California Auto Insurance Basics
Whether you’re driving down the breathtaking Highway 1 or “getting your kicks” on Route 66, driving in California is a wonderful privilege. Yet, each state carries its own unique set of auto insurance requirements, rules and guidelines. Here is everything you need to know about California auto insurance.
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According to the California Department of Insurance, you must meet the following minimum auto insurance levels:
- $15,000 per person for Bodily Injury Liability
- $30,000 per accident for Bodily Injury Liability
- $5,000 per accident for Property Damage Liability
If you do not want to pay California auto insurance premiums to buy this much coverage, you have two other options:
1. Visit your local California DMV and leave a cash deposit of $35,000.
2. Visit a California insurance company and obtain a $35,000 insurance company bond.
California has a graduated driver’s license program for teen drivers meaning that:
- A teens may apply for an instructional permit at age 15.5, which says he or she may drive if at least one licensed driver over age 25 is present.
- Six months later, the teen may apply for a provisional license, which allows driving between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am and transporting passengers only when a parent or guardian is present.
- By age 18, the teen can then receive a full license without restrictions.
There are stiff penalties for drinking and driving in California.
- The legal B.A.C. level for California motorists is 0.08 percent (or 0.01 for drivers under age 21).
- Penalties may include: jail time of 96 hours – 6 months and fines from $1,000 – $1,600.
- One’s license is typically suspended for 6 months and one must carry an SR-22 license for 3 years.
- Drivers are required to attend a DUI program and may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device.
- Second offenses can result in a 2-year license revocation.
For more information on California auto insurance, you can visit the California Department of Insurance website.