Important Information for Super Storm Sandy Victims - pdf document
A motor vehicle registered in NYS must have liability insurance. Insurance coverage must be a minimum of $25,000/50,000 for injury, $50,000/100,000 for death, and $10,000 for property damage caused by any one accident. New York State is a no-fault state. The liability coverage must remain in effect while the registration is valid, even if the vehicle is not used (except motorcycles).
No. All vehicles registered in NYS must have NYS liability coverage. There are no exceptions. If you replace your NYS insurance coverage with out-of-state insurance, a lapse in valid insurance coverage occurs. The NYSDMV suspends your registration, and the NYSDMV can suspend your driver license. The NYSDMV must take actions against your NYS registration and driver license even if you move outside of NYS. This action can affect your ability to hold a valid driver license in your new state. If you register your vehicle in another state, immediately surrender your NYS vehicle plates to the NYSDMV by mail.
The insurance company must notify the DMV if you cancel your liability insurance. Your insurance company is also required to notify DMV if your insurance coverage is reinstated or you get new insurance coverage. If the insurance company does not file an electronic notice about your new or reinstated liability insurance, the DMV sends you a letter about your insurance. Read the insert mailed with the letter, and follow the instructions in the letter. You are given 10 days from the date of the DMV letter to prove that you have insurance coverage, prove that you sold the vehicle, or show other proof that insurance coverage was not required in NYS. If you do have insurance coverage, also ask your insurance company (do not ask your agent or broker) to file an electronic notice of insurance coverage with the DMV.
If you do not have liability insurance, you must surrender your vehicle plates to the NYSDMV immediately. Make sure you get a receipt. You must respond to the letter you receive from the DMV or surrender your license plates to prevent the suspension of your registration and driver license. If your liability insurance is about to lapse and you do not plan to replace it with other insurance, surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV before your insurance coverage lapses.
Any amount of time that your vehicle is registered but not insured can cause a lapse in your insurance coverage and the suspension or revocation of your registration. A lapse in insurance coverage can occur:
If the lapse in the insurance coverage exceeds 90 days, your driver license is also suspended.
If you do not have insurance coverage and you do not surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV, your registration and driver license are suspended indefinitely.
If you had a lapse in your insurance coverage and did not surrender your vehicle plates immediately, your registration is suspended for the same number of days that you did not have insurance coverage, but did hold the vehicle plates. If the time is more than 90 days, your driver license is also suspended for the same number of days as the registration. To reinstate your driver license, you must pay a termination fee of $25 when the suspension ends. For a suspension that has an effective date on or after July 6, 2009, the termination fee is $50.
You can prevent the suspension of your registration and driver license if you surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV before your liability insurance lapses.
You are not required to surrender your vehicle plates for a suspension of 90 days or shorter if you pay a civil penalty. You cannot use the civil penalty option if the lapse is longer than 90 days or you used this option in the past 3 years.
The civil penalty amounts shown below are the amounts for suspensions that take effect on or after October 1, 2005. The civil penalty amount is:
For example, if you had a lapse of insurance for 85 days, your civil penalty is calculated as follows:
Note: Motorcycles are exempt from the requirement to surrender the vehicle plate when the liability insurance lapses, but liability coverage is required when the motorcycle is operated.
See the DMV brochure on liability insurance for additional information.
Learn how you can reduce your insurance premium with the Point Insurance Reduction Program.
Go to the NYS Department of Financial Services to read more information about auto insurance and see a list of insurance company codes.