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Driving Without Insurance in Billings, Montana

Here's what you need to know...
  • Driving without insurance in Montana is illegal and can get you into trouble
  • Montana is a “fault” state, meaning whoever is at fault is responsible for all damages in an accident
  • Billings requires that you obtain the state’s minimum car insurance requirements in order to drive
  • Letting your policy lapse will put a bad mark on your insurance record

Driving around without insurance is a serious offense in Billings, Montana.

If you are in an auto accident without insurance, you could find yourself in all sorts of trouble. One thing is for sure, it doesn’t pay to drive without insurance.

Start comparison shopping for Billings auto insurance today by entering your zip code in our FREE online tool above!

Auto Insurance Laws and Requirements in Billings


Like most states, Montana is considered a fault state. Being a fault state means that whoever caused the accident is responsible for all damages caused to the other party. Paying for the other party could include medical bills, vehicle repairs, and more.

If you are the party at fault and don’t have car insurance, then not only will you have to pay for your own injuries and damages, but also the injuries and damages of the other parties involved. You could be talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Another component of Montana being a fault state is that in addition to medical bills and vehicle repairs, the injured party could bring a lawsuit against you for pain and suffering.

If you don’t have the money to cover the settlement amount, then your assets may be taken away and your income could be garnished.

Some people try to get out of car insurance because of the cost, but the truth is the cost of car insurance is a drop in the bucket compared to the substantial costs that could be incurred in a serious accident without insurance.

In order to legally drive in Billings, you must first meet the state’s minimum car insurance requirements.

According to the Montana Department of Justice, you must obtain a liability policy that has at least:

  • $25,000 coverage for bodily injury for one person
  • $50,000 coverage for bodily injury for multiple people
  • $10,000 coverage for property damage

Additional Coverage

While these limits meet Montana’s minimum requirements, people often opt for policies with higher limits and additional coverage. Here are a few examples of additional coverage:

Here are a few examples of additional coverage:

  • Comprehensive — pays for repairs to your car, caused by something other than an auto accident
  • Collision — pays for repairs to your car in an auto accident
  • Medical Expense — pays for expensive medical bills that resulted from an auto accident
  • Uninsured/Underinsured — protects you against drivers who aren’t insured or who don’t have enough insurance to cover damages caused in an accident

While Montana state law requires that insurance companies include uninsured motorist coverage in a basic liability policy, the customer can decline the coverage.

When you pair liability coverage with comprehensive, collision, and medical expense coverage, you will have yourself a solid insurance policy. Uninsured and underinsured coverage are often added as the cost is inexpensive compared to the amount of coverage you receive.

Driving Without Insurance in Montana

Don’t think that you can get by without having car insurance.

Even if you obey all the traffic laws, that doesn’t mean that law enforcement will be oblivious to you. Montana has an electronic system put in place that can tell whether you are actively insured or not.

The Montana Insurance Verification System (MTIVS) allows police officers to access and confirm your insurance information during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident. This system was implemented in 2012 to discourage the steadily increasing amount of uninsured drivers.

If you want to look up your information as it appears on the MTIVS, you can do so with your license plate number and your vehicle number on your registration card.

If you are caught driving without car insurance, be prepared to face the following:

  • Conviction of a midsdemeanor
  • Incurring legal fines
  • Having your driver’s license suspended
  • Possible jail time

On top of these penalties, the city of Billings has additional penalties that may apply, including:

  • First offense for driving without insurance: $295 fine
  • Second and Third offense for driving without insurance: Must appear before a judge

How does driving without insurance affect me?


Driving without insurance is not just a bad choice, it can also have lasting consequences. For instance, your driving record will suffer because of it. Convictions stay on your record for three years.

Convictions on your record, in turn, could affect your car insurance premiums. Insurance companies use your driving record as one of the factors they consider in determining rates. For those who pose a higher risk, they will assign higher rates.

As a high-risk driver, Montana insurance companies may choose to deny you insurance coverage. Being denied insurance does not mean you will never be able to get insurance, however.

The state has put together a program called the Montana Automobile Insurance Plan to help high-risk drivers gain access to the required legal liability insurance. This plan allows high-risk drivers to apply for insurance through any authorized insurance company.

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Don’t Let Your Policy Lapse

A lapse in your policy coverage is any period of time where you are not insured by an authorized insurance provider. A gap in insurance is never a good thing, even if lapsing was an honest accident.

There are a few reasons that can lead to a lapse in your insurance policy:

  • Your premium wasn’t paid on time
  • Your car insurance provider decided to cancel your policy
  • You stopped driving your car for a while, and decided to let it lapse
  • Your car insurance provider went out of business
  • Your license was apprehended by the state

If you plan on switching providers make sure you do so within the recommended time frame. If you wait longer than 30 days, it will be a negative mark on your insurance record.

To insurance companies, a lapse in coverage translates to careless behavior, and careless behavior puts you in a higher risk category, which in turn means higher rates.

Since insurance companies have access to your record, you can expect to pay more for your premium.

The smart thing to do is to keep yourself insured. To avoid lapsing on your policy, be sure to:

  • Pay your premium on time
  • Know when your policy expires
  • Know the 30-day rule, when switching to another provider

Saving on Car Insurance

Shopping for car insurance is easy, especially with the internet at your fingertips. With an online comparison tool, you can compare multiple quotes at just the click of a button. An online comparison tool also gives you the advantage of looking up customer reviews of companies as well.

Just remember that the company that offers the lowest rates, doesn’t always mean that they are the best deal. Always do your research, and don’t forget to see what car insurance discounts may apply to you.

Some common discounts that insurance companies offer:

  • Multi-car discount
  • Good Driver discount
  • Homeowners discount
  • Defensive driving discount
  • Anti-theft discount
  • Anti-lock brakes discount
  • Low mileage discount
  • Hybrid vehicle discount
  • Military discount
  • Automatic payment discount

In Conclusion


The important thing to know about insurance is the basic liability insurance requirements in order to legally drive in Montana.

From there, you can opt for additional coverage if need be. If you choose a higher deductible, then your premiums will be lower.

However, make sure that you are prepared to pay the cost of the deductible in the event of an accident.

Before you sign anything, be sure to review your policy thoroughly, verifying that all information is correct. The auto declarations page of your policy contains a summary of all the coverage, deductibles, and limits that you have selected.

Driving without insurance in Billings is not worth the legal and financial consequences. Even if you didn’t get pulled over and fined, getting into an accident would have you face not only legal penalties but also lawsuits and thousands of dollars in damages from the other party.

Auto insurance can be expensive, especially if you’re on a tight budget, but it’s just as essential to your well-being as health insurance.

Take advantage of what good car insurance offers and start researching companies today! Enter your ZIP code below to start comparing quotes!

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