PA Insurance Requirements

The state of Pennsylvania requires drivers to purchase and maintain liability insurance for their vehicles as proof of financial responsibility. The minimum required insurance coverage is as follows:

  • $15,000 for Bodily Injury Liability per person
  • $30,000 for Bodily Injury Liability per accident
  • $5,000 for Property Damage Liability for damage to property
  • $5,000 for Medical Benefits

These limits are the state minimum requirements but drivers may also choose higher limits and additional coverage, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, extraordinary medical benefits and physical damage coverage for their vehicle. Having additional coverage could protect you and your assets in the event of a serious accident.

If the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) determines that you have operated your vehicle without liability insurance, they can suspend your driver’s license for three months, suspend your vehicle registration for three months, and require you to surrender your license plates, registration sticker and driver’s license. Restoration fees and proof of insurance must be submitted to PennDOT prior to having your registration and/or your driving privileges returned.

Drivers must carry proof of insurance and present it to any law enforcement officer if they stop you for a traffic violation or for any other reason. If an officer discovers that you do not have insurance you could face the following penalties and fines:

  • Minimum $300 fine for driving uninsured
  • 3 month suspension of your registration
  • 3 month suspension of your driver’s license
  • Fees to restore your registration
  • Fees to restore your driver’s license
  • Vehicle impoundment

PA SR 22 Requirements

The SR22 form is used by the state of Pennsylvania to help protect citizens from problem drivers by monitoring the car insurance of those drivers. The auto insurance company is required to file the SR22 form as proof of financial responsibility for drivers in the following cases:

  • If the driver has had any safety responsibility suspensions (Type Action 04) involving uninsured motorists who did not pay for injuries or damages which they caused
  • Drivers who have any unsatisfied judgment suspension (Type Action 06) resulting from a civil judgment of a driver involved in an accident that is unsatisfied.
  • In case of a revocation of your driver’s license (Type Action 01 and 02)
  • In the case of required insurance supervision
  • For drivers who have received a DUI

The State of Pennsylvania has drunk driving laws that makes it illegal for a driver to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Recent changes in the Pennsylvania DUI law changed the penalties for drivers convicted of a DUI. The new penalties fall into a three-tier punishment system as follows:

Tier 1 Pennsylvania DUI Law:
Tier 1 is considered general impairment which is described as those with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between .08% and .099%, and there was no property damage as a result of the DUI offense.

Tier 2 Pennsylvania DUI Law:
Tier 2 is for BAC levels between .10% and .159%, measured within two hours of operating the vehicle and for drivers who caused property damage or injuries as a result of the DUI offense. Tier 1 drivers can be placed in Tier 2 if there was property damage or injury as a result of the DUI.

Commercial drivers with a BAC of .04% or higher, and minors under the age of 21 with BAC levels of .02% or higher will also be considered for Tier 2.

Tier 3 Pennsylvania DUI Law:
Tier 3 is for BAC levels of .16% or higher, measured within two hours of operating the vehicle. Also anyone who refuses to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine will be placed in Tier 3. Drivers convicted of driving under the influence of illegal drugs will also be placed in Tier 3.

Tier 1 penalties for a first DUI offense are as follows:

  • No loss of driving privileges
  • 6 months maximum probation
  • Fine of $300
  • DUI Driving School required

Tier 2 penalties for a first DUI offense are as follows:

  • Driver’s license suspension for 12 months
  • Jail for 48 hours to 6 months
  • Fine of between $500 and $5,000
  • DUI Driving School required

Tier 3 penalties for a first DUI offense are as follows:

  • Driver’s license suspension for 12 months
  • Jail for 72 hours to 6 months
  • Fine between $1,000 and $5,000
  • DUI Driving School required
  • An ignition interlock device may be required

The courts will require you to file an SR-22 form with your auto insurance policy for proof of financial responsibility following a DUI conviction. The SR-22 is required for a period of 3 years following the DUI conviction.

Pennsylvania has an implied consent law which means that you have given your consent to be tested to determine the alcohol or drug content of your blood, breath or urine if stopped by an officer and he suspects that you are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Refusal to submit to the test will result in your driver’s license being suspended for 1 year. You are also considered guilty of a DUI for refusing the test.

The information contained in the above article is intended as informational and does not constitute legal or insurance advice.  Insurance requirements in the state of Pennsylvania are subject to change.  Visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department at http://www.insurance.pa.gov/portal/  or the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/ for current information.

Have you had a DUI or other driving offense that required form SR22 insurance filing or are you getting car insurance for the first time? Serenity Insurance can help – we offer car insurance in 47 states for both preferred and high risk drivers. Call us toll free today at 1-800-774-0520 or use our car insurance quote form.