Arizona Mandatory Insurance

Posted by Craig Penrod | Sep 09, 2013 | 0 Comments

What is “mandatory insurance”? Arizona requires that every motor vehicle operated on the roadways be covered by one of the statutory forms of financial responsibility, more commonly called liability insurance, through a company that is authorized to do business in Arizona. This includes golf carts, motorcycles and mopeds.  Minimum levels of financial responsibility are:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability for one person and $30,000 for two or more persons
  • $10,000 property damage liability

What happens if I don't get insurance? Law enforcement officers will ask you for proof of insurance at the time of traffic stops or accidents. Insurance companies notify MVD of all policy cancellations, non-renewals, and new policies. If your insurance company sends MVD a notice that your policy is no longer active, the Motor Vehicle Division will send you an inquiry notice to verify insurance status.Failure to maintain proper insurance could lead to the suspension of your vehicle registration and/or driver license. To reinstate these privileges, fees and future proof of financial responsibility must be filed with MVD. The future proof requirement is most commonly an SR22 form from an insurance company. This can be expensive to the vehicle owner, especially since the law requires the owner to carry the SR22 for three years from the date of suspension.

Will my out-of-state insurance be acceptable for Arizona? No.  All vehicles registered in Arizona must be insured by a company licensed to do business in this state. Arizona residents who are out of state (including military personnel), however, may submit a De-Insured Certificate on a vehicle, on a short-term basis.

How long do I have to get insurance after I register my car? Insurance is required immediately, before driving the vehicle.

What is “de-insurance” and how do I de-insure my vehicle? De-insurance is a method of temporarily not maintaining the required insurance on the vehicle until it is ready to be driven or placed on the road again. A de-insured vehicle will not be suspended due to lack of insurance unless it is driven on the roadways of this state. To de-insure your vehicle, you can complete the on-line De-Insured Certificate. Once you have submitted the form, the information will be entered onto the vehicle record, within two business days…

I received a notice that my plates and registration were suspended…why? A suspension could have been generated for one of several  reasons: (1) MVD has not received proof of Arizona insurance, (2) There was a lapse insurance coverage, (3) There was an accident case opened, (4) A newly registered vehicle may not have been on system when insurance information was   received, 5) There was a VIN (vehicle identification number) error, either  entered into the system incorrectly or provided incorrectly by the insurance  company.

My vehicle is being restored, so I dropped the insurance; and now the registration is suspended. What should I do? Complete a De-Insured Certificate form. Once restoration is complete, get proof of insurance, complete a non-use certificate and apply for registration. It is also recommend that you retain receipts showing parts purchased; they may be required to document the periods of non-use.

Why isn't my insurance on file? I provided it at the time I registered my car. State law requires that the insurance company and the owner submit proof of Arizona insurance within 30 days after initial registration.  Insurance companies are also required to routinely notify MVD of all policy  cancellations, renewals and new issuance.

How can I clear a registration suspension? You must provide proof of Arizona liability insurance that was in effect at the time of the suspension. Or, if that proof cannot be obtained, you must pay a $50 reinstatement fee and provide current proof of Arizona liability insurance.  Payment may be made by cash, cashier's check or money order.   Some offices accept credit cards. Cash and credit card not accepted by mail.  No personal checks accepted.

When I provide proof of insurance, when will my plates and registration be reinstated? In some cases immediately, in others within 24 hours after receipt; provided the information submitted meets the requirements of the law. Also, you must ensure that the information is sent to the Motor Vehicle Division representative with whom you spoke to guarantee immediate reinstatement of plates and registration.

Where should I send my updated insurance information? If you received a notice from the MVD regarding your insurance, follow   the instructions on that notice. You may also go to any MVD or authorized Third Party office.

I submitted the necessary information. Why did I get another notice stating my plates and registration are suspended? A suspension could have been generated for one of several  reasons: (1) the information you sent may not have been received, (2) the vehicle identification number may have been incorrect on the document provided, (3) insurance information submitted may not cover the time of suspension, (4) documents may have crossed in the mail, or (5) out-of-state insurance may have been provided when Arizona proof of insurance was required.

I was in an accident and the other driver did not have  insurance; can you provide me with their insurance information? If an accident occurred and proof of insurance was not available or was not valid, you may submit an Insurance Information Request, form # 40-5901 along with a copy of the police report and a $3 fee. The MVD will then release any insurance information on record for the date of the accident. If no information is available, you will be so advised. In that event, it may be in your best interest to file a civil suit with and obtain a judgment. Once a judgment is filed, the MVD will suspend the individual's driving privileges until the judgment is satisfied with the court.

If I have an insurance suspension in Arizona, will this affect my getting a driver license in another state? Yes, you will not be able to obtain a driver license in another state until your suspension is cleared in Arizona. It may also prevent you from obtaining vehicle insurance in that state.

Contact the DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation or to find out how new changes in the law taking effect in 2012 could affect you if you find yourself facing possible MVD action against your driving privileges, DUI or criminal charges. Craig Penrod has been certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a criminal law specialist and The Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod has been involved in criminal and DUI defense for more than 25 years…

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


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