Respond to DMV insurance letters and orders

I received an insurance 'letter' or 'order' from the DMV.  What can I do?

Read the letter or order (see a sample) carefully, answer it quickly, and contact your insurance company immediately.  If there is a problem, it is your responsibility to resolve it.  If you do not, the DMV can suspend your vehicle registration and driver license. 

Do not

  • use your vehicle if your insurance coverage is cancelled, even if you think it is a mistake
  • keep the plates while you resolve a problem with your insurance company 1

Do

 

How do I respond to the letter or order?

Your response must either

  • prove that you have insurance coverage
  • prove that you sold the vehicle
  • prove that insurance coverage was not required 

If you 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. 2

 

What must I do if I don’t have liability insurance?

If you don’t have insurance, or if it is about to expire and you don’t plan to replace it, you need to surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV immediately. 3

 

I received a Letter that states my insurance lapsed. What can I do?

The letter means your insurance company notified the DMV that your insurance coverage ended, and that no other company notified the DMV about new coverage. 

If you have insurance, follow the instructions in the letter and contact your company or agent about the problem.  Ask your company to file a notice of coverage with the DMV electronically. 

If you don’t have insurance, you need to surrender your vehicle registration and plates to the DMV immediately.  

 

I received a Letter that states my license is suspended. What can I do?

The letter means your insurance company notified the DMV that your insurance coverage ended, and that no other company notified the DMV about new coverage. 

If you have insurance, follow the instructions in the letter and contact your company or agent about the problem.  Ask your company to file a notice of coverage with the DMV electronically. 

If you don’t have insurance, you need to surrender your vehicle registration and plates to the DMV immediately.  

A driver license becomes suspended when the lapse is 91 days or more or if the time period of the lapse has not yet been determined. To determine the lapse period

  • the plates must be surrendered, or
  • the plates must be reported lost/stolen/confiscated, or
  • the registration must expire, or
  • the plates must be transferred to another vehicle by DMV, or
  • DMV must receive proof of new or reinstated insurance, or
  • DMV must receive other acceptable proof

Once the lapse is determined, the registration and, if the lapse period is 91 days or more, your driver license will also be suspended for the same number of days. The suspensions may not be effective on the same date. Therefore, you may serve the suspension on the driver license first or you may serve the suspension on the registration first. The suspension on the driver license will not end until you have paid the suspension termination fee and have served the suspension.

 

  • 1. Surrender your plates to the DMV. You can get your registration and new plates when the problem is corrected.
  • 2. Paper proof or e-mail messages are NOT acceptable. Your insurance agent or broker cannot file your proof of insurance electronically. Only your insurance company can file proof of insurance electronically.
  • 3. If you are not going to immediately replace your insurance coverage, you must surrender your plates.