The North Carolina Department of Transportation requires that all drivers in North Carolina carry automotive liability insurance, or “financial responsibility,” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle registration.
The minimum financial responsibility requirements for North Carolina drivers are as follows:
A minimum of $30,000 per person, for bodily injury or death. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $60,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
A minimum $25,000 for property damage liability
A minimum of $30,000 per person, for uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $60,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $145,000 to cover bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage.
Proof of insurance
You must be able to provide proof of insurance when you register a vehicle, and when asked by a police officer at a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident. Acceptable forms of proof of insurance include:
Your insurance policy binder
An insurance card issued by an authorized insurance provider
Your insurance policy
A DL-123 form issued by an authorized insurance agent, certifying your insurance policy
Additionally, you may be required to file an FS-1 Proof of Insurance document if you have been suspected of letting your car insurance lapse. This document acts as proof that you did not allow your car insurance to lapse, and is submitted by an investigating insurance agent, who acts as a representative of the state.
Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP)
In order to promote safe driving habits, the state of North Carolina operates the Safe Driver Incentive Plan, which can lower the cost of insurance for safe drivers, and increase the cost of insurance for unsafe drivers.
If your insurance lapses for any reason while you are registered in the state of North Carolina, you will incur these penalties:
$50 fine for the first instance
$100 fine for the second instance within three years
$150 fine for future instances within three years
The license plates of the vehicle may be suspended or revoked
Reinstating driving privileges
If your license plates are suspended due to an insurance violation, you will be able to reinstate them after the 30-day suspension period by following these steps:
Pay the license plate fee
Pay the fees associated with the insurance violation
Submit an FS-1 Proof of Insurance document through your insurance agent
Canceling your insurance
If you need to cancel your insurance while your vehicle is in storage or being worked on, you must surrender your license plates to the North Carolina Department of Transportation before you cancel the insurance policy. If you cancel the insurance policy first, you will incur an insurance violation fine.
For more information, contact the North Carolina Department of Transportation through the MyDMV website.