What If I Have a Lapse in My Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania?


Pennsylvania drivers are required to maintain financial responsibility throughout the duration of their driving and registration privileges. To meet the state’s auto insurance requirements, Pennsylvania drivers must carry bodily injury and property damage limits of no less than $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident with $5,000 in property damage as of publication. If you allow your insurance to lapse, you could face fines and the loss of your license.

Carrier Requirements

Pennsylvania requires its auto insurance carriers to report all policy cancellations electronically to PennDOT. These cancellation notifications are sent regardless of cancellation reason, including nonpayment cancellations and cancellations per insured’s request. If you have had a lapse in auto insurance coverage, your insurance carrier will notify PennDOT of the lapse.


Once PennDOT has received notification of your coverage lapse, it will issue a request for proof of insurance. To avoid penalty, you must supply valid proof no later than the date indicated on the form. Valid proof of insurance includes a copy of the company-issued identification card or declaration page. An insurance binder is acceptable for a newly issued policy, as long as it is signed by a licensed agent or authorized representative. Insurance applications, along with letters of compliance from the insurance carrier are also acceptable as long as they are issued on company template or letterhead and signed by an authorized agent. If you use a binder to validate proof of insurance, PennDOT will request formal proof of insurance, such an identification card or declaration page, at a later date.


Pennsylvania issues a series of penalties for failing to comply with its auto insurance requirements. Along with a three-month suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration privileges, you could face a minimum $300 uninsured driving penalty along with $50 fees for the restoration of your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Uninsured driving penalties can increase with multiple violations.


Pennsylvania provides a 30-day grace period before issuing any penalties or fines for noncompliance. You must submit proof of insurance no later than the 30th day. Penalties and suspensions will begin at the 31st day of noncompliance. The grace period begins on the first day that you are without auto insurance coverage.

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