Whether you’re driving to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, traveling to the beach at Lake Charles, or hitting a riverboat casino in Shreveport, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the day knowing you’re staying legal with proper car insurance.
Required Car Insurance in Louisiana
Louisiana state law requires that all drivers have liability coverage. Those who drive without insurance are not only subject to penalties and fines, but being without insurance will also prevent you from making insurance claims regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
Liability insurance pays for damages/losses and injuries to the other party if you cause an accident.
Required Minimum Liability Coverage in Louisiana
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death per person.
- $30,000 total for bodily injury or death per accident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
NOTE: If you finance or lease a vehicle, your lender will require you to buy collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Insurance and Vehicle Registration
You must have valid liability insurance in order to register your car or renew your registration. The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) will verify your car insurance electronically when you:
- Register a car bought from a dealer.
- Renew your registration online.
You must provide proof of insurance if you:
- Register a car bought from a private individual.
- Go to an OMV office to renew your registration.
- Transfer an out of state title.
The OMV accepts the following as proof of insurance:
- An insurance card issued by your auto insurance company.
- A copy of your insurance policy.
- A copy of your policy declaration page.
- A statement from your insurer that MUST:
- Be on your car insurance company’s letterhead.
- Be signed by your insurance agent or a representative of the company.
- Have a complete description of your vehicle.
- Have your vehicle identification number (VIN).
If you are caught driving without proof of insurance, a police officer can either:
- Remove your license plate and give you a Temporary Vehicle Use Authorization, allowing you to operate your car for 3 business days to give you time to provide proof of insurance.
- Impound your vehicle.
Car Insurance Cancellation
Your auto insurance company can cancel your insurance policy within 60 days of purchase. If your policy is cancelled, they must notify you within:
- 10 days, if it’s canceled because you didn’t pay your premium.
- 20 days, if it’s canceled for a traffic violation, accident, or any other reason.
After 60 days, your car insurance policy can be cancelled ONLY if:
- You do not pay your insurance premium.
- You make a false claim.
- You or someone in your home gets a driver’s license or vehicle registration suspension.
Your insurance carrier must notify you of any cancellation or nonrenewal:
- Within 10 days if it’s cancelled because you didn’t pay your premium.
- Within 30 days by certified mail if it’s canceled for any other reason.
- No later than 20 days prior to expiration if they aren’t renewing your policy.
If your policy is not renewed, you can request the reason in writing and expect a refund of any pre-paid premiums within 30 days.
Reinstating Your Driving Privileges
If your Louisiana car insurance is cancelled or has lapsed and you receive a Notice of Violation, you must:
- Acquire minimum liability insurance.
- Take proof of insurance to an OMV office.
- Pay a fine of up to $100 on your first offense. Subsequent offenses can lead to fines up to $700.
- Pay a reinstatement fee (the fee varies depending on the number of days you drove without insurance).
If you have car insurance but failed to show proof at the time it was requested, you must take your proof of insurance to an OMV office:
- If you show proof within 3 business days, the insurance violation will be dropped and your license plate and/or vehicle will be released.
- If you show proof after 3 business days, you will have to pay a fine before your license plate and/or vehicle are released.
“No Pay, No Play” Law
Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law limits the damages uninsured motorists can collect for property damage and/or personal injuries. Regardless of who is found at-fault, if you were involved in a car accident while you were behind the wheel, you CANNOT collect:
- The first $25,000 of a property damage claim.
- The first $15,000 of a bodily injury claim
Teen Driver Laws in Louisiana
If you are a teenager applying for your first driver’s license, you’ll need to satisfy the requirements of the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) graduated driver’s license (GDL) program. In addition to meeting the regular requirements needed to apply for a Louisiana driver license, teens must reach certain age- and experience-related milestones on their road to a full driver’s license to comply with the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program.
If you’ve recently moved to Louisiana, you can transfer your valid out-of-state driver’s license or learner’s permit for a Louisiana OMV intermediate driver’s license if you:
- Are between 16 years old and 17 years old.
- Have held your out-of-state permit or driver’s license for at least 180 days.
You will not be required to complete a Louisiana driver’s education course.