New California legislation changes rules for unlicensed drivers

California Auto InsuranceA new bill has been signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown, banning local police agencies at sobriety checkpoints from being able to continue to impound vehicles when they discover that a driver does not have a license.

The reason for this decision is that impounding a vehicle can come with a very high price tag, especially when they can last as long as a full month. California Watch, an investigative reporting website, noted that for every impounded car, “up to $2,000 in fines and fees” is generated.

However, despite the fact that this may save a number of unlicensed motorists a large chunk of money, has warned drivers against this behavior, as this type of conviction will still be exceptionally costly when they attempt to obtain inexpensive auto insurance from the major insurance companies within the state.

In order to measure the difference that a conviction would make on the amount of money it would cost the unlicensed driver, that website compared quotes for a single driver whose record was entirely clean, with the quotes received for a similar individual, but who had an unlicensed driving conviction and with one who was similar but whose license had been suspended and had been caught driving. Quotes from eleven California auto insurance companies were obtained.

They determined that there was a notable impact on the insurance prices for drivers who had been caught behind the wheel when they shouldn’t have been. This was especially true for drivers whose licenses had been suspended but were caught driving.

In fact, a single conviction for unlicensed driving increased premiums by up to 37 percent. The average increase in premiums resulting from driving unlicensed was 23 percent. There was an increase of 28 to 76 percent in premiums for a driver who was convicted of being behind the wheel with a suspended license. The average increase for this offense was 56 percent.

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