Washington DC Frequently Asked Questions about Auto Insurance

What is the minimum liability insurance coverage?
The minimum liability coverage for car insurance required in the District of Columbia includes the following:

  • Property damage liability – $10,000 minimum
  • Third party liability – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident

In addition to liability coverage, you are also required to carry uninsured motorist coverage.

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What type of car insurance am I required to have?
The minimum auto insurance coverage required to drive in DC includes:

  • Property damage liability – $10,000 minimum
  • Third party liability – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage – $5,000 subject to $200 deductible

For more information: Washington DC Auto Insurance

Can I keep the car insurance I have from my previous state of residence?
If you have recently relocated to Washington, D.C., you must obtain car insurance coverage from a provider within the District. The DC car insurance company you select must have appropriate license to legally conduct business here. As such, you cannot keep your insurance from another state of residence. The minimum vehicle insurance in the state must include property damage liability, third party liability, bodily injury and property damage for an uninsured motorist.

For more information: Auto Insurance in Washington, D.C.

Do I need to cancel my insurance if I am moving to another state?
If you are relocating from Washington DC, you must obtain auto insurance in the state in which you plan to reside. Most states require motorists to obtain car insurance from a licensed provider to legally operate a vehicle. Maintaining continuous coverage is also usually required to keep your vehicle registered.

For more information: Auto Insurance in Washington, D.C.

How can I avoid a license suspension if I choose not to insure my vehicle?
A suspended license in Washington, D.C. is generally due to a moving violation, failure to pay child support or driving record points. If you choose not to insure your vehicle, you will not be able to operate a vehicle on public roadways in DC, as it is needed to obtain a car registration. Failure to obtain car insurance will leave you unable to operate your vehicle as long as you live in the state. If you terminate your insurance after obtaining your registration, you will have to pay a fee for the lapse in coverage.

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If I live outside of the District for half the year, am I still required to have car insurance?
Yes. In Washington D.C., any person applying for vehicle registration must at least have insurance liability. This coverage must be continuous. This means that if you still own and operate the registered vehicle, even outside the District, you are required to have car insurance year-round.

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Which types of vehicles need to be insured?
All registered motor vehicles must carry auto insurance in the District of Columbia. This includes automobiles, motorcycles and motorized recreational vehicles. Scooters and personal transportation devices do not require any sort of auto insurance coverage or registration. If you are caught driving without the necessary auto insurance, you may be subject to fines that increase over time.

For more information: Washington DC Auto Insurance

If I have been in an accident, what property damage do I have to report?
For accidents that occur in DC, you are required to report property damage that requires more than $200 in accident coverage. You are not mandated to report property damage or personal injury liability to DC police or your insurance company if the damage is less than $200. For example, if an accident resulted in damage that required a door replacement, you would need to report this kind of damage.

For more information: What To Do After a Car Accident in Washington DC

What will happen if I fail to get or keep car insurance?
All drivers in the District of Columbia are required to carry the minimum amount of auto insurance. Without insurance, you cannot register your car. If you cancel your car insurance policy after you register your car and continue to drive the vehicle, you may be subject to fines up to $2,500. Additionally, you may be required to surrender your vehicle tags. Failure to surrender your tags can result in more fines and penalties.

For more information: Washington DC Auto Insurance