Vehicle Liability Insurance FAQ's
Q. What are the insurance requirements for vehicles registered out-of-state operating in Delaware?
A: Only liability insurance policies validly issued by companies authorized to write in the State of Delaware shall satisfy the insurance requirements. Minimum coverage for any one accident is:
- for bodily injury or death of one person
- for bodily injury or death of two or more persons
- for injury to or destruction of property of others
As long as there is a valid registration, even if the vehicle is off the road, liability insurance must be in effect at all times.
Q. What is the penalty for driving without insurance?
A: When a law enforcement officer stops you for any reason, you will be required to show valid proof of insurance on the vehicle. If you are driving a vehicle while not having the proper insurance, upon conviction, you will be fined not less than $1500 for the first offense and $3000 for each subsequent offense occurring within 3 years of a former offense. Driving license and/or privileges will also be suspended for 6 months.
Q. Do I have to surrender my plates when I cancel my vehicle insurance?
A: Yes. License plates must be surrendered to the Division prior to canceling insurance for any reason on vehicles with active registrations. You may take your tag to the nearest Delaware DMV office. Tags will be returned at no charge if proper insurance is provided and the registration has not expired.
Tags may be mailed to the Division along with a note explaining why tags are being surrendered, for example:
- canceling the liability insurance
- sold the vehicle
- titled vehicle in another state
- vehicle was junked
Division of Motor Vehicles
Uninsured Motorist Section
P O Box 698
Q. What can happen if I don’t surrender my plates when I cancel my insurance?
A: The DMV receives notices from insurance companies when insurance has cancelled. As a result, you may be audited to provide proof of valid liability insurance from the date of cancellation. If it is determined that you were uninsured the penalties are:
- $100 per vehicle for being uninsured from 1-30 days
- An additional $5 per vehicle for each day after the 30 days or until tags/registration are surrendered, insurance is obtained or the registration tag expires
Q. What must I do if DMV audits my vehicle for proof of insurance?
A: Contact your insurance company/agent immediately and have them provide you with a Delaware Insurance Certification Form, FR-19. The FR-19 is a certification that the vehicle has been continuously insured since the verification date and that coverage is presently in force.
Q. What can happen if I don’t respond to the DMV insurance audit?
A: The vehicle registration and all owners’ driver’s licenses will be suspended. Any suspension imposed by DMV will require owners to pay reinstatement fees of for each driver’s license and for each registration in addition to the penalties imposed for lapse in insurance coverage.
Q. What should I do if I move?
A: If you move, you have the responsibility for notifying both your insurance company and DMV of your new address. You should not rely on the Post Office to redirect your mail. The insurance company and DMV are only required to send their notices to the address on their records. Therefore, not receiving their correspondence because of an address change does not relieve you from replying to an audit. Driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations must reflect current address.
Q. What if I no longer own the vehicle?
A: You must complete a seller’s report of sale. This notice is attached to the bottom of the Delaware title. Complete the requested information and immediately return the form to the Division of Motor Vehicles. Seller’s reports of sale forms are also available at any Delaware Motor Vehicle office.
Q. What are the auto insurance requirements for vehicles registered in Delaware?
A: No one may operate or authorize anyone to operate an out-of-state vehicle unless the owner has insurance on the vehicle equal to the minimum liability insurance required by the state or jurisdiction where the vehicle is registered. If the state or jurisdiction requires no minimum liability insurance, then the owner must have insurance equal to the minimum insurance coverage required for motor vehicles registered in Delaware.