Getting a driver license: Mandatory insurance

If you drive a vehicle that is required to be registered in Washington State, you must have one of the following:

Auto insurance

The auto insurance policy must have limits of at least:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury or death of 1 person in any 1 accident.
  • $50,000 of bodily injury or death of any 2 people in any 1 accident.
  • $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident.

Required proof of auto insurance

Any time you drive in Washington, you must be prepared to show your auto insurance identification card to law enforcement. You will get this identification card from your auto insurance company when you buy a policy. The card must include all of the following:

  • Name of the insurance company.
  • Policy number.
  • Effective date of the policy.
  • Expiration date of the policy.
  • Description of the year, make, or model of the insured vehicles, or the name of the insured driver. The word “fleet” may be used for more than 5 vehicles owned by the same person or business.

Failing to show this proof of insurance is a traffic infraction. Knowingly providing false evidence of coverage is a misdemeanor.

Self insurance

If you have 26 or more vehicles, you may qualify for self-insurance. For more information, contact us at:

Driver Records
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9030
Olympia, WA 98507-9030

Required proof of self insurance

Any time you operate a vehicle in Washington, you must be prepared to show your self insurance certificate to law enforcement. The certificate may be printed on any size document and must include all of the following:

  • Self insurance certificate number we issued to you.
  • Effective date of the certificate.
  • Description of the year, make, or model of the covered vehicles, or the name of the covered driver. The word “fleet” may be used in place of the vehicle description.

Failing to show this proof of insurance is a traffic infraction. Knowingly providing false evidence of coverage is a misdemeanor.

Certificate of deposit

The certificate of deposit must be for at least $60,000. You can make a deposit of collateral with the State Treasurer'’ office or in a bank account set up for the state of Washington. You can get an application and instructions at the State Treasurer’s website: www.tre.wa.gov/documents/mvprf.pdf

Required proof of certificate of deposit

Any time you operate a vehicle in Washington, you must be prepared to show proof of your certificate of deposit to law enforcement. The information may be printed on any size document and must include all of the following:

  • Certificate number issued by the State Treasurer.
  • Name of the covered driver.

Failing to show this proof of insurance is a traffic infraction. Knowingly providing false evidence of coverage is a misdemeanor.

Liability bond

The bond must be for at least $60,000, and must be filed by a surety bond company authorized to do business in Washington.

Required proof of liability bond

Any time you operate a vehicle in Washington, you must be prepared to show proof of your liability bond to law enforcement. The information may be printed on any size document and must include all of the following:

  • Name of the company that issued the bond.
  • Bond number.
  • Name of the covered driver.

Failing to show this proof of insurance is a traffic infraction. Knowingly providing false evidence of coverage is a misdemeanor.

Penalties

Operating a vehicle without the required coverage is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of at least $450.

Exceptions

You don’t need to have insurance when you operate a vehicle registered as any of the following:

Vehicles registered in another state

When you drive a vehicle in Washington that is required to be registered in another state, you must have the type of insurance required by that state. You must be able to provide proof of this insurance to law enforcement if requested.

Related laws and rules

Vehicle registration

Mandatory insurance

See also:

Washington Healthcare Finder
Access Washington