Proof of insurance
If you get pulled over by a police officer, you'll have to provide them with your drivers license, your vehicle's registration papers, and proof of a current Washington, DC, car insurance policy.
Even if you have a current auto insurance policy but can't provide proof, you may still face a $30 fine.
According to the Insurance Research Council, about 12 percent of Washington, DC, drivers were uninsured in 2012. That was a little lower than the national average of 12.6 percent.
Penalties for driving without insurance
If you cancel your car insurance or your policy lapses for any reason, your former insurer will notify DC's Department of Motor Vehicles.
Failing to maintain basic liability insurance in DC can lead to suspended vehicle registration. A lapse of 30 days or less will cost you a $150 fine, but the repercussions of not having insurance increase significantly after that.
For each day that your lapse exceeds the 30–day deadline, you will be fined an additional $7 per day (up to $2,500) until you secure coverage.
Alternative insurance options for DC drivers
Motorists in the nation's capital who can't get auto insurance through the voluntary market (because of policy affordability issues or being deemed a high–risk driver) may qualify for the District of Columbia Automobile Insurance Plan (DCAIP). For more info, visit the DCAIP site.
Safe driving in DC
The District of Columbia had the fewest traffic–related deaths of any area in the country with 15, according to 2012 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
To put that in perspective, the state with the second–lowest traffic–related deaths was Alaska with 59.