How to Deal With “No Proof Of Insurance” Violations the Right Way. 2014 Update

Over the years we have noticed lots and lots of serious traffic court problems start out as simple tickets for not having proof of financial responsibility while driving (auto liability insurance). These violations are known as “proof of insurance” violations, or in California, Vehicle Code section 16028(a) violations.

Believe it or not, there are people who end up in jail and losing their car to government impound because they screw up a simple proof of insurance violation. But that is not going to happen to you! Read on.

Here is what you need to know to resolve a proof of insurance violation correctly – even if you did not have insurance at the time, or even if you missed the court date on your traffic ticket.

In California, the “no insurance” violation is known as a violation of Vehicle Code section 16028a. Many states have a very similar law. It is a very expensive violation, often costing much more than auto insurance itself ($1200+ in some courts).

If you happen to have an accident without insurance – Disaster Awaits.

1. Understand the Vehicle Code 16028a Insurance Violation First.

The first thing you need to know is that a Vehicle Code 16028a violation is a violation for NOT HAVING PROOF of insurance with you WHEN THE COP SAID: “May I See Your Proof of Insurance?”.

Vehicle Code section 16028a is NOT a violation for NOT HAVING insurance. Get it?  It’s all about the proof.

The law says exactly this:

“All drivers and all owners of a motor vehicle shall at all times … carry in the vehicle evidence of financial responsibility in effect for the vehicle.” (See Vehicle Code section 16020(a).)

“Upon the demand of a peace officer … every person who drivers a motor vehicle … shall provide evidence of financial responsibility. (Vehicle Code section 16028(a).)”

Thus, even if you had valid auto insurance at the time the officer asks for it, if you did not have the proof with you, you are in violation of the law.

Because of this, having proof of insurance later in court is not a DEFENSE to a VC16028(a) charge. But it may be PROOF OF CORRECTION, which is different than a defense. Officers and the courts have the option of treating such a violation as correctable. We discuss that possibility below.

One thing you need to know for sure, however, is this: PROOF OF INSURANCE IS NOT REQUIRED TO TAKE CARE OF A Vehicle Code 16028(a) violation. It may help, but it is not required.

DO NOT MISS YOUR COURT DATE BECAUSE YOU FEAR YOU NEED PROOF OF INSURANCE TO SHOW THE COURT!
You are not required to show proof of insurance in court.

2. If You Had Valid Auto Insurance on the Day of the Alleged Violation, Get the Ticket Dismissed.

Generally, a Proof of Insurance violation is a correctable violation, if the officer marks it as such on the citation.  This means that if you show the court proof of insurance coverage you had at the time of the alleged violation, the Court should dismiss the violation. 

What if you went out and bought auto insurance the same day of the incident, but after you signed the ticket? It might help, unless you get caught lying about the times. And smart judges are keenly aware of that classic stoner trick.

Insurance violations are not correctable in all situations. But defendants who show up in court in person with proof of insurance may ask that it be treated as correctable.

WARNING! You cannot just send the court your “proof of insurance” and expect everything to be OK. There is more to it.  And there is a deadline for taking care of it on the bottom of your ticket, right next to your signature. Do not wait for the court to send you anything! You must deal with a traffic citation on or before the date net to your signature on the ticket.

What if the citation was mailed to you and you did not sign it? You still must deal with the citation on or before the deadline on the citation in order to get the best results – with or without insurance coverage.

The best way to show the court proof of correction and get your insurance violation dismissed is to go to the court in person before the date on your ticket and to ask the court for an “In Person Arraignment” to Show Proof of insurance and request dismissal.

Warning! If you get your insurance violation dismissed, there is almost always a “dismissal fee” to pay at the courthouse. Once the violation is dismissed, a defendant who is at the courthouse can pay the dismissal fee immediately, and get a receipt.

In some courts, the court clerks office can take the proof of correction on an insurance violation in person at the clerk’s window.

If you fail to pay the court dismissal fee, the citation will not be dismissed, and it will fester into a failure to appear case.

In other courts, you may have to personally appear in front of a judge to provide proof of insurance. You may have to tell the judge in person you have proof of correction, and ask for the dismissal.

The second best way to get an insurance violation dismissed is to call the court clerk and ask:

“What is the bail on this citation if I have proof of insurance on the day of the citation?”

Then, once you know the bail amount, you can send the “bail” with the proof of insurance to the court.

Get proof of the date you sent it.  Send a money order.  Keep copies of everything.  If you attempt to deal with an insurance violation by mail, you should call the court before the court date on your citation to verify they have dismissed it.  If they have not, go to court on the day listed on your ticket and verify dismissal in person or appear in court for arraignment.

The “dismissal” fee is currently $25 in many courts, but check yourself by contacting the court clerk.

3. If You Did Not Have Insurance at the Time of the Alleged Violation, Get It Immediately.

The fine on a non corrected Proof of Insurance Violation is almost always more expensive than the insurance itself.  If you get auto insurance after the date of the ticket, most judges will give you a break.  And the Vehicle Code actually states that if you get auto liability insurance after the fact, you qualify for the minimum fine.

Thus, even if you get insurance later, it may save you money.

Once you get valid auto insurance after the ticket, you have to go into court in person to get anything done.   Take proof of your new insurance to court in person before the date on your ticket. Ask the court clerk for an In Person Arraignment. They may give you a walk in date, they may set a date for you.

Once you are in front of the judge, here is an option: tell him/her that you took “Corrective Action”, got insurance, and just want to resolve the case.  Tell the judge the date you got insurance, and that you will never let it lapse again.  Ask the judge to dismiss the case “in the interests of justice (Penal Code 1385)”, or in the alternative, give you the minimum or a “suspended” fine.

See what happens.

4. If You Cannot Buy Insurance, Go To Court In Person, Make Arrangements to Pay the Fine.

You do not need auto insurance to take care of an insurance violation.  You can just plead guilty to the violation without insurance and pay the fine.  No Problem.  No money, no insurance, but no problem ending the case corectly. Ask for a payment plan at teh court clerks office if you need it. 

If you ask, most judges will give you more time to: 1) get insurance; 2) talk to an attorney; or 3) review your rights and options for trial if you need it. 

Don’t be afraid to go to court in person and ask for more time if you need it. 

If you need more time, you should go in person, BEFORE THE DATE ON YOUR CITATION next to your signature. See the judge and plead not guilty if you have to, but usually the court clerk can give you a continuance of approx 30 days if you show up before your court date.  The judge can certainly do it in person. No problem.  No insurance, but no problem getting more time.

Do not ask for more time by mail.  Do Not try to do it over the phone and expect everything to be OK.  Keep copies of everything.  Get proof you were there. Expect them to claim later that you failed to appear on time.

If you cannot get insurance 30 days after your first court appearance, give up. Stop driving. It’s not really working out for you as a driver. Take a break from cars.  Try again later. You cannot drive without auto liability insurance.

5. If You Missed the Date on Your Citation, Go To Court And Ask for a Walk In Arraignment.

The deadline to present any kind of proof of correction is on the traffic citation paper the cop gave you by your signature. You must take action before that date – EVEN IF THE COURT DOES NOT SEND YOU ANYTHING.  If you miss that date, you really just have to find a way to talk the judge into giving you a break. And that means you have to go in person – as soon as possible.

Go to court in person before 8 am.  Ask the traffic court clerk for a walk in court appearance.  Don’t tell her/him why. Just get in there. Once in there, tell the judge you have proof of correction (or after the fact insurance) and ask for relief.

If you miss the date by one day or a short time, with some effort in person, you can get something done. If the date is long passed you may end up as one of those lost souls with a suspended drivers license, misdemeanor failure to appear charge (VC 40508a) and possible a bench warrant.

5. If You Want to Really Fight, Challenge The Illegal Stop.

Some traffic ticket citations have only one violation listed – a proof of insurance violation under Vehicle Code 16028 – without any identification of the reason for the stop.  Seems to me, these citations are vulnerable at trial to a person who knows how to cross examine a police officer – and to a Motion under Penal Code section 1538.5.  (Sample Self Help Suppression Motion Template)

The reason is that a stop of a vehicle by an officer for the sole purpose of verifying auto insurance is a violation of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution which prohibits unlawful searches and seizures.

One final tip? Do not wait for the court to send you a courtesy notice. They will not send one. They don’t have the money. The deadline to take care of a traffic citation is listed on the ticket itself, right next to your signature.

Questions? Leave a Comment. We hope this helps.

About Attorney Christopher Dort

Public Interest Attorney. CA State Bar #196832. Licensed to practice law in California 1998, and then the US Federal District Court in 2000. Civil Litigation Trial Attorney (Insurance Defense Firms) 2000-2003. Private practice 2003 - present. First Solo Criminal Jury Trial 1998 (Santa Cruz County). First Civil Jury Trial 2002 (Orange County). Santa Cruz County Public Defenders Office 1996-1999 (law clerk). BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz, 1995. JD, University of California, Hastings, 1998.
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91 Responses to How to Deal With “No Proof Of Insurance” Violations the Right Way. 2014 Update

  1. Johnny says:

    Chris,I live in Washington state so I’m not sure about the law differences are from other states but here’s my story. I was speeding and got pulled over on july 5th. Just bought a car so registration on it is new and i gave him the excuse that I didn’t switch it over to the car yet. he came back and gave me a speeding ticket and didn’t give me a ticket for no insurance. so I asked him to show me the radar where I was speeding he said I can see it in court. I didn’t think that they can do that. for I thought they had to show you?? well after I asked him that, he then pulled out his card and said he wants me to transfer over the insurance to this car and fax it to him within 15 days, and if I don’t within 15 days he’s going to mail me a no insurance ticket. well as of today, I got the letter for a no insurance ticket at 550 dollars. the problem is, I lost his card right after, plus I decided not to insure it because im not driving the car anymore. so do you think this is a case I can win? I was also reading that the violation code is 46.30.020 which people were saying online that it should have had a rcw in front of it, making it a total different case? Well the motor to the car is out and non running which is why I never put insurance towards it afterwards, plus i have pictures to prove it. is there any way I can just tell them that there was no point putting insurance towards a car I’m not going to drive? Plus it was weird to me that if i didn’t have insurance then, why didn’t he just give me the no insurance ticket? The No insurance ticket is issued on the 7-19-14 which should dismiss the case since the officer has not properly charged me, there for there is no subsection, correct? Let me know what you think. Thanks

  2. Roy says:

    Hi. I am hoping you can give me some useful information. I have not been able to find any info in regards to my situation. I live in Florida and I found out recently that my license was suspended for not having insurance on a car that I no longer own. I now have no car but I need my license reinstated to drive a scooter which I plan on buying. In Florida you do not have to have insurance to drive a scooter. Any advise you can give me to help reinstate my license would be greatly appreciated.

  3. jessie says:

    I was pulled over and given a warning for running a light but I didn’t have a current insurance card. I have now sold the car and cancelled my insurance. I asked my insurance company to send me something saying I had insurance at the time of the ticket and they sent me a new insurance card saying I have insurance until August. I have court tomorrow but none of this will prove I had insurance at the time. I don’t want to lie but I also don’t have proof I sold the car because my mechanic sold it for me. I am really worried. To top it all off I have almost no money and wont have any until my student loan comes in August. Help.

  4. Catalina says:

    Hi Chris,

    Your answers are quite entertaining as well as helpful.

    Here’s my question: my boss wants to sell his RV that he has owned for a year but has never used. The vehicle has an NPO (non operating registration). A local dealership is trying to sell it for him. They drove it to a local RV trade show but forgot to put on the dealer tags when transporting it. The driver got pulled over and received two citations: 1) 4000A1 – no registration and 2) 16028A – no proof of insurance. The ticket was not signed by the driver – the officer wrote “R/O responsibility”.

    The dealer should have put his tag on it when driving and did not. Does the owner have any recourse for the registration issue?

    Second, he did have the vehicle insured. The fleet driver/numbskull driving did not know where it was, which was the center console. The owner can easily show proof of insurance and plead his case however his primary residence is out of state and will not be in town for the court date. Can anyone go to court and represent him and plead his case? And if so would they need a power of attorney?

    Do either of these violations carry points against his license? If not, the dealership said they would pay the fines as they admit it was their fault. It would just be easier to let them pay if there is no negative impact on the owners record.

    By the way, the court date is this Friday, the 13th!, and the citation has not posted on line yet to pay or ask for an extension.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
    Catalina

  5. andrea says:

    Hello,
    I was just ticketed in Glendale, CA for making a u-turn in a business district
    the officer noted that i had no proof of insurance
    I don’t have insurance because teenage insurance is costly.
    I want to tell my parents about it before my court date so i can have insurance but I’m not sure how or how everything will happen.
    Help please !

  6. Charlene says:

    I live in texas I receieved a no insurance ticket yesterday and the same day within an hour I had insurance back on the car. I went to court this morning and said no prosecutor was available right now to call later today and see the status of my ticket. Whats the possibility since I took my proof that my ticket will be dismissed, I have nothing on my record prior to this.

  7. antonio says:

    Hey i was reading the section about the no insurance. I wanted to ask you if the cop add no insurance to the ticket and he also marks not correctable, can i still get some sort of break from the judge if i show that i have insurance and that it was active at the time of the violation?

    thanks in advance.

    • Antonio?

      This is a great question.

      The correct legal answer is that it is not correctable if the officer does not mark it as such.

      But the real answer is that it varies from courtroom to courtroom.

      I tell people in this situation to show up to court on time, bring proof of insurance with you, and ask the judge for what you want. Tell the judge why you should get what you want. Ask for what you want again, and say thank you. See what happens.

  8. Sandy Duhaney says:

    Dear Christopher,
    My son was stopped for speeding 15 over the limit and was asked for proof on insurance which he had but the card was expired. He missed his court date and went to court without the new proof of insurance card. The car registration and insurance is in my name. I went to court with proof of insurance but his name was already called and they would even look at the papers. My son plead nole. But the fine was $848 with 30 days possible probation. he’s 21 yrs old. Can I appeal the case?

  9. Hailey says:

    I was parked in the woods at the lake fishing. I have friends that live in the nieghorhood and there is no reason to get on any real highways. Buti still drove from there house to the Corp of Engineer owned property at the lake. The car had no insurance, i wasnt even in the car i was fishing when the Game Warden came up and asked who’s car it was. It is really not mine but i took responsibility since i drove it the few miles there. I was ticketed for no insurance. Can i get around this somehow??

  10. Jess says:

    I live in Missouri, I got a ticket for “Proof of insurance” and called my insurance company to reinstate it, they told me the amount I owed for the previous month and said that it would reinstate my policy. Well it didn’t and I had an accident a month later. I Got ANOTHER proof of insurance ticket. I am getting ready to move to AK and will be driving up there on my court date. I won’t be in the state anymore and have every intentions of paying the tickets as soon as I can, but don’t have the money at the moment. My question is, if I get pulled over, will I get arrested? As well as what is the best way for me to proceed?
    Thanks,
    Jessica

  11. Jenifer A. says:

    Hi, I was pulled over on a vehicle that was not mine at the time. Apparently owner did not have insurance in the car, I was cited for no proof of insurance. I contacted the owner which provided me with some sort of commercial insurance for his small dealership but the county clerk did not accept it, as the insurance card does not specify which vehicle is covered. It just says “All owned vehicles are covered”. Now I have purchased the car and have insurance on it, my time is running out and to get in contact with the previous owner of the car to get further proof of his insurance is becoming a pain. What should I do? County clerk suggested I sign a “affidavit of Non-ownership” but I don’t know if it will go against me since now (after citation was given) I am the owner of vehicle. Please adv

    • Jenifer,

      I cannot tell where this is, but I can tell you that in CA, it is the DRIVER’s RESPONSIBILITY to carry proof of insurance coverage – not the owner of the car.

      You drove a car without insurance coverage and got caught. Sounds like you are guilty. Suck it up.

      Maybe the law is different where you are?

  12. Paul says:

    I got a ticket for 1786-F, which means that the insurance card I showed in PA was expired. I have insurance and plead not guilty, so when I go to court all I should have to do is show that I have current insurance, right? Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to the Liaison Officer so I have to go to court. Is there any chance that my license will be suspended because I showed an outdated insurance card even though I had insurance just not the right card in my car?

  13. Robert Towers says:

    so today i just got my truck running and drove it into town from my parents house to my house and grabbed carls jr on the way home. cop stopped me 10 blocks from my house for no reg. well my reg was paid almost one year ago, i was not able to smog it due to it breaking down and just finally got it running today…i literally planned on getting it smogged tomorrow and finishing everything. i still am going tomorrow and getting the smog done, anyway i got fix it tickets for no proof of ins and reg. vc 16028a and 4000a respectively. since i’ve already paid my reg and assuming everything goes ok at the smog place tomorrow can i have the cops sign off the ticket for the reg? as for the insurance i dont have any that i know of for that truck at this time. my mom had some on it a few months back but im not sure if she let it lapse. im planning on getting it tonight or tomorrow. i live in placer county in CA. what kind of recourse do you think is best to go from here?

    • Robert,

      Great question.

      Too bad you aren’t one of those lizard like cyclists who ride their bike everywhere and would never eat at CJs!

      Yes, get the car registered, and get a CHP officer to sign off on your citation or courtesy notice. Or both. Yes, both. And take a cell phone video of the officer signing it. And a picture of your registration.

      You can go to any CHP Business office. Let me figure out where you are. Probably auburn. Too many hills to ride a bike, and it makes sense that you would take the truck. Roseville is flat, you could ride a bike. If you were in colfax, you would have went to grumpies. Must be auburn. There is a CHP office in auburn. Check the web site. I think they charge $30 or so for a signature.

      As for the insurance, get it also, and offer it as proof of correction. You probably would not qualify for a dismissal because of the dates, (you are guilty) but you may be eligible for the minimum fine. Check the statute. No, dont. That one will give you a headache.

      If you need more time to get all of this done, just go to the court in person on time and ask for more time.

  14. Matt says:

    Hi, I got stopped for not displaying a front license plate yesterday and did not have insurance on that car, or have it registered yet, as it has been sitting in my yard since I bought it a year ago. When he asked me if I had insurance I said no. I did not think about it at the time but I am covered in my wife’s car and I did have the proof on me at the time, just did not think about it. What can I do? The ticket for no insurance is $400 and no clue what the no registration is. If I get insurance now and get it registered, should the judge give me a break? I cannot bear the thought of paying over $400 for this. Since I DID have coverage on the day I was stopped, and can prove that I did just not for the car I was in, might he take that into consideration? I am just curious about whatever info or advice you can give me. I live in Texas so I do realize this is not where you practice and you cannot tell me exactly what to do, but I just ask you as an attorney in general to help me as much as you can. Thanks so much.

    • Matt,

      I am not licensed to practice there. But I can tell you this: if you check the declarations page of your insurance policy – it might say you are covered for all cars you drive on a temporary basis. If it does, try to use that.

  15. Gloria says:

    hi chris i got in a car accident dec 17 2012 .i have insurance but disnt have it with at the time of the collision the othe rguy hit me i hope im not to late to do anything. i went to court once did the Arraignment and pleaded not guilty i never been to court in my life so when i got in there and the judge told me how do you plead yourself i said not guilty and that was that he didnt even let me talk .my ticket i had to pay it march 6th so they told me to come back on that day to say i couldnt pay . so i went march 6th 2013 the clerk was a total jerk and told me to just come back tomorrow she was so rude she said that i was to late when i had been standing in line since 720 am . so i went back the next day march 7th2013 and the clerk just schedule me with the judge sooo then i went to go speak to the judge and told me my ticket was non correctable when the cop that cited me told me it was and that all i had to do was go and show proof of my insurance. so now im scheduled to go back to court on march the 15th and the officer who cited me is suppose to be there is there anything i can do i cant do traffic school i just did that a while a go and i have no money for that ticket

  16. Robin says:

    Hi Chris my name is Robin I received a ticket about three days ago for speeding 15 over the speed limit and no proof of insurance im scared to tell my guardian about this im 17 years old and im thinking about just going myself with an older friend im not sure if i have insurance or not im looking into it and if not im going to try and get it my ticket is $91 all together (including court costs) so its not bad problem is i dont make much money so if i dont have insurance and i dont have money to buy any then what will happen i just dont want this to get way out of hand

    • Robin,

      Great comment. EZ solution.

      Just go to court and deal with it there. It will suck, but go ASAP.

      Once you get there, everything gets better. If you need lots of time to pay a fine you want to plead guilty to – no problem – I am nearly certain they will give it to you.

      The secret is going to court on time. Just get there. You can go. You are the driver after all. Take responsibility. Be an adult driver.

      Traffic Ticket problems usually only get really bad for people who dont go on time.

  17. Chris C. says:

    Hi Chris,

    I am in WA and last week I received a No Proof of Insurance ticket in the mail from Oct. 2005 (yes, from 7 years ago). I was driving my sister’s car when another car failed to yield and hit us. The damages were minor and the officer did not report it as an accident, but when he asked for proof of insurance, I was not able to find it in her car. I vaguely remember him saying he was going to cite for no insurance (RCW 46.30.020), but I am receiving the ticket now with the chance to dispute it.

    I know I had my own car at the time and my own insurance for my car (I honestly do not remember why I was driving her car in the first place). We are having a heck of a time finding the insurance record and my sister is not exactly being helpful in this endeavor. She says she doesn’t know what insurance company she was with at the time. We found out from her bank that she was with one insurance company until a month before the ticket and then they have no record of who she was insured with after that. She has told me that the bank told her this is because of a database change around this time. My sister has been quite unwilling to call insurance companies to find out who she had at the time.

    I can try to contest the ticket with my own insurace and I read through your rules (show up on time and plead your case), but I want to know what advice you might have for finding this insurance information so I can stand a better chance to contest this ticket.

    • Chris C,

      My suggestions are based upon CA law, not WA law. And I am not licensed to practice in WA.

      But are you saying the ticket was issued for the first time 7 years after the incident? If so, you have a serious statute of limitations and due process violation problem. The problem is that it has been so long that your defense has been prejudiced by the delay because now it is too late to find those documents.

      Or are you really saying “I got and signed a citation 7 years ago. They just found me and mailed me a notice?”

      Those are 2 totally different things.

      • Chris C. says:

        The ticket seems to be written the day of the infraction and is stamped within the county court for 2005. I hadn’t moved from my address at the time for awhile after the incident. So it seems as if they had failed to mail it to me at the time, forgot about it, dug it up later, and found a current address to send it to.

        The officer didn’t have me “sign” the ticket. Under the line defendant’s signature, he wrote “INVESTIGATION”

        • Chris C.,

          I cannot tell you what to do. And I do not know the facts or the law where you are at. And everything that I wrote today was wrong. You should not trust anything I say, it does not apply to you.

          But if someone were to send me a 7 year old citation that I did not sign, I might just use it to wipe my dog’s assss, then recycle it.

          If I were you, I would not do that.

  18. Andy says:

    I just have one question, will my license be suspended? Im in Ca. and i did not get in an accident i was just stopped for not wearing a seat belt. I have an arraignment tomorrow and i am purchasing insurance today. The citation was given to me about 9 months ago.

  19. Tim says:

    Hi Mr. Dort,

    I am in California. While driving my girlfriend’s car (girlfriend was in the passenger’s seat), I was pulled over for having a broken tail light. We both had proof of insurance, but my proof of insurance is for my car and hers was for her car. I am not insured on her car.

    I was issued a ticket for a Correctable Violation, indicating 16028 – No Proof of Insurance.

    Can I correct the violation by providing each of our proofs of insurance to the court? Would it make a difference if I were to get added as a driver to the insurance for her car?

    Thanks for your help, and Happy Holidays,
    -Tim

  20. Jay says:

    Dear Chris,

    Just got a speeding ticket and I dont have insurance, didn’t show proof of drivers license, and no front license plate. What should I do? What are the consequences?

  21. julio says:

    Hello Chris last week on Friday I wrecked my car and I didn’t have insurance so what can I do? Also I Dont have the car Anny more
    And I’m located in california

  22. Archie S. says:

    Christopher,

    I was pulled over about 2 months ago (Late August 2012) for a moving violation. I had a few drinks 2 hours before leaving my friend’s house so when he pulled me over I was in an extremely nervous state of mind. When the officer asked for my proof of insurance, my mind blanked and I was unable to find it. I explained to him that I was in fact insured, but just couldn’t find my proof. He left with my license and registration. When he went to enter my information into his computer, I found my proof of insurance. Wen he returned I showed it to him and he told me that it was too late and that he already entered the ‘failure to show proof of insurance’ violation into the system.

    Fast forward to today. I received a letter in the mail saying that I now owe $1100 to the city court. What would you say is the best option for me to take at this point?

  23. Brian says:

    Christopher, I recently got pulled over for having a headlight out. I was pretty upset at the time because I had just spent the day at the hospital where a family member was and they made the decision that life support would be taken off of her the following day. Due to my state of mind at the time I couldn’t think straight when the officer first asked for my proof of insurance so he said something like “that’s ok, wait here.” and he went back to his car with my Driver’s License and registration. A few minutes later he had me get out of the car to do some kind of test to make sure I wasn’t on anything. After that test, I told him that I’m sure I have my proof of insurance in my wallet, but again, he said something like “no, that’s ok.” Should I still have gotten a ticket for failing to provide proof of insurance?

  24. Jessy says:

    I got pulled over (so cal)because my license plate lights were too dim? (but I think they are fine) well anyways I got a ticket for no POI and the ticket only shows VC16028. (I did not have insurance) what do I do? Can I fight it? If I do what happens if I lose or win?

  25. Jared says:

    I got pulled over this past July for having non working brake lights
    (only worked when brakes were put in action), The police officer asked for my registration & license so i handed it to him, he did the run and gave me my registration and license back and said “get insurance” and sent me my way.
    I recently just got a ticket concerning this pull over, for having no liability insurance while driving. Usually, they give you a citation for this, you have to sign it and etc…

    I never signed anything.

    I spoke to someone on the phone and they are saying they don’t need my signature.

    Can i get this dismissed?

  26. john sterling says:

    My question is, I got a speeding ticket for going 15 miles past the speeding limit in CA, when stopped the officer asked me for proof of insurance and i submitted a insurance card (expired) not knowing it was expired. The officer gave me a fix it ticket for insurance, and I received my citation in the mail. Total amount owned was about 1138 dollars.

    How do I dismiss the insurance citation since I really did have insurance that day, ( I had forgotten to place the new card in the car)

    THANKS

    • How to Get an Insurance Violation Dismissed If YOU Have Proof of Insurance?

      John,

      Good question.

      You have a Vehicle Code 16028 insurance violation, and proof of insurance for that day? OK. Not a Problem.

      Go to the courthouse in person with your proof of insurance. See if the court clerk will dismiss it at the counter (you will have to pay a dismissal fee). Get proof you paid the dismissal fee.

      If the court clerk will not dismiss it at the counter, demand a walk in arraignment, show the judge your proof of insurance, ask for dismissal.

  27. Val says:

    Hi I had an accident about two weeks ago and got a ticket for no proof of insurance. The vehicle is totaled, but if I have insurance on another vehicle can I still possibly have my fine reduced.

  28. Chris says:

    Hi, so yesterday I got pulled over for driving with no insurance and they took my license away from me and my court date isn’t until next month and desperately need to speed things up because I work and Im trying to get a second job plus I go to school. I stay in Illinois and this state is ridiculous when it comes to fines and everything. Is there anything I can do to get my license and car back as soon as possible.

    • Chris,

      I cannot tell where this is – and I am not licensed in IL.

      But I can say this: it looks like you got pulled over for something different than not having insurance.

      What, did the cop just drove by you and say to herself “this dude has no insurance, I need to stop him …”

      Then the other thing I can say is that speeding up your court date wont help you. That is when you are going to get punished. That is not when you are going to get your drivers license back.

      It sounds like your drivers license was suspended. That is why they took it from you (and maybe why you were stopped – and maybe why you do not have insurance).

      You need to find out why your drivers license is suspended (assuming I am right) – then deal with that problem (probably a different court case) and then show up to court on time on the new case with a new drivers license if you can.

      And that is all of the general info I have for you.

  29. Ashlyn says:

    I am in an awful situation.
    When trying to switch my coverage from my first car to my second, they said they “couldn’t” do this. In the mean time, I got in a small wreck with the second car. Of course, the insurance that was still covering my other car said they wouldn’t cover me as a driver in my new car – the BMV then suspended me for no proof of insurance. A week before my suspension was up, I was pulled over for improper tail lights. He impounded my car for driving while suspended and issued me a ticket. I then went to court, paid my fine, and the judge said my suspension would be three months longer. I recently checked my driver records online and I have been getting letters from the BMV. I never got these letters because I do not live with my parents, which is where the mail has been going… I have letters saying my license is suspended until next year, that I have 14 points now, have to take a defense course, and a bunch of other bull. I don’t know how to fix any of this… I just thought my license was suspended for three months longer and that was it. I didn’t know I was supposed to send financial proof after my court date and driving while suspended.. I am taking a course now, but It still says I am suspended for a year?? How is this so? What am I supposed to do at this point?

    • Ashlyn,

      I cannot tell where this is, but my thoughts are:

      1) stop driving (sounds like you missed the hint from the government here);
      2) go to your local BMV in person today to make sure they have your current mailing address at all times and to ask them in person what you have to do to get your license back; and
      3) start driving school all over again. From scratch.

  30. Tim says:

    Hi my name is Tim and i actually got an operating without insurance ticket and did not got to court……but then i finally went and paid the suspension after 2 years…. i requested another court date and they gave me one……now my problem is i never owened the car i was working on it for a friend and it had a blown rod. he didnt want me to fix it so i pulled it out of my garage. and pulled it in my neighbors drive way. so i can put my car in the garage then i got back in it and pulled into the rode to put it back in my drive way and a cop pulled me over in my drive way so i explained it to him and he gave me no insurance no registration and no inspection….what can i do to keep my license?

  31. Daniel says:

    First of all, I would love to say your website blog is very informative.

    I got pulled over and was given a ticket for no insurance. But I got the insurance on the same day I was pulled over, only after the ticket. I was hoping to dismiss the ticket, and just pay the fee by showing my proof of insurance, which has that exact day I got the ticket. However, the clerk I talked to mentioned that they would make me pay the fee alright, dismissing the ticket, but then follow-up with the insurance company to see if I had the insurance before the ticket. I don’t know what happens after that. But I really don’t know how to deal with the situation now. My court date is September 24, so I only have about a week to make this decision. Please, what do you suggest I do?

    • Daniel,

      That’s the oldest stoner trick in the traffic court book. You are not going to fool anyone.

      My advice? Dont lie in court.

      I’ve got lots of stories to tell about why you should not lie in court. One story involving a poor dude who had the bad luck to live with a firebombing environmentalist, and who had the FBI body slam him with perjury charges from a non related document to get him to talk about his roommate’s activities.

      No, that’s not true! Ha. Not true. I dont know anything about that alleged case. Do whatever you want, dude. Let God sort it out later.

  32. Mia says:

    I have a question. My car was parked and a police officer hit my parked car. They asked if I have insurance on it and I said no and they asked how long I have been driving it and I said about 1 week. And I got a citation for it. Just bought insurance for it, is it possible to show proof of insurance? I have no court date unless I want to schedule it.

    • Mia,

      First thing I have to say is that if you signed a citation – YOU DO HAVE A COURT DATE!!!!!! It’s right by your signature. Read it.

      (maybe I’m wrong, but I bet it is there).

      Second, are you asking me:

      “I admitted to the cop I was driving without insurance. I did not have insurance at the time.” Can I show proof of insurance?”

      If so answer = No. You did not have insurance on that date.

      Proof later insurance might help you talk the judge into a dismissal or lowed fine – but you are not entitled to such a great outcome.

  33. crystal says:

    Hi i have a quick question. My brother was driving his truck but its in my name. He got a fix it ticket for insurance. He did see the judge on his assigned court date bc the ticket was also for drving with a suspened dl. however, We got the fix-it ticket signed (three days after he went to court) not sure if the judge even acknowledged the fix it part of his ticket. Anywasy, I did go have the ticket signed but it has gotten thrown away before i could take it to the court. My question is will it still count as a failure to appear if he did go on his assigned date infront of a judge and since he did see a judge does he need to still have the ticket as proof of correction or is it already accounted for in his fines and what not bc he saw a judge on his due date?

    • Crystal,

      A traffic ticket for failure to provide proof of financial responsibility (insurance) is not a fix it ticket in CA.

      Before you could take it to court? Sounds like your brother has a problem.

      I have good news. It’s not your problem.

      Other than that, I really dont understand the ?.

      “My question is will it still count as a failure to appear if he did go on his assigned date infront of a judge and since he did see a judge does he need to still have the ticket as proof of correction or is it already accounted for in his fines and what not bc he saw a judge on his due date?”

      What? Please re submit.

  34. Matt says:

    I got pulled over today for using my phone at stoplight today while my roommate and I were moving out of our apartment. I didn’t have proof of insurance in my roommates vehicle since he had it on him from renting our moving truck and forgot to put it back in his car. The officer said it could be correctable if we went to the courthouse and showed the insurance. Is that correct information? Can that be done before the court date on the ticket (which is November, and id rather get this cleared up if possible)? Thanks.

    • Matt,

      This is a good question. If you have proof of insurance on that day, the best way to resolve the problem is to take your proof of insurance to the court in person prior to the date on the traffic ticket next to your signature. See if the court clerk will accept your proof, and do a dismissal at the clerks window. If not, ask for a walk in arraignment, go in person, show the judge your proof of insurance, and ask for dismissal.

      It might work out for you.

      But technically, if you did not show that proof the officer at the moment he/she asked for it, you are guilty. And it might all be a giant waste of time in court- because they might just tell you no.

      Every courthouse is different on this issue.

  35. Kim says:

    Just wondering if you could tell me how to go about an SR 22. I received a ticket for no proof of insurance and at the time I did not have any. I went to court paid my ticket and showed them insurance I had recently purchased. I figured it was all taken care of and then I come to find out my license is suspended and I need an SR 22. I have no clue as to how beggin to solve this situation without having to purchase that SR 22.

    • Kim,

      It’s simple. You just need money and a drivers license. Start calling insurance companies. An SR22 (form) just means you are an assigned risk to an insurance company. They have to take you, they have to provide you with the SR22 form, and you have you to make sure you get it to DMV. You have to pay for it.

  36. Jonathan says:

    Chris, Here is my question. I was pulled over for making a rolling stop at a stop sign. I was driving my brothers car. He was giving it to me but we hadn’t made the transition yet of getting it on my insurance and the title transfered. Well I didn’t realize that the insurance card was expired. The insurance was my brothers. Well I got a ticket for no proof of insurance as well as running a stop sign. I talked to my brother about it and he said well lets just take care of the transaction of me giving it to you. So I went ahead and got my own insurance that same day. Did I shoot myself in the foot? Since I bought my own insurance that day are they going to think that I didn’t have insurance at the time? Thanks for any advice you can give.

    • Jonathan,

      You’re totally guilty. You did not have proof of insurance with you when the officer asked for it. Guilty.

      Wait. Let me double check. Let’s see . . . . Did defendant show the officer proof of insurance when asked? No.

      Hum . . Yeap . . Guilty. It does not matter at all whose car it was. What matters is who is driving.

  37. Jason says:

    Hey Chris,

    I got pulled over two weeks ago. I’m on my parents insurance, and about three months ago I sold my car for a truck. The car was insured, but my insurance was not updated to the truck. Is this the same as having no insurance? I’d love to blame this on my parents for not updating it, but thats wishful thinking

  38. Eduardo P says:

    Hello, I have a question and I would sppreciate if someone could help.me out. I bougth a car yesterday and I took the plates out my old car to move it to my home.l got pulled over going 40 in a 30mph zone, and got my car towed and 4 tickets. One for no registration,wrong plates, speeding, and no ensurance. I got ensurance for the car as soon as l got home. But l don’t know what to do next l never been pulled over in all my life. All this happened in NYS. I moved from on city to another the day before and l just wanted to take the car home. Im very sorry if my english is bad,it is not my main language. Thanks

  39. Jeff says:

    My Son received a fix it ticket ( tail light), and no proof of insurance while driving his girlfriend’s car. They are no longer together and he can’t get the proof from her that the car did/does have insurance and tail light fixed. He did have pd/pl on his own vehicle at the time. Is explaining this to the court his only option?

    • DortLaw says:

      Jeff,

      Great question. Maybe all my complaining about bad questions is working.

      Your son should go to the court and ask for an “arraignment in person” if one is not scheduled already. Show up on time in person, with his own insurance proof – and just tell the judge it was not his car, he has no access to it any longer.

      His own prof of insurance coverage on that date is probably sufficient to justify a dismissal of that charge, because that policy probably covered him in any car (but I am not sure).

      As for the light problem, you just have to ask for dismissal and try to get something done. Proof of correction is not required – it just makes things cheaper.

      • Colleen says:

        Hey Chris,
        This did not work for me in Santa Ana, Ca. because the borrowed car i was driving was not included on my insurance the refused to accept my current full coverage insurance. she said guity, not guilty, or do i need an extention? i was so confused and extention for what? more time is not going to change the fact that the car (which is not mine) would appear on my insurance? I dont want to pay for someone elses insurance. i plead not guilty and have court tomorrow. sounds like i am not going to have a good outcome.,

  40. Andrew L. says:

    Hi, I’m hoping somebody can help me out. I was pulled over at work yesterday in a company car. I work at Ford and they had me doing shuttles that day and I was pretty backed up and kind of in a hurry to avoid pissing off customers and my manager. I was pulled over for speeding; the officer said I was going 10 over, although I don’t believe I was going that fast. Then he of course asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance, but I couldn’t find the insurance, although the vehicle is insured. I just panicked because it was my first time being pulled over and I just couldn’t find it (if only I had been in my car). so I get written up for speeding and no insurance but I remember the officer telling me something about sending or presenting a copy of the insurance to the court to have that problem fixed out. The officer doesn’t have proof that the insurance wasn’t in the car though so they can’t convict me for that, can they? I was just trying to do my job quick enough to satisfy customers or not piss off my manager and slow enough just to be safe. I didn’t hurt anybody, nor was I going to. I know how to drive. I wasn’t being unsafe. That officer was just trying to meet his ticket quota. I just want some advice on what to do please.

    • DortLaw says:

      Andrew!

      Thank you for a real question! Thank you for a great comment that seeks useful information! Thank you for not telling me about your kids, where you went to school and why you are moving. Thank you for not telling me about your sick relatives. Thank you for not telling me about your own medical problems. Thank you for not telling me your income, or what happened to your ex wife. Thank you for not blaming this problem on a GPS unit. Thank you for not telling me how the cop lied to you or how he/she refused to show you the radar gun and let you play with it. Thank you for a real comment.

      Your problem is easily fixed. Just show up in court before the date on your citation with proof that the car is not yours (registration) and your employer’s proof of insurance. The law states that if it was a company vehicle – and you were employee – it is the employer’s responsibility to insure the vehicle. I dont have time to look up the statute # for you for free. But it is in the vehicle code somewhere. Somewhere around 16028, or 16030 something.

      If you cannot get those docs – get into court in person on time to tell the judge in person the situation. It will work out fine. A few wasted hours. Thats all.

  41. Tara says:

    Hi there Chris,
    You information has been helpful although I do have a question about my current situation. I just went to get a new Driver’s License in Florida where they said I am registered under the national registry in the state of california. So, I call CA dmv and they say I have a failure to appear then I call Orange County and they say I have ‘ failure to provide insurance’ from August 28, 2008. My driver’s license is not attached to this citation and my vehicle is registered in mine and my grandmother’s name and I believe she was driving at the time as I do not recall this. This is the only ticket and it wasn’t attached to anything else like speeding etc. I am going to write a letter to the judge including proof of insurance and the title ( Which my name is not on). Just not sure what way to go about this because I feel like I should not have to pay for this with all the fees it has accumulated etc. (750.00!!)

    • DortLaw says:

      Tara,

      That sucks, but I can tell you that sending a letter to the judge will not work.

      If this is a “failure to show proof of insurance” violation that is causes a suspension of your driving privilege in CA, then it was a citation issued to a person. That person must have given their identification to the officer and must have (I assume) signed the citation.

      Somewhere out there – there is probably a citation with your signature on it. Your grandmother cannot get a citation that results in a suspension against your driving privilege in CA. Unless she used your ID and signed your name. Did that happen?

      Browse Our Attorney Drafted CA Self Help Forms

      Free Attorney Case Review

  42. Rath says:

    Christopher, I received a citation for no proof of insurance, but had proof of insurance at the time. officer gave me a choice to pick either proof of insurance or tailgating. Picked proof of insurance. Found out three months later citation goes up $1500. Went to court to see open court ( witch you mentioned not to tell them the reason on Top Forums) would not allow me to see the judge but could file a petition.

    I filed a petition explained them my issues. (house cought on fire due to police chase which forced me to move (lived upstairs worked downstairs) lost my house and buisness due to that, and got really financially unstable.

    Recived a letter for the the superior court that said my request has been denied.

    Any suggestions on how to fight this would really help.

  43. Chris says:

    Chris,
    My friend was stopped in my car for speeding, he couldnt find my insurance and was issued a ticket. he took my insurance card into court but the judge said he needed to be on my insurance policy. how do i fix that issue, he only borrowed my car for 5 minutes and has never again so why would i pay to have someone on my policy who is never going to be driving my car

  44. andrew says:

    hello i just have a quick question about what happened today
    okay so we had bon-fire and i was leaving after.
    and i didn’t know cop was right behind me(in the parking lot) but it was like around 10:30pm so its kinda dark. I could.t tell clearly that there was sharp corner so i turn sharp at the corners there was two and then cop stopped me for that. But the big problem is I had No proof of insurance at that time. But this car is insured to my mom. police said this can be correctable if i show him the insurance.what do i do i don’t even have any money. and i have financial problem too. help fast!!!

    • DortLaw says:

      Andrew,

      I’m going to re write your question so that it includes only the important facts:

      “I got a citation for not having proof of insurance. What do I do.?”

      See that? 14 words. Same question.

      You should show up in court in person on or before the date listed on the citation next to your signature. If you have prof that the car was insured at the time of the alleged violation – bring it with you.

      Browse Our Attorney Drafted CA Self Help Forms

      Free Attorney Case Review

      • andrew says:

        okay so usually when people write a date, it goes by month-day-year write? because in this box says “WITHOUT ADMITTING GUILT, I PROMISE TO APPEAR AT THE TIME AND PLACE” then my signature. but the date was 08/06/12 , 8am so i don’t think he would write todays date because yesterday was June 7th?? okay so my mom have insurance but i don’t have insurance is that okay tho? so should i get insurance now and then just go there show them my proof of insurance does that work too?

  45. Jade Chan says:

    Dear Chris, I am so glad that you are here for us. You made us feel so much better.

    have a question for you Chris. I got a 16028(C) – incorrectable ticket san diego ca

    reason I got pull over is because of exp Reg. (on a scooter) 4000(a) (1) – this one is correctable.

    I got the insurance on that night from Geico, the paper work that they send to me through email (immediately) states that effective date is on that day. but a few days later the paper work they send to me through mail state that effective date is the day after.

    So, should I still do what you suggested in 2) or more like 3)?

    please let me know Chris~ thank you

    Jade

    • Jade,

      Bad news? I dont have the motivation to go back and see what I wrote here.

      But I am 3/4 psychic. And, on top of that, I had this problem before. No chit.

      Here is the story. I dont care if you dont want to hear it. You sent me this question during the Laker game, and therefore I am going to waste your time in return.

      I once went to Holland to race bicycles for a year. While there. me and my team mates bought the “hoounterwinkle” – which was an old utility truck painted bright green for a vegetable company that went bankrupt. A professional cyclist we were living with helped us buy it. Then next day, we tried to drive the Hoounterwinkle to Belguim to a race. I sat in back, and nearly died from the fumes. During the trip, Terry was driving, and he tried a sudden U turn while arguing with everyone about the directions. While turning, the giant Leather Bound Europe Atlas we had on the dash slid across the dash and wedged between the steering wheel and the dash board and got stuck. We were trapped in a U turn circle until we crashed. We had no insurance. We crashed into 2 parked cars because of a an Atlas of Europe.

      We spoke no flemish, and had no insurance. No driers licenses. Once one of the police figured out what was going on, he called the professional rider we lived with (who shall remain lost to the history books), and then that dude called some insurance company and got us insurance that was effective earlier that morning.

      Somehow, we got coverage for an accident after the fact – and it was all OK. We missed the race, but survived a car wreck in Belgium.

      And know that I write this story, I have to apologize to Terry, Tim and Dave, for being a complete useless pussie and not helping at all with the cops or that crazy chick, ……….. Corolla! That night. That was her name. Anyway, sorry for punishing you readers, but that is what you get for sending me all of those stupid questions. And I am sorry about that guys. That was a rough time for me.

      Who has not said that before?

      The point is this: Insurance is a flexible thing sometimes. Focus on the date of the coverage, not the time. You are presumed innocent. Assume it will all work out. Try and do everything right. Try and talk the judge into to dismissal in person if possible. Keep copies of everything.

  46. Zachary says:

    Some helpful stuff here. I got a letter from IL regarding a random sample of registrations asking for my insurance info. For the date in question, I was not insured, but am taking corrective measures right now. All they are asking for is my insurance name and policy, but for the date in question I have nothing. If I don’t return the card, my license is suspended. There isn’t a court date to plea with any judges. Any tip here? Very embarrassed and stuck…

  47. Nicole Rodriguez says:

    Hi, I’m hoping you can help me out. I got a citation (in NY state) for not having a current insurance card. The officer told me all I had to do was send in a copy of the insurance with the citation and that would be the end of it. I don’t think he mentioned whether or not to plead guilty or not guilty, but I figured not guilty was the way to go. I had not read this article so I went ahead and mailed it in rather than going to court to ask for a dismissal. Today I received a letter for the town court stating that my appearance/pre-trial conference is scheduled for May. How do I go about getting this taken care of now, rather than having it hang over my head for five months?

  48. Joel Chertock says:

    Oh, one more thing. The fine for the ticket was $100. There was a mandatory $380 penalty associated with this ticket. There was no choice for me but to pay the whole thing.

  49. Joel Chertock says:

    So, here’s what happened. I went to court, talked to the judge and ended up with no other choice but to please guilty or not guilty. I plead guilty, paid the fine ($480) and closed the case. Judge even looked up the code to make sure it could not be dismissed. I suppose I could have plead not guilty but what was the point? I did not have the up to date card that day of the accident. I did have it in court but it did not matter. My new question is as follows. What is the result of my pleading guilty to this matter? Is it like an expensive parking ticket or is it a point on my license?

  50. Bowie says:

    Dear Chris,

    I happen to have the similar situation with Joel. I was involved in a car accident and couldn’t find the insurance card. *I do have insurance coverage*

    After a month I received a ticket (16028(c)) from highway patrol to appear in court.

    I think the only way is to appear in court and ask for dismissal?

    Will I still end up paying high fine?

    Thanks…

  51. Joel Chertock says:

    Christopher, I received a ticket for no proof of insurance at the scene of an accident (I showed an expired insurance card, I had insurance, and I was not at fault) and the officer told me that it could be fixed by showing proof but then I was notified by mail that the ticket was not fixable and then I got the bail in the mail. No kidding, it was $480. I think they believe I did not have insurance. I have a court date scheduled for July 25 in West LA (far from my Orange County home). What do you suggest?

    • Joel, thank you for the good auto insurance accident fix it ticket traffic court LA question. I am sorry about the shameless addition of key words here, but that’s how we support this tar pit.

      This is an EZ question. 1) the citation you received if for NOT HAVING PROOF OF INSURANCE WITH YOU AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT. It is not a ticket for not having insurance.

      So of course it’s not fixable. You cannot go back to the accident and show the other driver proof you were insured. Right? Unless you have that freakin time machine someone stole out of my backyard.

      You only have 2 options here: 1) pay; or 2) go to court on time.

      If you go to court, you can show the judge you had insurance and try to use your highly tuned powers of persuasion to convince the judge to do what you want. (your best jedi trick)

      Do not screw it up.

      And because I am starting a war against people’s inability to focus on important, relevant facts, I am going to tell you and everyone else:

      1) It does not matter at all who caused the accident. No one cares in traffic court.
      2) It does not matter at all what the cop told you. Read the citation. Cops are allowed to lie to you.
      3) It does not matter how far away the court is.
      4) It does not matter how you got the bail.
      5) It does not matter where you live.
      6) It does not matter . . .

      … Insert new quarter please

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