of an accident because they panic or fear the consequences if they stay around.
After leaving the scene of an accident, the police will usually track you down fairly quickly at your home. If you refuse to come to the door to speak to them, they can tow your vehicle if they positively identify it as having been involved in the accident.
Or the officer may call and ask you to come to the police station to write out a statement about what happened. In most cases, after you make your statement, the police officer will issue a ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” (also called “Hit & Run”).
If police haven’t contacted you yet, you can call the police station in the city or county where the accident occurred and tell them what happened. After you make your written statement and receive the ticket, the victim’s insurance company will eventually contact you to negotiate a settlement agreement to pay for the damages that you caused.
Points and Penalties For Pleading Guilty To “Leaving The Scene Of An Accident” In Missouri
If you get a ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” and you plead guilty as charged, 6 to 12 points will be added to your driving record. The number of points varies depending on whether your case is prosecuted in municipal court or state circuit court.
A conviction for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” will stay on your driving record forever if it was a state violation (it occurred on a state highway and was prosecuted in circuit court).
If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months, the state of Missouri will revoke your license for 1 year.
The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” ticket is 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
How To Get A Ticket For “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” or “Hit & Run” Reduced To A Non-Moving Violation
An experienced traffic law attorney can get your ticket for “Leaving the Scene of an Accident” reduced to a no-point ticket, such as “Illegal Parking” or “Littering.”
The outcome of your case will depend on the following:
- How bad is your driving record?
- What is the amount of property damage?
- Were personal injuries involved?
- Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
Your attorney can evaluate your case and give you a price quote for legal representation. They can also give you an estimate of the fine and court costs that you will have to pay.
If you are required to attend traffic school or do community service, your attorney will tell you how to register for the class, and give you suggestions for where to do the community service.
For a free consultation about your Missouri traffic ticket, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]