Kentucky residents who do not maintain insurance on their vehicles can be fined as much as $2,500 and sent to jail for as long as 180 days. It’s important to understand that uninsured motorists could face severe penalties even if their cars never leave their driveways. To avoid these sanctions, drivers in the Bluegrass State must maintain insurance that includes bodily injury coverage of a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, minimum property damage coverage of $25,000 per accident and minimum personal injury protection coverage of $10,000 per accident.
Proof of this coverage must be presented before a county clerk’s office will register a vehicle, and insurance companies that do business in Kentucky are required to notify the authorities whenever a policy expires or is canceled. The state’s Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing then checks these lapsed or canceled policies with active registrations. Uninsured notices are sent to all vehicle owners who have plates but no insurance, even if they don’t drive their cars.
The penalties for driving without insurance in Kentucky are harsh to protect accident victims. In addition to fines and possible jail time, uninsured motorists face registration suspensions of one year for a first offense or two years for a second or subsequent offense. Being convicted of this Class B misdemeanor can also make purchasing automobile insurance more difficult and more expensive.
Legal counsel with experience in traffic violation cases may seek to have an uninsured motorist’s registration restored by providing proof of automobile insurance to the court. Satisfactory evidence of insurance could be a valid auto policy or a letter from an insurance agent stating that coverage has been in effect for at least 45 days. After a client presents these documents, the attorney may ask the court to consider reducing the penalties or granting a conditional discharge.