- Motor Vehicle Insurance (Financial Responsibility)
- Types of Insurance
- Drivers' Responsibilities
- Motor Vehicle Owners' Responsibilities
- Suspension/Reinstatement for Failure to Maintain Insurance
- Insurance Companies' Responsibilities and Penalties
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Motor Vehicle Insurance (Financial Responsibility)
Missouri law requires that all motor vehicle drivers and owners maintain some type of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. Unfortunately, each year thousands of Missouri citizens are involved in automobile accidents with drivers who have not maintained the required automobile insurance. This results in unpaid damage claims and higher insurance premium rates for all Missourians.
Missouri motor vehicle owners are required to show proof of insurance when registering a vehicle and renewing their license plates. Liability insurance covers your legal liability when injuries or property damage happen as a result of your actions. The minimum level of coverage required by state law is:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $10,000 per accident for property
The law also requires you to have uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.
Nonresidents must maintain insurance that conforms to the requirements of the laws of their state.
You must keep some proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times. If a law enforcement officer asks for proof of insurance and you cannot show it, the officer may issue you a ticket.
The Department of Revenue will be notified that you do NOT have insurance on your vehicle or the vehicle you drive if you are in an accident or a police officer asks you to show proof of insurance. At any time, the Department of Revenue may also ask you to prove you have insurance.
Types of Insurance
Statutory reference: Section 303.160, RSMo.
There are three ways you can meet the requirements of the insurance law. For each type of insurance, you will receive an insurance identification card that must be kept in the vehicle at all times. You must have one of the following in effect on each motor vehicle you own or operate:
- A motor vehicle liability insurance policy that meets the minimum liability insurance limits of “25/50/10”. Contact an insurance agent for further details.
- Proof of financial responsibility filed with the Department of Revenue.
- A certificate of self-insurance (for a Company or Religious Organization) issued by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
You must maintain insurance that meets the requirements of the laws of your state.
It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle in Missouri without automobile liability insurance. The vehicle driver must show proof of insurance to any law enforcement official, upon request, or a traffic ticket may be issued to the driver. Three things may occur for failing to show proof of insurance:
- The court will send the conviction to the Driver License Bureau. The conviction will be entered on the driver’s driving record and four points will be assessed. It only takes a total of eight points within an 18-month period to lose your driving privilege in Missouri.
- The court may enter an order of supervision. This order is sent to the Driver License Bureau so that the driver can be monitored to ensure automobile liability insurance is being maintained.
- The court may enter an order suspending the driver’s driver license for failing to show proof of insurance. This order is sent to the Driver License Bureau at which time the driver is notified of the suspension of his or her driver license.
Motor Vehicle Owners’ Responsibilities
Missouri law requires that all motor vehicle owners maintain some type of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. Missouri residents are required to show proof of insurance when registering a motor vehicle or renewing their license plates. All motor vehicle owners must also keep proof of insurance in their vehicle(s). If a law enforcement officer asks for proof of insurance and the driver cannot show it, the officer may issue both the driver and the owner a ticket.
At any time during the period of vehicle registration in Missouri, the Driver License Bureau may request that a vehicle owner show proof of insurance. If the vehicle owner cannot provide proof of insurance, a driver license suspension is imposed.
Suspension/Reinstatement for Failure to Maintain Insurance
Statutory references: Sections 303.042 through 303.044, RSMo.
If your driving privilege and/or license plates are suspended for not having insurance, the following suspension periods will apply:
- 1st suspension = 0 days
- 2nd suspension in two years = 90 days
- 3rd and subsequent suspension = 1 year
After you serve the period of suspension, your driver license and/or license plates can be reinstated if the Driver License Bureau receives the following:
- Proof of insurance
- $20 reinstatement fee
- Proof of insurance
- $200 reinstatement fee
3rd and subsequent suspension
- Proof of insurance
- $400 reinstatement fee
Proof of insurance must be maintained and filed with the Department of Revenue for a period of three years following the end of the suspension. If you fail to maintain proof of insurance, the Driver License Bureau will again suspend your driver license and/or license plates. The suspension will remain in effect for the remainder of the three years unless you refile proof of insurance and pay a $20 reinstatement fee.
NOTE: If an accident is involved, an SR-22 filing is required for proof of liability insurance. An identification card is not acceptable.
Insurance Companies’ Responsibilities and Penalties
Insurance companies licensed to provide personal automobile insurance in Missouri are required to supply the Driver License Bureau with insurance information on drivers and vehicles principally garaged in Missouri that they insure.
Insurance companies must update their file before the 7th working day of each month. This information is then used to determine the insurance status of Missouri motor vehicle owners and operators.
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