When you are involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, one of your first concerns will be about car insurance. Most people cannot afford to pay for damages sustained in an accident out of their pocket, so you will naturally want to know if insurance will cover any costs associated with the crash. To prevent you from being stuck paying the bills, the state requires all drivers to carry a minimal amount of insurance.
The Department of Motor Vehicles sets strict requirements for auto insurance coverage. You must carry liability insurance, which covers vehicle and property damage, along with medical coverage, for those injured in a crash you cause. You are required to carry $5,000 for property damage, $30,000 for medical per accident and $15,000 medical per person. You must carry this insurance on any vehicle that is registered in the state. If you do not have insurance, you must turn in your license plates to the vehicle to the DMV. Your insurer will alert the DMV if you have a lapse in coverage, which may result in punishment due to non-compliance with the law.
If it is discovered you do not have proper insurance coverage, your registration is suspended for three months. You may also pay a fine instead of serving the suspension. Once registration is restored, you will have to pay fees and provide proof you have the proper insurance coverage.
You can voluntarily turn in your license plates if a vehicle is not operational or if you cannot get insurance coverage to avoid the fines and suspension. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.