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Driving Without Vehicle Insurance in Fairfax County

Effective July 1, 2024 all Virginia residents must have vehicle insurance.  Failure to do so is a Class 3 Misdemeanor and risks a license suspension.  If you have been charged with driving without vehicle insurance in Fairfax County we strongly recommend you speak with a traffic attorney.  We regularly handle these cases in the Fairfax County General District Court, Fairfax City District Court, Town of Vienna District Court, and Town of Herndon District Court.  We would be happy to speak with you about your case.  Feel free to give us a call at 703-273-4100 or use the contact form.

Operation of uninsured motor vehicle law

Under Virginia Code §46.2-707, any person who owns an uninsured motor vehicle that is licensed in Virginia, has a vehicle registered in Virginia, or displays temporary license plates who either operates or allows the operation of their vehicle is guilty of a Class 3 Misdemeanor.   As you can see, the statute is pretty encompassing.  This is because the number of accidents that occur in Virginia increase every year and this is the legislature's way of ensuring people have car insurance.  When someone is involved in an accident and does not have insurance it puts a large burden on insurance companies and citizens that may have to pay for medical bills or vehicle repair out of pocket.

This law goes further to include driving a vehicle that is not the person's own vehicle and of which they know is uninsured.  Doing so is also a Class 3 Misdemeanor.

If the Virginia DMV finds out that a particular vehicle may be uninsured, they may require proof of insurance.  This happens a lot in accident cases where insurance is not shared amongst the parties involved.  Should the person not comply with the DMV request for proof, this statute permits the agency to essentially find or determine that the vehicle was not insured at the time of operation in question.

Any person who falsely verifies insurance to the DMV or gives false evidence that a vehicle sought to be registered is an insured motor vehicle, shall be guilty of a Class 3 Misdemeanor.

Any person who owns an uninsured motor vehicle (i) licensed in the Commonwealth, (ii) subject to registration in the Commonwealth, or (iii) displaying temporary license plates must surrender the vehicle's license plates to the DMV unless the vehicle's registration has been deactivated.  It is also a Class 3 Misdemeanor to fail to surrender the vehicle's license plates to the DMV.

penalties for driving without vehicle insurance

As a Class 3 Misdemeanor, violating this statute brings a penalty of a fine of up to $500.  The good news is driving without vehicle insurance does not result in jail time.  However, the law requires the DMV to suspend the driver's license, all registration certificates, and license plates of the titled owner of the uninsured vehicle.  This mandatory punishment applies to violating any portion of this statute.   In addition, the suspension continues until proof of insurance is furnished to the DMV and a $600 noncompliance fee is paid.  After three years have elapsed from the date of the suspension, the DMV may relieve such person of the requirement of furnishing proof of future financial responsibility.  In reality it's best to simply obtain vehicle insurance and pay the noncompliance fee as quickly as possible to lift the suspension. 

If the license suspension was a result of a conviction for providing the DMV false verification as to whether a motor vehicle is an insured motor vehicle or false evidence that any motor vehicle sought to be registered is insured, then the DMV will note reissue a driver's license, registration certificates, and license plates for 6 months from the date of suspension.

If the DMV suspended the driver's license of a person who was operating a vehicle but not the titled owner then the person can reapply for a driver's license after 30 days from the suspension order.

defenses to driving without vehicle insurance

The DMV performs most of its functions in uninsured motorist cases as a result of what happens in Court.  As a result, it is important to get this charge dismissed or amended to something else.  In most cases we will have our clients appear in court and furnish proof of current insurance and have the charge dismissed.  If our clients did not have insurance at the time of driving (such as in an accident case where we see a lot of these cases), we may want to negotiate an amendment of the charge to something else.

In addition, if we can establish that our client had good cause to believe that the vehicle they were driving was an insured motor vehicle, they are not guilty of this code section.  As a result, they avoid the Misdemeanor conviction and license suspension.

free consultation

We offer a free consultation to discuss your case.  Because driving without vehicle insurance is prosecuted in Fairfax County it's important to have help.  Since the DMV takes action in these cases in large part due to what happens in court, it's important to have an attorney guide you through the court process to minimize or eliminate these consequences.

The truth about your case

We will not “sugar coat.” We will tell you exactly what you are facing and will give you the best and worst case scenarios. We are not here to scare you or to pull the wool over your eyes. We find many people calling us for a simple case where they have spoken to other lawyers and are now afraid. However, after speaking with those people and getting the facts, many times there is nothing to fear. We will tell you how things look and we will tell you the truth because we want happy clients. That’s you!

Letnick Law Office
(703) 273-4266 (fax)
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