People who are caught with fake proof of auto insurance can face serious consequences, including jail time. For instance, having a fake or photocopied insurance card is not only an act of fraud; it’s also punishable by law.
You’re in a tough spot if you use fake proof of insurance. What happens to you? And what kind are the penalties for getting caught with one, say by an officer on patrol or someone serving as judge at court proceedings.?
If it’s any consolation, there is no way he will get away scot free even though most states require drivers carry liability coverage – so make sure your fake documents won’t do more harm than good!
It is an absolute must to have the proper amount of car insurance while driving. If you don’t, then not only will your license get suspended but also fines from law enforcement and other institutions which deal with violations on this matter can become extensive as well.
Why do you need proof of auto insurance?
Without proof of insurance, you can’t drive your car legally. That makes it different from other types of identification cards, which serve as proof that the bearer is who he or she says they are. Although your driver’s license will suffice to establish your identity when stopped by law enforcement, having an actual document with accurate information is typically necessary for things like buying car insurance, registering your vehicle, and proving that you are allowed to drive it.
Types of auto insurance cards
There are several different types of auto insurance cards. Some states issue their own form, while others use the same design as the “SR-22” or “proof of financial responsibility.” These documents are often required when an insurance company orders a driver to add someone to his or her policy.
Some companies will also send you one if they cancel your auto insurance, and others will ask for proof of insurance before allowing you to register a car in their state.
What are the alternatives to proof of insurance cards?
If you don’t have a proof of insurance card, you may be able to satisfy the law by producing another document that lists the name and address of your insurance company along with its telephone number. The officer can then call the insurer to verify that your policy is valid. This alternative is only acceptable if you’re driving your own car, though—not if you’re borrowing the vehicle from someone else.
What happens if you don’t have proof of insurance?
If you don’t have proof of insurance when an officer asks to see it, he or she will typically give you a “fix-it” ticket that requires you to show it to a state official. You’ll have between 10 and 30 days (depending on the state) to take care of this requirement.
And if you can’t prove that your policy is valid by then, you could be fined as much as $500 or more—and some states will also suspend your driver’s license for several months.
Does fake proof of insurance work?
The police won’t know if your insurance card is a fake unless you admit it. If you say that your policy lapsed, for example, the officer won’t be able to verify this information with your insurer—other than by calling them and asking what their records show.
That means they will have to take your word for it if you claim that the document is real. However, if you do decide to use a fake proof of insurance card, you should think twice about trying to deceive an officer.
According to one study of traffic stops in Florida, police are more than twice as likely to arrest suspects who present photocopied or falsified ID—even when they’re not driving with a suspended license.
What are the penalties for using fake proof of insurance?
Having fake proof of insurance is often an act of fraud, which means that you could be charged with another crime if you use it to obtain benefits or privileges. For example, if you tell your car insurance company that your policy is valid when it really isn’t, you could be charged with insurance fraud. You can also be prosecuted for presenting a fake proof of insurance card to a law enforcement officer who asks to see it during a traffic stop.
Punishment if convicted of owning false auto insurance
The penalties for having fake proof of insurance vary from state-to-state and on the circumstances of the case. Generally, first-time offenders should not expect to face jail time. However, if you’ve been convicted previously for presenting a fake document to a law enforcement officer, you could be required to serve up to six months in prison as a repeat offender—and judges may impose stiffer sentences under these circumstances.
- Charged with fine – There are stiff penalties for having fake proof of insurance. The fines you’ll pay will vary depending on whether it’s your first offense or not, but they can be up to $10,000 – which is about the same as driving without any type of car insurance at all. However, fines tend to be much lower than that (about $2,500).
- Jail penalties – There are also potential jail penalties for a first offense of having a fake proof of insurance. This can be up to a year in a county jail—but judges don’t usually order this as the sentence for one who has never been convicted before. Community service is far more common, which means spending up to 200 hours picking up trash on the side of the road or doing other odd jobs.
- Suspension of license – Another penalty for having a fake proof of insurance is the suspension of your license. This will be for as long as your existing policy is (which can range from six months to three years). If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, then the auto insurance crime will come with even more charges and penalties on top of that.
- Driving without insurance- Although it’s possible to pay a fine and have your license reinstated after being caught with fake proof of insurance, this isn’t an option for someone who doesn’t have car insurance. If you drive without insurance in any state, then the state will automatically revoke your license—and they’ll keep it revoked until you can show proof that you’ve purchased car insurance.
- Impounded car – If you’re caught driving with a suspended license and fake proof of insurance, then the police are allowed to impound your vehicle. The actual length of time that they’ll hold it for depends on state law—but it can be up to 30 days.
- Driving without keeping insurance card in car – If you’re insured and yet don’t have your insurance card at hand, it can be all too easy to think that because of this – 24 hours is enough time. However, in a traffic stop situation with an officer on-site – they might ask for documentation immediately or risk fines if there was no proper paperwork submitted beforehand. It is important not just when driving but also always having proof of auto injuries coverage available should anything happen so make sure Never Leave Home Without It.
Frequently asked questions about fake proof of insurance cards
As mentioned above, you can get in trouble if you present fake proof of insurance to an officer who asks to see it during a traffic stop. However, what should you do if the only form available is falsified? There are two general categories for motorists in this situation.
- Present it anyway, and hope the officer doesn’t notice. Officers are trained to recognize fake proof of insurance cards because they do come up occasionally—about 2 percent of the time, according to one study conducted in Florida. If you’re carrying a photocopy of your actual policy, however, this option might work out for you—especially if you’re driving a personal vehicle and not using someone else’s.
- Refuse to show it, and give the reason why. For example, you can tell the officer that your insurance company keeps all of its documents electronically these days—and while they might be able to access an electronic copy, they won’t have a printed version on hand. In other words, you’re telling the truth, but not too much of it.
Q1. What if I’m in a state that requires motorists to have proof of insurance at all times?
In states where your policy must be current at all times, using fake proof of insurance could land you in jail right away (at least for the first offense). Instead of fining you, some states will require you to post bond (which is like putting up cash as collateral against future misconduct).
Q2 – Can I Fight my fake proof of insurance ticket?
If you’re convicted of having fake proof of insurance, the consequences vary depending on whether this was a first offense. First-time offenders should expect to pay a fine and perhaps receive another penalty such as community service. However, if you’ve been convicted of this crime before—or any other criminal charge—you could be required to spend time in jail (especially for repeat offenses).
Q3 – What is the Punishment if an officer sees fake proof of insurance but I’m not stopped?
If you’re not pulled over by an officer, the law likely doesn’t apply to you. That said, it’s still illegal to present a fake proof of insurance card in many states—even if this is your first offense—and judges will usually impose some pretty stiff penalties for doing so.
Q4 – What if I do have a fake proof of insurance card, but it’s not mine?
If you find a fake proof of insurance card and decide to use it because your policy isn’t valid, you’re still guilty of the crime. In other words, saying “It’s not mine” won’t work as a defense.
Q5 – What if I just needed to show it for a minute?
Although you can face stiff penalties for merely presenting fake proof of insurance, the sentence is likely to be even more severe if you use it instead of your real policy in an emergency situation (such as when you need car repairs immediately). And if the officer asks to see it and you try to dispose of the fake card before showing it, you could be charged with tampering with evidence.
Q6 – What if I didn’t know it was fake?
It is not a valid defense for someone to claim that they didn’t know the proof of insurance was fake—so don’t try this in court. Instead, help yourself by finding an actual policy before you get behind the wheel.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 2 percent of drivers carry fake proof of insurance cards. Conversely, only 1 in every 100 motorists drives without any type of car insurance at all. Driving with a suspended or revoked license can lead to jail time in addition to other penalties. Having no insurance can result in a suspended license, large fines and even imprisonment depending on the state you live in.
here are two main types of fake proof of insurance: counterfeit and falsified (which means that someone created a fake policy out of whole cloth). Traffic officers will use several methods to determine which type you’re carrying (such as holding it up to a light or using a scanner). However, the only way to really know if your proof of insurance is fake is by calling your insurer and verifying that it’s on file with them.
Q7 – Why would anyone ever carry fake proof of insurance?
Two of the most common reasons why people carry fake proof of insurance is because they have a suspended or revoked license and they don’t have the money to pay for car insurance. In these cases, the best way to avoid legal penalties for driving with a fake proof of insurance card is to find a real one as soon as possible—and then ensure that it’s being renewed on time.
So, you are completely aware of the consequences and criminal penalties for having a fake proof of insurance. It may lead you in disastrous situations like heavy fines, jail penalties, suspension of driving license or vehicle registration etc. Always use the original auto insurance and keep your insurance card with you all the time in order to prevent any bad consequences or penalties. Share your feedback with us by leaving your comments below.
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