Can Cops See If You Don't Have Insurance?

All drivers must be insured by a private insurance company before they take to the road. When a person is pulled over a police officer, he may be asked provide proof that he has insurance. In such a situation, the person is legally required to provide proof that he has insurance. Depending on the state in which this occurs, the police officer may have a number of ways of checking this information.

Auto Insurance

Auto insurance policies are issued for a finite period of time. A person may purchase a policy for a year, paying for it either in one lump sum or in monthly installments. If the person allows the policy to lapse, then he cannot legally drive, unless covered by another policy. When a person does take out a policy, the insurance company will provide him a document certifying that he holds insurance.

Proof Of Insurance

Most states require that all drivers carry proof of insurance with them at all times. When a person is pulled over and asked to show it to a police officer, the officer may choose to call a number listed on the document verifying that the person holds insurance. If the person does not carry this proof of insurance while driving, he will likely be given a ticket and may be required to appear in court to present the proof of insurance to a judge.

National Database

In addition, some police officers can check whether a person has insurance without calling the insurance company by checking a national database. According to the auto insurance reference website Car Insurance Rates, some states allow officers access to an electronic database that records who has insurance. This will catch people in a lie if they tell an officer they have insurance but they really do not.


If a person fails to carry proof of insurance, he will have to appear in court to show the proof of insurance to a judge. If the person did have insurance at the time in which he was cited by the police officer, he may face a severe penalty from the judge. However, if he shows the judge proof that he did have insurance when he was cited, then he will only face the cost of the ticket.