Vehicle Code 16028(a) VC: No Proof of Insurance

California Vehicle Code 16028 (a) reads Upon the demand of a peace officer pursuant to subdivision (b) or upon the demand of a peace officer or traffic collision investigator pursuant to subdivision (c), every person who drives a motor vehicle upon a highway shall provide evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle that is in effect at the time the demand is made. The evidence of financial responsibility may be provided using a mobile electronic device. However, a peace officer shall not stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining whether the vehicle is being driven in violation of this subdivision.

The state of California demands that every driver have proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times. When a police officer requests to see it, you must be able to produce it for them. This can be done electronically, but failure to do so is an infraction.

If you have been in a wreck, you will likely have had to provide proof of insurance to the officer on the scene. Even if you did so, the other driver could have failed to do so as well. We at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys are here to help you navigate this situation, as well as any other car accident-related matters.

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What is California VC 16028(a)?

California VC 16028(a) proclaims that any driver in the state must provide proof of financial responsibility when asked by a police officer. “Financial responsibility,” in this case, means car insurance. This can be shown electronically as long as you have valid proof.

Essentially, if a police officer asks to see proof of insurance, you legally have to provide it. The best course of action is to carry proof in your vehicle at all times, just like your license and registration. Failure to provide proof carries penalties and can cause trouble.

However, you cannot be pulled over strictly to check your proof of insurance. The officer has to have another valid reason and is asking for insurance in addition. If that is the only reason the officer stopped you, it is invalid.

What if a Driver Does Not Have Proof of Insurance?

If a driver cannot provide proof of insurance, it is an infraction. Unlike a misdemeanor or felony, this does not carry especially heavy penalties and tends not to affect your record. This particular infraction does not add points to your license; however, it does lead to:

  • A fine of $100 to $200 for your first offense
  • A fine of up to $500 for any subsequent offenses.

It could affect your case if you were in a wreck and the other party failed to provide proof of insurance. A car accident attorney may be able to argue that the person was negligent or otherwise build a stronger case against them. A judge may look more harshly on someone without insurance or proof of insurance as opposed to someone who followed the law more closely.

Pro Tip

If you are concerned about losing your insurance card, check your insurance app if you have one on your smartphone. Many insurance companies offer this as a paperless alternative.

What Type of Car Insurance Does California Require Drivers to Carry?

The state of California requires drivers to have insurance. Anyone using the roads has to have some manner of coverage in case there is an accident. The specific requirements are:

  • $15,000 for one person’s injury or death
  • $30,000 for more than one person’s injury or death
  • $5,000 for property damage

There are certain types of coverage that do not satisfy the state’s requirements, but as long as they fulfill the above criteria, they should be fine. This insurance is not necessarily meant for your sake but for the other person if you are in a car accident. If you have been hit by someone who does not have this insurance, a personal injury attorney like our team at Text Kevin Accident Attorneys can help you win compensation.

What if a Driver Cannot Afford Insurance?

Oftentimes, a driver does not forgo insurance by choice. They may have no insurance because they feel they cannot afford it. In that case, there is a program available.

If you cannot afford insurance, you may be eligible for California’s Low-Cost Auto Insurance Plan. This state-sponsored program ensures that every driver can afford the insurance they need to legally travel the roads. Signing up is easy and can be completed through their website.

To sign up for the program, you simply fill out the eligibility questionnaire and then complete the application process. This can be done online or by scheduling a meeting with a representative in person. This has no cost, and any good driver with a low enough income qualifies.

What if Someone No Longer Drives a Vehicle?

People may stop driving for many reasons. They may have no further use for it, had a physical change, or simply decided to stop. Fortunately, there are options if this is the case.

Insurance can be canceled if someone no longer drives. To do so, they must submit an affidavit of non-use to the DMV. As long as the person no longer drives, the need for insurance will be canceled.

This form can be obtained from the DMV in any way the person chooses. It can be called at 1-800-777-0133, mailed to one of the various state DMV addresses, or found online at If someone hits you after doing this, however, they are still liable for the damages and may be in deeper trouble.


If you are struck by someone who claims they no longer drive, they may face harsher penalties. You may also be due punitive damages in cases where they were grossly negligent or intended to harm.

Can Someone Carry Insurance From Another State?

In certain situations, someone can live in California but carry auto insurance from another state. That person must either live multiple months of the year in another state or be attending college there. Otherwise, it may be considered fraud.

This is considered auto insurance fraud if a California citizen has insurance from another state strictly for lower rates. Auto insurance fraud is a serious crime with strict penalties. If someone who hit you is found to be committing this, a skilled car accident lawyer like our Kevin Crockett may be able to get you a higher settlement.

The possible consequences of this fraud are fairly steep. They may lose their license, have their insurance canceled, or even face jail time. As a California citizen, finding a good insurance plan within the state is much smarter.


Dealing with a driver who is committing auto insurance fraud can mean criminal charges to be dealt with before your lawsuit. However, the commencement of a criminal case can provide new evidence and information about the infraction.

What is Bodily Injury Liability Insurance?

California requires all drivers to have Bodily Liability Insurance in case they injure someone in an accident. This covers their medical bills, lost wages, and any other costs related to the accident. The cap to this payout is subject to your policy limit.

The law specifies that your bodily injury insurance coverage must meet the “15/30” rules. This means that your accident coverage must cover $15,000 for one person’s injury or death and $30,000 for the total wrongful death or injury of multiple people in an accident. You are still liable for anything not covered by this insurance, so choosing a policy with greater coverage is recommended.

If someone has injured you in a crash, this insurance should cover at least a chunk of your damages. It does not apply to damage to your car or property, however. A personal injury attorney can help you better understand your options and how you can receive full coverage for your damages.

What are the Consequences of a 16028(a) VC Ticket?

When someone is found in violation of VC 16028a, they are at risk of a $900 dollar fine. The base is $100 to $200, with extra penalties as the judge sees fit. Subsequent instances have an increased fine, up to a possible $1200.

This infraction is one of the more easily corrected offenses. The charges may be dismissed as long as the defendant can prove they have insurance after the fact. In most cases, the defendant does not even have to be personally present, only their attorney.

In a personal injury case, it may look worse on the defendant if they had this infraction. A skilled lawyer could argue negligence, and a judge may look on the person more harshly. You can still pursue a fair settlement even if their insurance does not cover your injuries.

California Vehicle Code 16028(a) FAQs

While it may seem simple, vehicle codes like this can be complex to understand. You can rely on a car accident attorney to answer any questions you may have, though there are a few that come up more often. We have provided a few of these, along with their answers.

What is VC 16028a?

California VC 16028a states that if a police officer requests proof of financial responsibility, you have to show it to them. Financial responsibility in this context means car insurance. However, you cannot be pulled over strictly to request proof of insurance.

How much for a ticket 16028?

Violating 16028a can potentially result in a $900 fine. The base level is $100 to $200, plus penalty fees. However, if you can prove that you did have insurance at the time, you only have to pay a small $25 fee.

Is 16028a VC correctable?

Yes, if you did have insurance at the time, it is correctable. You will still likely have to pay a $25 fee, but that is much lower than the penalty otherwise. If you are a California driver, it is vital that you always have car insurance.

Is 16028a VC a misdemeanor?

Violating 16028a is an infraction, meaning it carries only a fine. Otherwise, it should not affect your record or carry other penalties. However, you can be charged with a misdemeanor in relation to this infraction, which can potentially impact how the judge views the case.

Does 16028(a) apply to bicycles?

Under California VC 21200, bicyclists in the state have the same responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. However, car insurance does not really apply to bicycles. Generally, your health or homeowners insurance will cover a bicycle injury.

How do you fight a violation of code 16028(a)?

This is a fairly simple infraction to defend against. Someone found in violation of 16028a needs only to provide proof of insurance after the fact. They can even have their lawyer do so without showing up in court at all.

When will 16028(a) fall off the driver’s record?

This infraction actually does not carry points on a driver’s license. This means it does not affect your record or ability to drive. As long as the fees are paid, this offense has no long-term consequences.

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today for Legal Help

There are a lot of complicated angles when dealing with a car accident case. You and the party responsible for your injuries can both do things to help or hurt your case, such as failing to provide proof of insurance. When severe injuries come into it, it only becomes more difficult for one person to handle.

You can rely on Text Kevin Accident Attorneys to help you through this process, working together for the highest possible compensation. We can file your claim, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance providers, and represent you in court if need be. If you are ready to talk to a lawyer who gets results, you can reach us by phone or through our contact form.

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