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California’s Financial Responsibility Requirements: How to Comply

Wednesday, January 18, 2017By Richard Alexander

When you get behind the wheel of any vehicle, you take on a significant responsibility not only to yourself but to those around you. In California alone, crashes in 2013 killed 3,400 people and caused an estimated $4.48 billion of losses in medical costs and loss of work alone. Families, friends, and loved ones bear the most direct losses, but who pays the remaining monetary costs?

Each state has laws that govern driver financial responsibility. California, for example, has a compulsory financial responsibility law. Drivers and car owners can meet this responsibility in one of four ways:

  • buying a liability insurance policy that meets the minimum requirements of the law;
  • making a deposit of $35,000 with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV);
  • obtaining a surety bond in that amount from a California-licensed business; or
  • obtaining a certificate of self insurance from the DMV.

Most people buy an insurance policy that meets the following three legal requirements:

  • $15,000 in coverage for a single death or injury;
  • $30,000 in coverage for death or injury suffered by more than one person; and
  • $5,000 in coverage for property damage.

Any time you are driving in California, you must be able to show evidence of financial responsibility. You have a responsibility to show this evidence if you are asked to do so by a policy officer. If you have a wreck without meeting these basic financial responsibility requirements, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license.

If you or someone you love was injured in a crash in California, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP today at 888.777.1776. We are a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco. We are passionate about our clients and our community. If you not sure, read what our clients have to say. All calls are free and confidential.

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