In the state of California, all drivers must carry evidence of financial responsibility and must provide that evidence to an officer on request. A motorist who fails to provide proof of insurance on request by an officer or traffic collision investigator during a traffic stop, or an arrest for DUI (but not for the sole purpose of determining whether the driver has insurance) is guilty of an infraction. The financial responsibility requirements are satisfied if the driver of the vehicle has insurance, even if the owner of the vehicle does not.
On a first conviction for not complying with the financial responsibility law, the court must impose a fine of $100 to $200. If there is a subsequent conviction within three years of a prior conviction, the court must impose a fine of $200 to $500. Penalty assessments are added to the fines in all Courts, including Hermosa Beach. A violator who had insurance at the time of the citation but who did not have proof of insurance to show the officer may provide proof of insurance to the clerk of the court either by mail or in person. In such event, all further proceedings on the violation are dismissed on payment of a $25 transaction fee according to one Hermosa Beach DUI Lawyer who defends cases involving uninsured drivers.
The minimum fines were reduced beginning on January 1, 2000, but the reduced fines are generally mandatory. A violator who does not have insurance at the time of the citation but who obtains insurance before the charge is adjudicated is eligible for the minimum fine. If a violator fails to obtain insurance before the date of the court appearance, the judge may grant a continuance for a reasonable period of time to allow the violator to obtain insurance. If the violator furnishes proof of insurance to the court within this time, the judge may reduce the fine to the minimum level. Violators who have not obtained insurance before the court appearance must receive a fine greater than the minimum. According to a Hermosa Beach DUI Attorney that is often in Court on these cases, a judge does not have authority to impose a fine that is less than the minimum fine or that is greater than the maximum fine. To ensure continued compliance with the mandatory insurance law, the court may issue an order impounding the violator’s car or directing the violator to maintain insurance coverage for at least one year from the date of the order. In DUI cases, the DMV will also require proof via an SR-22 filing for 3 years.