While many of us will find it difficult to understand how anyone can drive without insurance, the AA reveals that 3% of UK drivers do not have valid insurance.
That means there could be more than 1.5 million drivers on our roads without having valid cover.
That is a phenomenal number of uninsured cars, and while some will be driving deliberately without insurance, others may have forgotten to renew their policy and are running a risk.
If you need to find out quickly if another driver is insured – there’s a quick way you can find out.
Visit the Motor Insurance Database
You simply need to visit the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and type the registration number into a box on their website and their database will instantly give the answer.
The database is put together by the car insurance firms and if your car’s details come up as being uninsured, the MID will write to you.
This letter is not as an insurance advisory note – it will have a clear instruction to get your car insured before you run into trouble with the DVLA.
Fail to comply and you run the risk of having your car seized and even destroyed. The Motor Insurance Database check can be found at askMID.com and is a simple process of entering your vehicle registration number, ticking two boxes and the MID will tell you whether the car is insured for driving in the UK.
If you are buying a car and want to get it insured before driving it, it’s also worth considering a vehicle check from Instant Reg Check to see that the car is roadworthy and hasn’t been written off. Someone may also be trying to clone the car – so your car insurance will probably be invalidated if you drive without checking first.
What car insurance do I need?
If you are driving on the UK’s roads, the law is very clear – you must have, at the very least, third insurance.
This is laid down in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and it’s the car insurance that will protect you financially should you be involved in an accident.
There’s no point in risking a fine plus points on your driving licence when you are caught driving without insurance.
Along with having your car seized, you also risk being taken to court.
It’s not worth taking the chance so get your car insured – or check online whether it has insurance or not.
Finding out whether a car is insured in the US
There’s one big difference when it comes to finding out whether a car is insured in the US and UK.
That’s down to the fact that the US does not have a single vehicle insurance database, as the UK does, so the car insurance details need to be checked at the state level.
You can check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – though they are also known as the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) or Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
You can do this by either visiting the DMV in person or using their website and many have online forms to download.
If you struggle to find your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, then visit the California DMV site which lists all the various states websites to find a car insurance policy look up, or to carry out the insurance check.
This will be useful if you want to check someone’s car insurance status in Texas, or whether they have coverage in California.
It’s important to have the correct information and you will need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), or the license plate number.
You can also find out insurance details from a local police department, especially if you have been involved in an accident with someone without adequate insurance, or you can approach the local DMV.
The DMV will have details about the driver’s insurance company, and you can then contact that insurer to make a claim.
Depending on the state, there are laws that mandate how much liability insurance a driver must have to cover their car and property damage and also for physical injury.
Whatever the reasons are for needing to know how to check if a car is insured in the UK and US, it is important that you as a driver have the correct level of insurance for meeting your own driving needs – and should you be involved in an accident and the other party drives off, then knowing how to check their insurance details could be crucial.