The Wisconsin Department of Transportation requires that all drivers carry minimum amounts of liability insurance, or “financial responsibility,” in order to legally operate a vehicle on the roadways.
The minimum financial responsibility requirements for Wisconsin drivers are as follows:
A minimum of $25,000 per person, for bodily injury or death. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $50,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
A minimum $10,000 for property damage liability
A minimum total of $300,000 for uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, which pays for injuries that occur during an accident with a driver who did not carry the legally required liability insurance, or did not carry sufficient amounts of insurance.
This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $360,000 to cover bodily injury or death, property damage liability, and uninsured motorist coverage.
Proof of insurance
Drivers do not need to provide proof of insurance when they apply for a driver’s license or when they register a car in Wisconsin. However, drivers do need to show proof of insurance if they are involved in a car accident, or if they are pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation. The insurance card provided by your insurance provider is the acceptable form of proof of insurance.
Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan
Any insurance provider in Wisconsin is legally entitled to refuse coverage to a driver that is deemed “high-risk” due to their driving history. In order to ensure that all drivers carry the legally required liability insurance, the state maintains the Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan, or WAIP. Drivers that have been unable to obtain traditional insurance can apply to this plan, and will be assigned an insurance provider, which may or may not be the company through which you applied originally.
There are several types of penalties that may be issued to drivers found guilty of insurance violations in Wisconsin. These include:
Any driver in Wisconsin who does not have the required liability insurance when driving may face a fine of up to $500.
Any driver in Wisconsin who cannot provide proof of insurance at the time of a traffic stop may face a fine of $10.
Any driver in Wisconsin who is found guilty of offering falsified proof of insurance may face a fine of up to $5,000.
Additionally, some drivers may be required to file an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility document. This document ensures the state that the driver will carry the required liability insurance for a specific amount of time as dictated by the sentence, and results in more expensive insurance premiums. The circumstances that could lead to this penalty include:
A suspended or revoked driver’s license
Revoked vehicle registration
A DUI conviction
For more information, or to renew your registration online, contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation through their website.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Wisconsin and was authored by Valerie Johnston.