Tennessee Car Insurance Laws

Learn how much property and bodily liability insurance is required to operate a motorized vehicle in Tennessee. Discover if you have proper coverage and if not what the penalties and fines are for continuing to drive without the minimum insurance coverage ...     read more

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Department of Insurance Contact Information

Consumer Insurance Services
500 James Robertson Parkway, 4th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243

Consumer Hotline

1-615-741-2218 or
Toll Free: 1-800-342-4029

State Department Website


File Complaint Website


State Regulation

If you are in an accident, you must be able to prove that you have the resources (money) necessary to pay for damages or injuries caused in the accident. This can be extremely costly in the event of an accident, and it's strongly recommended that you purchase complete auto insurance instead. In fact, most drivers in Tennessee have auto insurance.

To meet the proof of financial responsibility standard, you must either obtain insurance coverage, or place a deposit or bond that meet the state requirements. If you opt not to get insurance, you must fill out a form with the Department of Safety that proves you have the money on deposit.

If you decide to get auto insurance coverage, you must obtain coverage that meets at least these state minimums. Remember that it's wise to obtain coverage far in excess of these standards. - $25,000 for one injury or death - $50,000 for all injuries or deaths - $15,000.00 for property damage in a single accident

You will be asked to provide proof of financial responsibility if you are in an accident or moving violation . It won't matter who's at fault. - Failure to comply with the state financial responsibility regulations can result in a $100 fine and the suspension of your license.

If you financed your vehicle, you will be required by your lien holder to get auto insurance. - While auto insurance may not be required, you should think carefully about foregoing your coverage. If you are liable for damages or injuries, the costs could rise well beyond $100,000. Do you have that kind of cash on hand? This is one of the reasons auto insurance is so vital.

Insurance is NOT required on:

Off-highway vehicles

Non-registered nonoperational vehicles


A conviction for failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility will be a Class C misdemeanor punishable only by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00). Also, once the State is notified of a conviction, the violator's drivers license will be suspended.

You can pay your reinstatement fees (typically $20) and reinstate your license online at Tennessee's government website.

Fines and costs for tickets must be paid to the court in the city, or county where issued. If you have a Tennessee driver license and are paying these fees late, then the court may have already notified our department to suspend your driving privileges for failure to pay or appear in court on the violation. In addition to paying the fines and costs, a reinstatement fee may be owed to our department. If you have a driver license issued from another state, and have received a notice of proposed suspension from your state's driver license office, you should contact the licensing authorities in your home state.

Failure to pay fines and costs or failure to appear in court on minor violations issued in Tennessee is automatically sent from the courts to the state issuing the driver license. Our department would not have the information.

Requirements Regarding Proof of Insurance: Proof Required if involved in an accident or pulled over for a traffic violation

If Stopped By Authorities When Driving - Penalties For Not Carrying Mandatory car insurance: Fine up to $100

Min Coverage:

$25,000 for injury/death to one person

$50,000 for injury to more than one person

$15,000 for damage to property

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