Washington state law requires all drivers to carry auto liability insurance and proof that they have insurance.
Washington state's mandatory auto insurance law
Washington state's mandatory auto insurance law (leg.wa.gov), which is under the authority of the Washington State Department of Licensing (www.dol.wa.gov), requires anyone who drives a motor vehicle in our state to do one of the following options:
- Carry liability insurance with liability limits of at least:
- $25,000 for injuries or death to another person
- $50,000 for injuries or death to all other people
- $10,000 for damage to another person's property
- Apply for a certificate of deposit to pay for your liability insurance with the Department of Licensing (www.dol.wa.gov).
- Have a liability bond of at least $60,000 filed by a surety bond company that's authorized to do business in Washington.
- Self-insure if you have 26 or more vehicles. For more information or to see if you qualify for this option, contact the Department of Licensing.
Showing proof of insurance
Your company sends you a proof-of-insurance card when you start or renew your auto policy. The card shows that either you or your vehicle are covered by liability insurance. Remember, if you're stopped by a law enforcement officer, you must show proof that you have auto insurance. If you don't have proof, he or she will give you a ticket (traffic violation).
Exceptions to the law
This law does not apply to the following vehicles:
- Motorcycles (leg.wa.gov)
- Motor scooters (leg.wa.gov) and mopeds (leg.wa.gov)
- Specially licensed horseless carriage vehicles (leg.wa.gov) (also known as antique or collector vehicles)
- Police or government-owned vehicles (leg.wa.gov)
Remember, even though insurance is not mandatory for these vehicles listed, you're still responsible for any damages or injuries that result from using these vehicles.
If you own a motorcycle, you must follow the Financial Responsibility Law (www.dol.wa.gov) and show proof of financial responsibility as a cycle rider. You can do this with a motorcycle liability policy.