Maryland Car Insurance Requirements


BALTIMORE CAR INSURANCE LAWYERS

auto insurance maryland attorney

All Maryland drivers must meet the state minimum auto insurance requirement or risk facing a criminal charge and license suspension. Drivers must have proof of this basic insurance coverage before they can even register a vehicle. The State of Maryland enforces harsh penalties for driving without insurance because public authorities do not want citizens risking bankruptcy for getting involved in a collision where they’re not to blame. Immense medical expenses can push a person to lose their car and be unable to obtain a new one or continue working. These are just a few reasons that laws in Baltimore take these situations so seriously.

If you’re new to Maryland or are a new driver in the state, it’s crucial to obtain and understand the necessary coverage. Without it, you could face serious penalties.

MINIMUM AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGE NEEDED TO BE A LEGAL DRIVER IN THE STATE MARYLAND

Residents must obtain the following coverage to meet Maryland’s legal auto insurance requirements. Note that these are just the minimum requirements; drivers may choose additional coverage to suit their needs.

  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
    • A minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage
    • A minimum of $15,000
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
    • A minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
    • A minimum of $15,000

What do all of these coverages protect? These insurance requirements provide financial relief to parties injured in a vehicle accident or those who have had their vehicles damaged in an auto accident. Having auto insurance also protects drivers involved in a crash from those who lack insurance.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGE

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Bodily injury liability coverage helps pay for another party’s accident-related expenses in the event that you are at fault for an auto accident. This type of coverage will provide for a portion of the other party’s short- and long-term accident-related costs, such as:

  • Medical bills: Costs related to the other party’s hospitalization, follow-up care, and all related healthcare
  • Lost wages: The lost income of the harmed party, if they’re unable to work as a result of their injury
  • Legal fees: Legal defense if you’re sued by the other party, paid for under your own bodily injury coverage

Maryland requires drivers to carry a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage.

Property Damage Liability Coverage

This type of coverage helps pay for any damage caused to the other driver and their car when you cause a crash. This does not apply to repairs to your own vehicle. This type of coverage operates on a per accident basis, with the insurance company willing to cover costs up to the amount of your coverage. Examples of what may be covered include:

  • Repairs for damage caused to the other party’s vehicle, including auto body shop labor or replacement parts
  • Fixing damage to affected businesses, houses, fences, lamp posts, or mailboxes
  • Attorney, court, and other legal defense fees

Maryland requires a minimum of $15,000 for property damage liability coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Although Maryland drivers are required by law to carry some form of automobile insurance, many motorists still remain uninsured. The penalty for driving without insurance can include fines and a loss of driving privileges, but that’s sometimes not enough to keep people from risking it.

Insurance coverage for uninsured motorists protects you when the at-fault driver fails to carry Bodily Injury Liability or Property Damage Liability Coverage. Your insurance policy should cover some or all accident-related costs you incur when the at-fault driver cannot provide compensation.

MARYLAND VEHICLE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Before you may register a vehicle in Maryland, you need to prove to the state that you have acquired the necessary car insurance. You will also need to pass a state inspection called the Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspection. You will receive a Maryland Inspection Certificate upon passing, which guarantees to the state that your car meets safety standards.

Additionally, you may also need to pass the state’s Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP). This program tests your car to ensure it is being properly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation and thus is in line with the state’s mission of clean air and water.

Driving without vehicle registration is also a serious traffic violation. The Maryland Transportation Code states that it is a criminal misdemeanor offense to drive an unregistered car. If you face a charge of driving without insurance and failing to register a vehicle, you need a competent traffic attorney on your side who can help you understand what you may face long-term as a result of these charges and defend you in court.

WHAT CONSEQUENCES COULD I FACE FOR DRIVING UNINSURED IN BALTIMORE?

In Baltimore, driving uninsured is considered a misdemeanor crime. This means that you will be sentenced to jail time in addition to steep fines and the potential loss of your driving privileges. A first offense conviction may carry the following penalties:

  • Five points on your license
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Up to one year in jail

A second offense conviction carries another five points added to your license, $2,000 in fines, and up to two years in jail.

Even if your car insurance lapses and you forget to renew, you could be subject to expensive administrative fines from the MVA if you receive a citation for driving without insurance. Penalties for an insurance lapse may include:

  • Losing your driver’s license and vehicle registration
  • Fees of $150 for the first 30 days, then $7 for each additional day (at a maximum of $2,500)
  • A fee of $25 to restore your vehicle’s registration

LEGAL DEFENSES FOR DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE IN BALTIMORE, MD

If you’re facing criminal charges for driving without insurance in Maryland, the best thing you can do to help your case is correct the situation as soon as possible. Don’t wait any longer than necessary to renew your insurance coverage. Handling your situation by renewing your auto insurance as quickly as possible will look much better to a judge than waiting to take action and going to court still not having any coverage on your vehicle.

A Baltimore lawyer experienced with charges for driving without insurance can review your case’s relevant facts and help determine what defense best suits your case.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED BALTIMORE DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE LAWYER FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

Operating a motor vehicle without insurance is a serious traffic charge that may lead to steep fines and the suspension of a Maryland driver’s license in addition to possible jail time. The best way to reduce the charges against you and the penalties you might endure upon conviction is to enlist the service of a local Baltimore traffic lawyer.

Attorney Hillel Traub serves Baltimore and surrounding areas and has done so for 20 years. He defends traffic charges throughout Maryland, including those for driving without car insurance. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland MVA, he can bring valuable insight to your case. Contact The Law Office of Hillel Traub for a free consultation by calling (410) 580-1100 or completing our contact form.

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