The Problem with "No Proof of Insurance" Citations
Whenever you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer, or other individual authorized to issue traffic citations, and you are the owner or co-owner of the vehicle, Florida Statute Section 316.646(2) requires that you provide the officer with proof of car insurance, upon that officer's demand.
Section 316.646(2), Florida Statutes states “If, upon a comparison of the vehicle registration certificate or other evidence of registration or ownership with the operator’s driver’s license or other evidence of personal identity, it appears to a law enforcement officer or other person authorized to issue traffic citations that the operator is also the owner or registrant of the vehicle, upon demand of the law enforcement officer or other person authorized to issue traffic citations the operator shall display proper proof of maintenance of security as specified by subsection (1)."
Why this type of citation can be problematic?
For those individuals who are insured but could not locate their proof of insurance at the time of the stop, they may provide proof of insurance to the County Clerk and pay a nominal dismissal fee (usually $10). However, if the individual who received the citation did not have proof of insurance at the time that the citation was issued and the citation is paid without providing proof of insurance, the Department of Motor Vehicles and Highway Safety is required to automatically suspend the registration and driving privilege of a Florida driver convicted for operating a motor vehicle with no proof of insurance.
To reinstate, the customer must show proof of insurance for the date of the offense to the Department or present proof of a non cancellable SR-22 for PIP/PDL insurance, which will need to be maintained for a 2-year period from the suspension date, and pay either a $150, $250 or $500 fee if SR-22 is purchased after the suspension date.
The requirement of SR-22 insurance can be costly and often times unattainable for most individuals due to its price. However, this situation may be avoided by hiring an experienced traffic attorney in your jurisdiction who is familiar with the practices of the local traffic court and judges. By taking this citation to court you may be able to avoid the SR-22 requirement and prevent your license from being suspended.