The State of Washington laws governing the operation of motor vehicles mandates that residents owning and operating motor vehicles must have auto insurance that meets or exceeds the mandatory minimum coverage requirements, even those operating vehicles in the state of Washington that are not residents must have insurance policies that meet the mandatory minimum coverages. The Washington State Department of Licensing recommends that non-residents who will be operating motor vehicles in the state of Washington check their policies to make sure that they are compliant with the states minimum coverage requirements.
The following minimum auto insurance policy coverage must be met to operate a vehicle in the state of Washington:
- Bodily injury liability: 25,000 for single individual injury / 50,0000 for additional individual injuries.
- Property damage liability: 10,000 to cover property damage
The state of Washington does not require auto insurance policies to cover uninsured/uninsured motorists. To those with more than 26 vehicles there are special self insurance options available, or for those with money to put $60,000.00 in a liability bond. While perhaps possible for some wealthier residents and businesses these options are probably out of reach for the average resident of the state of Washington, so most will be purchasing an auto insurance policy.
Motor vehicle operators in the state of Washington fail to present proof of auto insurance that complies with state regulation upon request by a an officer of the law or other state authority, or who let their insurance lapse will face some severe penalties. These penalties include up to a 450.00 fine. The website for the Washington State Department of Licensing provides details about what state insurance regulations including what constitutes proof of insurance. Proof of insurance documents must have:
- The name of the company that has issued the insurance policy.
- The insurance policy number.
- The effective date of the policy.
- The expiration date of the policy. When insurance policies are renewed new insurance cards are issued, so the effective date must be current and the expiration date on the card cannot be past or the proof is invalid.
- A description of the year, make, or model of the insured vehicles, or the name of the insured driver(s).
Motorists must be able to present this information to law enforcement upon request, so it should be kept in the vehicle at all times. You will also be required to present proof of insurance to register a motor vehicle in the state of Washington, registration is also mandatory to operate a vehicle. As previously stated, a lapse in insurance or failure to provide law enforcement with proof of insurance can result in expensive and troublesome penalties, including traffic violations and fines.
Washington Dept. of Insurance
Suite 650/MS: TB-03
810 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Washington (WA) Mandatory Auto Insurance Minimums:
- Liability: 25/50/10 = Bodily Injury Individual/Bodily Injury Total Per Accident/Property Damage
- Regulations Regarding Proof of Insurance: Proof Not Required
- Penalties For Not Carrying Mandatory Insurance: Fine up to $250