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Can I be fined for not having proof of insurance when I was pulled over, and what would be my next step to correct this matter?

Asked by user in California.

I drove my aunt's car for the first and only time and was pulled over by the police. I was asked for my drivers licence and proof of insurance. For some reason, my aunt did not have insurance documents in the glove box. But she does have car insurance, as I explained to the cop. He said he was only going to give me a fix-it ticket. He explained all I had to do was show proof of insurance for this car at the time I received this ticket to the court. So I had planned on going to court to explain this to the judge and show the proof of insurance. I received a letter from the court that said because of Covid-19 that all I had to do was send the proof of insurance and $25. So I did. I later received a letter from them stating that I was denied because I was not on the insurance policy and that I had to pay $900. But they did keep the $25. That was the only time I drove the car. I was not in an accident. The car has insurance but there was no proof at the time I drove it and was pulled over. I have a clean driving record.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

Under California law, the required automotive liability policy insures a person driving a car with the owner’s permission, even if the driver isn’t listed on the policy. It’s hard to say for sure what the $900 fee was for without knowing the facts of your situation (for example, why you were pulled over), but you could certainly call the court and request clarification.

Perhaps the proof of insurance that you sent was insufficient. If you can’t get a satisfactory answer from the court or if you’re still questioning the fine, you can find a California lawyer who might be able to provide more specific guidance based on the documents and facts.

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