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DC Insurance Requirements

The Compulsory/No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act requires that every person applying for registration or a reciprocity sticker in DC, have valid DC vehicle insurance. The insurance must be maintained as long as the vehicle is registered. Lapses in coverage are subject to fines. Do not cancel insurance until vehicle tags are surrendered to DMV.

District of Columbia residents, who incur fines for insurance lapse may enter an insurance payment plan.

The following are minimum insurance liability coverage requirements:

Coverage                                                      Minimum Amount

Property Damage Liability                                $10,000

Third Party Liability                                          $25,000/person and $50,000 /accident

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury                       $25,000/person and $50,000/accident

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage               $5,000 subject to $200 deductible

Valid DC proof of insurance is required to register or renew a vehicle registration. If insurance coverage is terminated for any reason, vehicle tags and registration must be surrendered to the DMV immediately. Failure to surrender tags after termination or cancellation of insurance will result in the assessment of fines and penalties. Insurance companies are legally obligated to notify DMV of any insurance cancellation/termination. When this notification occurs, DMV will send the vehicle owner an insurance verification notice to allow the owner to provide proof of insurance, such as coverage with a different insurer.

Failure to maintain continuous valid insurance on a vehicle registered in the District of Columbia will result in suspension of registration tags and reciprocity sticker. An individual will be assessed a fine of $150 for a lapse in insurance coverage from 1 to 30 days and $7 for each additional uninsured day after the first 30 days, up to a maximum of $2500. Insurance lapse fines may be paid at any DMV service center location.

In case of an accident, please notify the insurance company and file an accident report with the Metropolitan Police Department. Do not report the accident to the DMV.

Proof of Insurance

Under District of Columbia law, motorists who are stopped by the police are required to display not only their driver license and vehicle registration, but also proof of insurance. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers enforce the "proof of insurance" law -- and the $30 civil fine that is attached to this infraction.

The goal is to reduce the number of drivers in DC who do not carry insurance as required by District law. Uninsured drivers are a serious problem, undermining traffic safety and driving up the costs for insured, law-abiding motorists.

DC law defines proof of insurance as "a document issued by an insurance company that lists the name of the insurance company, the policy number, the name or names of the insured, and the period of coverage for the insurance."

Dealership

Garage

The garage coverage form was designed to cover the risk associated with businesses engaged in selling, servicing, storing, or parking autos. Garage operations are defined as the ownership, maintenance, or use of locations for garage business and that portion of the roads that adjoin these locations. The garage operations include the ownership, maintenance and use of autos indicated in the policy as covered autos. Garage operations also include coverage for all operations that are necessary or incidental to a garage business.

Garage Liability

The broad liability insuring agreement provides bodily injury and property damage liability coverage similar to that provided by the commercial general liability policy and the business auto policy.

The liability insuring agreement for garage operations other than covered autos promises to pay all sums an insured legally must pay for damages because of bodily injury or property damage when caused by an accident and resulting from garage operations other than the ownership maintenance or use of covered autos.

Garage liability for covered autos is provided for the named insured and anyone else while using the auto with the insured's permission, the insured's employees, if the covered auto is owned by that employee, and the insured's customers, if the insured is an auto dealership. However, certain restrictions apply to coverage for customers. The liability insuring agreement for garage operations other than covered autos promises to pay all sums an insured legally must pay for damages because of bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident and resulting from garage operations involving the ownership, maintenance or use of covered autos.

Garage liability for garage operations other than covered autos is provided, for the named insured, the insured's partners, employees of the insured, and directors or shareholders while acting within the scope of their duties.

The garage policy provides liability coverage for products that are made or sold in a garage business. The policy also provides completed operations insurance which is subject to a deductible. Completed operations coverage would apply in the event of a claim that resulted from property damage to an auto as a result of work the insured performed on that auto.

The policy has an annual aggregate limit for garage operations other than covered autos and an each accident limit which applies to both auto claims and claims not relating to automobile.

Tag

Under District of Columbia law, any new dealership application or renewal process, a 100% “prior year” Insurance verification requirement has been implemented. The Department of Motor Vehicles will require the following:

  • Proof of insurance coverage from the beginning of your Dealership’s registration to current cycle.
    • The insurer should specify the number of Dealer Tags which were covered for said period.
      • This proof must be in writing and on the insurer’s letterhead (binders will not be accepted). NOTE: According to D.C. Official Code section 31-2413.01 (b) (2), a fine of $150 will be assessed for a lapse in insurance coverage from 1 to 30 days per tag. For any lapse greater than 30 days, Dealership will be assessed an additional fine $7 a day, up to a maximum amount of $2500 per tag.