Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Reporting an uninsured motorist to the DMV and local police is possibly by making a simple phone call
  • No guarantees of action being taken go with making such calls
  • Drivers should boost their uninsured motorist coverage as a precaution

Responsible people do not dismiss the important things in life very easily if at all. Even when times are tight, people who value responsibility are likely to make sure important bills are paid. Car insurance would be among the most important bills.

Not content with paying the bare minimum requirement for auto insurance in a particular state, a driver may choose to pay extra to be sure his or her liability coverage is enough to cover damages to others.

In addition, he/she will pay more to acquire the additional insurance necessary to pay for repairs to the vehicle if any are needed.

What might aggravate these highly-responsible owners and drivers more than anything else would be the realization another driver is carrying no insurance.

In Virginia and New Hampshire, carrying personal auto insurance is not mandatory. Those living in these two states simply have to accept the rules as they are.

In any of the other 48 states, driving without insurance is a crime. Even leaving the car parked on the street with a lapse in coverage brings forth civil penalties.

Regardless of the penalties, not having insurance is both serious and irresponsible. Yet, some drivers do just this.

So, is there anything a responsible citizen can do to turn an uninsured driver in? Reporting the uninsured car owner is not all that difficult.

The problem is the DMV and the police might not take immediate action if any action at all. Still, this potential delay should not deter someone worried about the harm an uninsured driver may cause.

Make sure you have the coverage you need at the best price by entering your zip code above and comparing quotes for car insurance.

How People Without Insurance are Discovered

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There are two very common ways in which someone who lacks car insurance is discovered.

  1. The first is when the individual is involved in a moving or other traffic violation and the police request proof of insurance. If the individual lacks proof, he/she can be arrested on the spot under a misdemeanor charge. Clearly, the law takes these matters quite seriously.
  2. The second instance is when someone goes to register a car. Proof of insurance is required in order to complete the registration paperwork. A person without insurance in such a situation would be denied registration approval until insurance is presented. Frequently, people will purchase insurance, register a car, and then drop the insurance.

Someone who has dropped insurance coverage and has not been pulled over by the police may continue to drive without insurance for some time. Turning the individual in is something a responsible driver may debate.

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Helping Oneself and Others

Reporting someone who does not have insurance is not a matter of “snitching.” Doing so contributes to helping and protecting oneself. If the uninsured person lives in the neighborhood, he/she could very well present a serious risk to anyone in the vicinity.

If an uninsured neighbor hits your car, you would need to pay out of pocket for all the expenses.

The only exception to this would be if you carried uninsured motorist insurance — always a form of coverage worth owning. In fact, in the state of New Jersey, this type of coverage is outright mandatory.

Interestingly, under a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling, uninsured passengers who are injured in an accident the driver of the vehicle they were in caused, may not sue for damages.

For the driver harmed in an accident, even worse situations could arise than mere property damage.

An uninsured motorist could kill someone. Without liability insurance and without any assets, there would be nothing to recover in a wrongful death suit even though the losses are massive.

Uninsured drivers who ignore the law pose a risk to everyone from other drivers to pedestrians to property owners. Ignoring the presence of an uninsured driver could be a risky attitude to take.

A Simple Process

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Reporting someone who does not have insurance coverage is fairly easy.

The first step would be to call the police. Calling the emergency “911” line probably would not be appropriate since the situation is not an emergency.

Calling the local precinct and giving the driver’s name, if available, and, most importantly, the license plate of the car is usually all that is required.

Whether or not the already burdened local police department makes it a priority to visit the driver’s home is another matter.

Reporting the person to the state DMV is possible, too. Calling the 800 number and relaying the necessary information along with sending in photos of the car and the license plate may prompt a letter from the DMV requesting compliance under penalty.

Beyond that, there is nothing anyone can do. Reporting is one thing. Addressing the lack of insurance is another.

A private citizen can do nothing more than just report and take appropriate care to protect him/herself if the person ends up driving without insurance.

Invest in Uninsured Motorist Insurance

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The previously mentioned uninsured motorist coverage may be the best personal fiscal defense someone can take against persons who choose to irresponsibly not carry coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to provide financial compensation to someone who is involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who has no insurance.

Without liability insurance, there is no insurance company to provide a settlement to the individual or individuals who may have been injured. Damage to the vehicle or other property won’t be covered either.

Persons with fears and concerns and direct knowledge of uninsured drivers may find investing in this type of coverage to be a wise plan.

Underinsured motorist coverage might be a worthwhile investment as well.

Someone who has acquired a minimum amount of auto insurance is not exactly going to be of much benefit when damages far exceed the insurance amount.

$10,000 in insurance and $100,000 in damages means there is a $90,000 gap. Lawsuits can drag out a long time. Filing an underinsured motorist claim is a lot easier provided, of course, the injured party actually has underinsured motorist coverage in place.

Through diligent comparison shopping, locating reasonable premiums on uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be possible. Those without such coverage should start work on procuring it.

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Caring for Oneself

Buying the best possible and most comprehensive insurance policy is a necessity when hoping to protect oneself against uninsured motorists and other issues.

Knowing about a driver who lacks auto insurance should be deemed an omen. Others are out there and being worried about them makes sense. So does taking out the necessary insurance coverage to deal with the situation.

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