The National Database for Car Insurance

The national database for car insurance was created to keep track of insured drivers. Insurance providers report late and nonpayment status to the database, which then notifies law enforcement.

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UPDATED: May 18, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 18, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • A national car insurance database has been created that helps law enforcement determine who has car insurance and who doesn’t
  • Breaking the law never pays, and driving without car insurance could be mean steep fines and possibly time in jail
  • Most states require consumers to carry coverage for uninsured drivers and underinsured drivers in addition to the minimum liability requirements for most vehicles
  • All drivers and their insurance coverage are entered into a national database so if you do not have appropriate insurance, you can be caught, and the consequences can be severe

Just because a law exists does not necessarily mean everyone follows it. However, technology makes it much easier to crack down on lawbreakers. With the booming period of technology we live in, more often than not, studies will show that it’s become even more difficult to slip through the cracks when it comes to uninsured vehicles. There are plenty of places to view auto insurance data, you just need to make sure that what you’re reading is accurate.

We’ll go over the national database for car insurance and what it does for drivers and insurance companies alike.

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What does the state require for car insurance?

The state is primarily concerned with you having appropriate liability coverage. This basically means if you are responsible for injuring another party or damaging someone else’s property, they care whether or not you have an insurance policy to help pay for the associated costs.

Liability for car insurance requirements varies by state and is usually minimal. Higher coverage limits are recommended for your own financial protection.

Many states also require you to carry uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage that is equivalent to the minimum liability requirements.

This is to help combat financial costs if you are struck by someone who does not buy additional coverage or does not have any insurance at all. As stated above, vehicle owners don’t always abide by the law.

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How are motor vehicle owners entered into the national database for car insurance?

When you buy car insurance, you do not have to register your purchase with the state.

However, all insurance companies enter car insurance data into the national database. This makes it easy to cross-reference who has car insurance and who doesn’t, making it even easier for law enforcement officials to find lawbreakers. It also helps with vehicle identification as well. This database of insurance companies will include a variety of data points on each driver.

Some drivers are more closely monitored for car insurance. If you have excessive moving violations or are charged with a DUI, you will most likely not be allowed to drive without having an SR-22 insurance form.

In order to get your driver’s license reinstated, you will need to purchase car insurance from a car insurance company that deals with an SR-22.

Once you buy your car insurance from an authorized insurance agent, the car insurance company will send your SR-22 form to the state DMV and enter your information into the vehicle insurance database.

Once the state receives proof that you have the appropriate coverage, only under this condition will your license be reinstated.

If your insurance is canceled for any reason, such as lack of payment, the car insurance company will immediately report this to the national database and the state, and your license will be revoked.

If you cancel the SR-22 insurance yourself, the car insurance company will also report that to the proper officials, and your license will be revoked.

Law enforcement agencies react quite strongly when it comes to someone who doesn’t have valid license status; you could end up paying heavy fines for not driving with a valid license and you could even end up doing jail time. You’d also have to pay an additional charge in order to get your license reinstated. The only way around this is to secure SR-22 type of coverage with another insurance company and have that submitted before you cancel your current policy.

Are you breaking the law by not having car insurance?

If you are in a car accident or you get pulled over for a moving violation, one of the items a police officer will ask to see is your proof of insurance. If you don’t have this, you can be in serious trouble. Add that on top of a revoked license, and you’re going to be in dire straits.

Every state has its own laws regarding how much car insurance you are obligated to buy and what will happen to you if you fail to abide by those laws. Taking care to ensure you’re following the laws set by your state will ensure you run into no sort of problems.

In general, if you drive without car insurance you can be subjected to substantial fines and your driving privileges may be suspended for up to one year.

You can also be ordered to serve jail time or perform a certain number of community hours if you don’t keep your insurance status in the green.

The repercussions of being involved in a car accident without car insurance can be even more severe. If you are at fault for the accident and someone gets hurt, you will be responsible for all of their medical expenses and any damage to their vehicle out of your own pocket.

Any property damage that results from your doing is your responsibility. This includes hitting someone’s fence or running into a mailbox. If you don’t have any liability insurance for your car, then you will be paying for all repairs and replacements.

The Bottom Line

Driving without insurance is not worth the risk or cost. The national car insurance database makes it easy to track down lawbreakers. Insurance companies use this database as much as they possibly can.

If you’re curious about the laws in your state, you can talk with an insurance agent, though most consumers these days enjoy the ease of what online insurance websites have to offer. Make sure you have sufficient automobile insurance by entering your ZIP code now for free car insurance quotes.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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