No Insurance in Tacoma
All individuals who drive on Washington State roadways are required to have liability insurance. For policy and social reasons, it is the right thing to do. It is unfair for someone to have to pay for the damages cause by someone else’s actions. Hence, most officers will immediately ask for proof of insurance card upon contact. If you cannot produce proof, you will receive a ticket for $550. Obviously, this is very expensive, and it is so to create an incentive to get insurance. This may be a blessing in disguise to some because if you get into an accident without insurance, you will be responsible for the damage caused and you can lose your license until the costs have been repaid!
Normally, proof of insurance is provided by way of an insurance card that your insurance company sends you every six months. Some companies also email you a copy and you are responsible for printing out the proof and placing it in your car. Recently, the legislature enabled drivers to also show proof electronically, i.e. by displaying the proof on their smart phones or tablet computer. Sometime people have insurance but forget to place their most recent insurance card in the car and cannot get the proof electronically during the stop. In those situations, you can provide proof of the insurance (which was valid at the time of the stop) to the court and they will dismiss the case with a $25 administrative fee.
Also, keep in mind that you are responsible for any car you drive as well as any car you own. If you drive a car that ends up not having insurance on it, you as the driver gets the ticket and are responsible for damages stemming from an accident. Likewise, if you loan a car without insurance on it and the driver gets into an accident and is at fault, you can also be held liable for the damages.
If you did not have valid insurance at the time of the stop, it still makes sense to get insurance after the fact. Besides all of the other social and financial reasons outlined here, if you show a Judge that you got insurance later, they normally will reduce the fine amount.