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 Auto Insurance Requirements in California

Auto Insurance Requirements in California

Insurance (also referred to as financial responsibility) is required on all vehicles operated or parked on California roads.

You must carry evidence of insurance in your vehicle at all times and it must be provided when:

  • Requested by law enforcement.
  • You are renewing the vehicle registration.
  • The vehicle is involved in a traffic collision.

Types of Insurance

Here are the types of acceptable insurance:

  • Motor vehicle liability insurance policy.
  • A cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV.
  • DMV-issued self-insurance certificate.
  • Surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California.

For information regarding cash deposits or self-insurance, contact DMV Financial Responsibility Unit at (916) 657-6520.

To locate a company that issues surety bonds, contact the Department of Insurance at insurance.ca.gov or by calling 1-800-927-4357.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements for Private Passenger Vehicles

Here are the minimum liability insurance requirements (per California Insurance Code §11580.1b):

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
  • $5,000 for damage to property.

Liability insurance compensates a person other than the policy holder for personal injury or property damage.

Comprehensive or collision insurance does not meet vehicle financial responsibility requirements.

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Insurance Companies that Electronically Report to DMV

Insurance companies in California are required by law (California Vehicle Code [CVC] §16058) to electronically report private-use vehicle insurance information to DMV. Insurance companies are exempt from electronically reporting insurance information for vehicles covered by commercial or business insurance policies.

Vehicle Registration Suspensions

If DMV does not receive proof of insurance for a vehicle, we will suspend the vehicle’s registration, and the vehicle may not be operated or parked on public roadways until proof of insurance is submitted.

Reference: State of California

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

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