Maryland, Virginia Laws Aim to Reduce Number of Uninsured Drivers

Maryland is increasing fines, while Virginia is making insurance mandatory to discourage Maryland residents from registering vehicles there.


In an effort to reduce the number of uninsured drivers, Maryland and Virginia are implementing new auto insurance laws beginning July 1. Maryland will increase fines for uninsured motorists, while Virginia will make auto insurance mandatory, eliminating the option for drivers to pay an uninsured motorist fee.

Maryland’s updated penalties represent the first adjustment in more than three decades. As of July 1, the initial penalty for driving without insurance will rise from $150 to $200 for the first 30 days, with an additional $7 per day thereafter until coverage is obtained or plates are returned to the Motor Vehicle Administration. The annual maximum penalty will increase from $2,500 to $3,500. These penalties apply to each uninsured vehicle on the policy.

“Previously, it was often cheaper for some drivers to pay the fine than to get insurance. This law changes that,” said Al Redmer Jr., executive director of Maryland Auto Insurance, in an op-ed that appeared in the Baltimore Sun. “It’s an important step in enforcing Maryland’s auto insurance requirement and encouraging drivers to practice safe driving habits.”

In Virginia, the new law mandates all drivers must have auto insurance, removing the previous option to pay an uninsured motorist vehicle fee. This change is expected to impact thousands of Maryland residents who have registered vehicles in Virginia to avoid Maryland’s insurance requirements. The new legislation may encourage these residents to register their vehicles in Maryland and obtain the necessary coverage.

“At Maryland Auto Insurance, our mission is to provide all Maryland residents with access to the required auto insurance coverages they need,” Redmer said. “We appreciate the efforts of the Maryland and Virginia legislatures to increase enforcement and encourage drivers in both states to have coverage. These new laws will protect all drivers on the roads in our region from the risks and costs associated with accidents involving uninsured vehicles.”

As both states implement these laws, the hope is more drivers will comply with auto insurance requirements, ultimately reducing the financial burden and risks associated with uninsured motorists.

AkzoNobel Beta web graphic v2 600px

Shop & Product Showcase