WA Insurance Center
If you are planning on operating a motor vehicle in Washington, you must plan to first get the appropriate proof of financial responsibility, which is typically obtained in the form of auto insurance.
Financial Responsibility in Washington
Proving financial responsibility can be done differently from state to state, with Washington state drivers often choosing to utilize an auto insurance policy to do so. However, there are various methods by which you can prove financial responsibility in the state, which include:
- Auto Insurance
- Certificate of Deposit for amount no less than $60,000 with State Treasurer or in bank account within state of Washington
- Liability bond for no less than $60,000 with surety bond company that has been authorized by the state
- Self-insurance if you are authorized auto dealer with no less than 26 vehicles
For auto dealers interested in self-insurance in Washington, contact the DOL at the following address:
Department of Licensing
P.O. Box 9030
Olympia, WA 98507-9030
Washington Private Passenger Auto Insurance Requirements
Most drivers in Washington will choose auto insurance as it is the easiest and quickest method of proving financial liability. However, there are requirements that mandate the bare minimum that is allowed for those choosing this option in Washington. Coverage must include a minimum amount, which includes the following requirements:
- $25,000 Bodily Injury, one person/accident
- $50,000 Bodily Injury, two people/accident
- $10,000 Property Damage/accident
There are vehicles, however, that are exempt from Washington auto insurance requirements, including:
- Motorcycles, mopeds, or motor driven cycles
- Antique or classic vehicles
- Collector vehicles over 30 model years old
- Publicly and state owned and operated vehicles
- Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission contract vehicles
While there are minimal requirements for Washington auto insurance policies, you can get policies that offer greater coverage if you wish, which could be just the thing to ensure that you are not liable for many costs in the event that your vehicle is involved in an accident or other type of incident in which damages are caused.
Check out what type of coverage is available for Washington drivers in order to compare quotes and find the best policy for your vehicle and the needs you have personally. There are also additional insurance items that can be added, from towing packages to rental vehicle benefits and more. Before you decide, however, make sure that you compare the rates of various companies to ensure you choose the right one.
Carrying Proof of Insurance/Financial Responsibility in Washington
Before you get on the road, and no matter what type of financial responsibility you choose in Washington, be sure to carry proof with you at all times. If you are caught without the proper proof of financial responsibility, the penalties could be much more than you bargained for.
- You will receive a policy card from your auto insurance company, which shows the policy number, vehicle covered, persons covered, and the dates effective and expired.
- For a certificate of deposit, you must carry the certificate number that the State Treasurer issued, which shows your name or that of the driver.
- Self-insurers must carry Self-insurance Certificate number at all times, which is issued by the DOL in Washington, showing the effective date, driver on the policy, and description of any vehicles covered.
- For a liability bond, you must always carry the bond number, the name of the covering bond company, and the driver covered.
Failure to Maintain Appropriate Financial Responsibility
If you do not maintain proof of insurance and happen to be involved in an auto accident or are stopped by law enforcement, even if you have an active policy, you will be cited for no insurance and fined $450. You will then have to follow the appropriate steps with the traffic courts in order to clear the issue.
If you ever show fake proof of financial responsibility, you will be charged with a misdemeanor charge.