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Drivers in the Volunteer State who fail to provide proof of insurance may receive fines, or even jail time.
Tennessee has updated its penalties for driving without car insurance or providing evidence of financial responsibility. Driving without car insurance in the state of Tennessee is now a Class A misdemeanor if you are involved in an auto accident that results in bodily injury or death. If you are at fault, the penalties of a conviction are:
In order to reinstate your driving privileges if suspended, you will need to meet all requirements necessary for reinstatement such as filing SR-22 insurance documentation to prove financial responsibility.
Tennessee car insurance laws, also known as Financial Responsibility Laws, require drivers to carry certain minimum amounts of auto insurance limits in case of an accident. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, drivers are required to carry minimum limits auto insurance in the following amounts:
Tennessee requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that equals the limits for bodily injury and property damage listed in the driver’s policy.
For example, if your minimum coverage is 25/50/15 for bodily injury and property damage, it must also provide 25/50/15 coverage for accidents with uninsured/underinsured motorists. This coverage helps guarantee that you’re protected if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who is not insured, or if you do not have enough coverage to pay for the losses suffered in the accident.
In the State of Tennessee, it is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above. It is also illegal for commercial drivers to have a BAC of 0.04 and for drivers under the age of 21 to have a BAC of 0.02. Tennessee DUI laws also include driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, amphetamines, inhalants and other intoxicants.If you are pulled over for a DUI/DWI and refuse to consent to a blood or urine test, your license will be revoked for 1 year for a first offense and 2 years for a second offense. Additional penalties for driving under the influence include:
4th and Subsequent Offenses
In the state of Tennessee, there is currently no hand-held cell phone ban. However, cell phone use is prohibited for novice drivers with a learner’s permit or intermediate license as well as school bus drivers. The penalties for conviction include:
Tennessee does have a texting while driving law banning all drivers from texting while behind the wheel. Texting while driving in the state of Tennessee is a primary offense which means an officer can pull you over if they catch you sending an email or text message from a mobile device. Additional penalties for texting while driving include a $50 fine plus court costs. However, the ban on texting exempts law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical persons who are on duty.
An SR-22 insurance document filing is required when a driver seeks to reinstate their driver’s license after being convicted of a DUI, reckless driving, driving without insurance, or some other driving violation that has resulted in a suspension. It is a form that provides proof of future financial responsibility and may be required for a total of 5 years from the date of suspension.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security states “If the SR-22 is filed for a total of 3 years (36 months) within the 5-year period, the SR-22 may be cancelled provided it is not required on any other suspension. If 5 years pass from the date of suspension before you reinstate your privileges, then the SR-22 would not be required. If the SR-22 is cancelled before the required time and a new form not filed, your driving privileges will be suspended.”
If requested, your insurer can electronically file the SR-22 insurance documents to get you driving on the road legally as quickly as possible.
More information on additional costs and frequently asked questions for purchasing a new policy can be found on our commonly asked questions page.