Comply with insurance, tax, and registration laws

Learn how to keep your vehicle compliant and resolve common issues

Comply with insurance, tax, and registration laws

Learn how to keep your vehicle compliant and resolve common issues
The DMV is here to help

As a driver in Connecticut there are insurance, tax, and registration compliance issues that we can help you handle with ease. If you don’t maintain compliance with these laws, your vehicle registration may be suspended, and you will not be able to register a new vehicle or renew an existing registration until issues are resolved.

Learn how to:

  • Address warning notices for lapses in insurance coverage
  • Pay lapsed insurance fines
  • Meet minimum liability insurance requirements
  • Resolve a suspended vehicle registration
  • Avoid fees and meet compliance requirements

Knowledge is power! Let’s get you back in the driver’s seat.

Important!
Vehicles currently registered in the state of Connecticut require liability insurance. Liability insurance is needed to legally drive your car, motorcycle, truck, or other vehicle in the state. See below for insurance compliance FAQs.
Find out if you have any compliance issues

You can check for insurance compliance and other issues using the DMV’s online tools. Individuals will need a driver’s license or ID number, while organizations will need their Secretary of State number.

Note: An organization’s Secretary of State number must be on file with the DMV to use this online service. Please call 860-263-5700 or 1-800-842-8222 to submit your Secretary of State number to the DMV if not yet on file.

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  • Insurance requirements by law
  • Compliance warning notices & how to resolve them
  • How to resolve a lapsed insurance fine
  • Dispute fine or request a hearing

Insurance requirements by law

Connecticut state law requires continuous insurance coverage on any registered vehicle. If you don’t maintain insurance on a registered vehicle, you may receive a "warning notice" from the DMV in the form of a letter.

To resolve most warning notice issues, you can mail required documents and payment for fines to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit.

Mailing address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Insurance Compliance Unit
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161


Processing can take up to 10 days.

Compliance warning notices & how to resolve them

If you’ve maintained continuous liability coverage on your vehicle during your registration period but you’ve changed insurance companies, it can trigger a notification from your old insurance to the DMV that you don’t have insurance—even though you have it through a new carrier.

Here’s how to resolve common insurance-related warning notices:

If you changed insurance companies

  • Mail a clear copy of your declaration page or copy of your permanent insurance card to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit.

If your current insurance company is listed on your warning letter OR you can prove you had insurance

Mail the following documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit. We will verify your coverage once we receive documents and close your case if we can confirm there was no lapse in coverage.

 

Required documentation:

  • Letter of experience from your insurance company on its letterhead that shows no lapse in coverage

    OR
  • Your new insurance company’s declaration page showing coverage for the reported lapse or cancellation period.

If you don’t want to continue to insure a vehicle
If you no longer need or want to insure a vehicle and you have an outstanding fine, you need to cancel the vehicle's registration with the DMV. To do so, mail the following documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit:

  • A signed consent agreement located on the bottom of your warning notice
  • Plate receipt
  • Check or money order for $200 made payable to “DMV”

DMV Insurance Compliance Unit mailing address:

Department of Motor Vehicles 
Insurance Compliance Unit 
60 State Street 
Wethersfield, CT 06161 

Note: If you have a lapse in vehicle insurance, please see below for how to resolve a lapsed insurance fine.

How to resolve a lapsed insurance fine

If your insurance has lapsed, meaning it has expired and coverage is no longer valid, you can pay a fine to resolve the issue. How you’re able to pay the fine depends on whether your vehicle registration is current, or if it has been suspended and why.
 
Pay fines for lapsed insurance with a current registration

If your registration is suspended due to lapse
If your vehicle registration is current but your insurance company has reported you to the DMV because of a lapse in coverage, or, if your registration is suspended due to the lapse in insurance, you can pay a $200 fine to resolve the issue.

Options for payment:

  • Online: Individuals and organizations can check for compliance issues online and make payments through the DMV’s online service.
  • By phone: Call 860-263-5725 to process your payment.
  • By mail: Mail the following documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit:
    • A signed consent agreement located on the bottom of your warning notice
    • Copy of your current insurance card
    • Check or money order for $200 made payable to “DMV”
    • Mailing address: 

      Department of Motor Vehicles
      Insurance Compliance Unit
      60 State Street
      Wethersfield, CT 06161

Pay fines for lapsed insurance with a suspended registration that is NOT due to lapse.

Dispute fine or request a hearing

If you receive a suspension from the DMV and can't register your vehicle due to non-payment of insurance, you can dispute the $200 fine or request a hearing.

Request a hearing
You can request a hearing to contest the fine if you have maintained continuous insurance throughout the registration period for any vehicle registered in your name and can provide necessary proof.

Please contact the DMV at 860-263-5725 before the suspension date on your warning notice to request a hearing.
 
Provide required documentation 
To successfully dispute your fine and close your case, you need to provide the DMV with documentation to prove one of the following scenarios:

  • You have insurance
    If you have insurance on your vehicle and you maintained it throughout the registration period, mail a copy of one of these documents to the DMV:
    • Letter of experience from your insurance company on its letterhead showing coverage during the reported lapse or cancellation period
    • Your insurance company’s declaration page
    • Current Connecticut Insurance Identification Card, provided by your insurance carrier, that shows coverage for the reported lapse or cancellation period

  • You sold your vehicle
    If you no longer own your vehicle:
    • Cancel the vehicle's registration
    • Mail a copy of one of the following documents:
      • A Bill of Sale
      • Junk receipt
      • Repossession document
      • Total loss document
      • Front and back of title signed over on or before the insurance cancellation date listed at the top of your suspension notice

  • You moved out of state
    If you moved and registered your vehicle in another state on or before the insurance cancellation date on your suspension warning notice, you need to:

  • The vehicle owner is deceased
    If the registered vehicle owner is deceased, the executor of the estate needs to:

Mail all required documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Insurance Compliance Unit
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161

You will receive a letter from the DMV if further documentation is required or if your case has been cleared. 

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  • What is liability insurance?
  • What are minimum liability insurance requirements in CT?
  • How is minimum liability insurance tracked by the DMV?
  • What happens if I have a lapse of insurance coverage or cancel coverage?
  •  What if I don't respond to a Warning Notice?
  • How do I keep from being reported to the DMV?
  • What if I’m not using my seasonal vehicle and want to retain my license plates?
  • What if I don't want to pay insurance while my car is inoperable or being stored?
  • What do I do with my plates when I move out of state?
  • What if my plates were lost or stolen?
  • How do I notify the DMV that a vehicle’s owner is deceased?
  • If I sell my vehicle but want to keep my license plates, what do I do?
  • When do I need to provide proof of insurance to the DMV?
  • How do I provide proof of insurance?
  • How do I resolve my insurance case once my registration has been suspended?

What is liability insurance?

Liability insurance cover’s damages like personal injury or property damage for a third party, or another driver or drivers, that might happen in a car accident. This insurance doesn’t cover your own injuries or property damage. You’re required to maintain minimum liability insurance on your vehicle registered in CT until you cancel the registration or license plates on a vehicle.

What are minimum liability insurance requirements in CT?

You’re required to maintain minimum liability insurance on your vehicle registered in CT until you cancel the registration or license plates on a vehicle. Liability insurance requirements for Connecticut drivers are as follows:

  • Minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury and liability
  • Minimum of $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and liability
  • Minimum of $25,000 per accident for property damage liability is the legal requirement, but you are strongly encouraged to consider higher levels of
  • coverage

Learn more about vehicle insurance coverage through the State of Connecticut Insurance Department. You can also call this department with questions: 860-297-3800

Be sure to obtain a receipt when you return your license plate and registration to the DMV, and cancel insurance or transfer ownership of a vehicle to avoid penalties.

How is minimum liability insurance tracked by the DMV?

Insurance companies are required to report uninsured motorists to the Connecticut DMV to protect all drivers as part of mandatory insurance reporting laws.

What happens if I have a lapse of insurance coverage or cancel coverage?

When you cancel your insurance coverage, your insurance company notifies the DMV. We mail you a warning notice so that you can get insurance coverage with another company. If you don’t get insurance, you may have to pay a $200 fine. If you can prove you have coverage, no further action is taken by the DMV and a fine is not required.

 What if I don't respond to a Warning Notice?

If you don’t reinstate or confirm minimum liability insurance coverage on your vehicle, you may lose vehicle registration privileges.

If you don’t respond after a warning notice is mailed to you, you may lose privileges to renew your vehicle registration AND register any additional or new vehicle.

How do I keep from being reported to the DMV?

Maintain liability insurance if you intend to operate your vehicle and your plates are currently registered. If you don’t intend to operate your vehicle, there are two options regarding your license plates:

What if I’m not using my seasonal vehicle and want to retain my license plates?

To keep seasonal plates, you’ll need to request in writing through your insurance carrier a "suspension of liability." Keep comprehensive coverage during that time to reduce your insurance rate and keep your vehicle from being reported to the DMV. You are NOT permitted to operate your vehicle while your vehicle’s liability insurance is temporarily suspended.

What if I don't want to pay insurance while my car is inoperable or being stored?

For inoperable care, you may turn your license plates into any DMV and request that they are placed “on hold” (See question 7). You may then drop all insurance coverage on the vehicle. You may also cancel your plates and request a refund if your vehicle remains unused for a year or more.

What do I do with my plates when I move out of state?

Once your vehicle or vehicles are registered with a new state, cancel your vehicle registration(s) with the Connecticut DMV and be sure to get a receipt. This prevents insurance companies from reporting you to the DMV and from taxes accruing.

What if my plates were lost or stolen?

Sign the consent agreement located at the bottom of your insurance compliance notice and mail it to the insurance compliance unit. To cancel your plate, check off lost or stolen on the notice.

You may also cancel your registration online.

How do I notify the DMV that a vehicle’s owner is deceased?

Send the DMV the following documents to notify us that the vehicle owner (or registrant) is deceased:

  • A copy of the death certificate or obituary published in newspaper.
  • A letter of request to send all future correspondence to the party responsible for the estate
  • The primary owner is responsible for the case, not any co-owners.

If I sell my vehicle but want to keep my license plates, what do I do?

Prior to the sale of the vehicle, you may request a "suspension of liability," through your insurance company, that maintains comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. By doing this, you may keep the plates on the car until you sell it and remain in compliance with the law.

After the sale of your vehicle, bring your plates to the DMV and either place them “on hold" until you are ready to use them again, or cancel your plates online. Should you have more than a year left on your registration, you can request a one-year refund, but it must be done before you cancel liability insurance on that vehicle.

When do I need to provide proof of insurance to the DMV?

When your previous insurer informs us that your insurance policy has been cancelled, we will notify you that proof of insurance is necessary. Depending on when you change your insurance carrier, your new insurance provider may be unable to provide information to show coverage prior to your being mailed a suspension warning notice.

How do I provide proof of insurance?

If the DMV requests proof of insurance coverage, a declaration page, letter of experience, or valid permanent CT Insurance Identification Card (provided by your insurance carrier) that identifies the vehicle(s) in question are the only acceptable forms of verification. Temporary insurance cards, bills, or binders are not acceptable.

How do I resolve my insurance case once my registration has been suspended?

To resolve your suspended registration, you can:

  • Pay a fine:
    • Pay an uninsured motorist civil penalty for each lapse of insurance of $200.

  • Provide proof of insurance:
    • After receipt of $200 and your proof of insurance, we rescind your registration suspension, and your current registration is then valid.

  • Dispute the case:

Contact the DMV Insurance Compliance Unit:

Department of Motor Vehicles 
Insurance Compliance 
60 State Street 
Wethersfield, CT 06161-4020 
860-263-5725

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  • Insurance-related registration issues
  • Emissions testing compliance issues
  • Property tax compliance issues
  • Other compliance issues affecting registration
  • Pay or dispute a fine

Insurance-related registration issues

Changes to your vehicle registration or changes associated with your currently registered license plate can trigger a warning notice, even if there are no issues with your insurance.

Here’s how to resolve insurance-related registration warning notices:

If you transferred plates to another vehicle before the cancellation date on a warning notice

  • Mail a copy of your current registration (showing new vehicle transfer) to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit

If you moved to another state and registered your vehicle there
If you move to another state and register your vehicle there before the insurance cancellation date on the top of your warning letter, you will need to:

  • Cancel the vehicle’s registration and plates with the Connecticut DMV
  • Mail a copy of your current registration and insurance card within 14 days from the date of lapse. from the new state to the Connecticut DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit. Once received, we will review your case.

If you no longer own the vehicle
Mail one of the following documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit:

  • A copy of the bill of sale showing buyer, seller information, date and vehicle information.
  • Junk receipt
  • Repossession document
  • Total loss document
  • Front and back of vehicle title, signed over appropriately to the new owner

If the registered owner is deceased

Department of Motor Vehicles
Insurance Compliance,
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161

Emissions testing compliance issues

The vehicle you’re registering must be up-to-date for emissions testing requirements - find your vehicle’s emissions testing due date or learn more about Connecticut's Emissions Testing Program.

Emissions testing late fee

If a vehicle was tested 30 days after the emissions testing deadline, a $20 late fee will be charged to the owner of the vehicle. This fee can be paid through the DMV's online service.

Property tax compliance issues

CT state law requires the DMV to deny vehicle registrations in the name of a person who is reported as tax delinquent by a Connecticut town or city.

Please contact the city or town listed on your town notice to settle your tax obligation. Note: The DMV will no longer accept paper tax releases. Your tax collector will need to clear you online.

Learn more about property and sales tax requirements and how remaining compliant affects your vehicle registration.

Other compliance issues affecting registration

Outstanding parking tickets
State law allows the DMV to deny any vehicle registrations in the name of a person who is reported with outstanding parking tickets in a Connecticut city or town. Please contact the Connecticut city or town directly to settle your parking ticket obligation.

Commercial vehicle safety issues (safety records)
You will not be able to register any vehicle if our records indicate that you’ve been reported by the DMV’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Division for issues with one of the following:

  • Roadside safety inspections: Call 860-263-5446 to resolve
  • School bus/student transportation vehicle inspections: Call 860-263-5447 to resolve
  • Diesel-powered commercial motor vehicle emissions inspections: Call 860-263-5446 to resolve
  • Federal out-of-service order: Call 860-263-5163 to resolve

Pay or dispute a fine

If you receive a DMV registration suspension notice due to lack of insurance coverage on your vehicle, you can resolve the suspension by paying a $200 fine or by disputing it.

Pay a fine

  • Review the letter you receive from the DMV to determine the suspension date.
  • Use the DMV’s online tool to verify the status of your vehicle registration.
  • Based on the status of your current vehicle registration, pay your fine according to the instructions below:

Pay fine when registration IS currently suspended:

  • By phone: Call 860-263-5725 to process your payment.
  • By mail: Mail the following documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit:
    • A signed consent agreement located on the bottom of your warning notice
    • Copy of your current insurance card
    • Check or money order for $200 made payable to “DMV”

  • Mailing address:

    Department of Motor Vehicles
    Insurance Compliance Unit
    60 State Street
    Wethersfield, CT 06161

Pay fine when registration is NOT currently suspended:
Payment options depend on whether your vehicle insurance was reported to the DMV as “not reinsured” or reported as “lapsed”—this information is on your warning notice:

  • If your insurance was cancelled and NOT reinstated, your letter will have this wording:

[Not been reinsured (see image)]

  • When your insurance has been reported to DMV as dropped or cancelled (and your registration is not currently suspended), you can pay the $200 fine by the one of following methods:

    • By phone: Call 860-263-5725 to process your payment.
    • By mail: Mail the following documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit:
  • A signed consent agreement located on the bottom of your warning notice
  • Copy of your current insurance card
  • Check or money order for $200 made payable to “DMV”
  • Mailing address: 

    Department of Motor Vehicles 
    Insurance Compliance Unit 
    60 State Street 
    Wethersfield, CT 06161
  • If your insurance was cancelled and reinstated, but there was a lapse, your letter will have this wording:
     

[Lapse (see image)

  • When your insurance has been reported to DMV as lapsed (and your registration is not suspended), you can pay the $200 fine by the one of following methods:
  • Online: Individuals and organizations can check for compliance issues online and make payments through the DMV’s online service.
  • By phone: Call 860-263-5725 to process your payment.
  • By mail: Mail the following documents to the DMV’s Insurance Compliance Unit:
  • A signed consent agreement located on the bottom of your warning notice
  • Copy of your current insurance card
  • Check or money order for $200 made payable to “DMV”

  • Mailing address: 

    Department of Motor Vehicles
    Insurance Compliance Unit
    60 State Street
    Wethersfield, CT 06161

Dispute your case
If you receive a registration suspension notice from the DMV and want to dispute the $200 fine, you can do so if:

  • You can prove that you maintained continuous insurance coverage on your vehicle
  • You have changed insurance companies
  • You sold your vehicle (make sure you cancel your registration and plates with the DMV)
  • You moved out of state
  • The owner of the vehicle is deceased
  • You no longer own the vehicle due to:
    • Vehicle total loss 
    • Vehicle junked
    • Donated
    • Repossessed
    • Trade into a dealership

If any of these are true, you can request a hearing to dispute your suspension—OR see below for how to resolve specific issues.

Request a hearing
If you would like to dispute your fine, you may request a hearing by calling the DMV at 860-263-5725 prior to the suspension date on your warning notice.

The hearing is limited to two issues:

  • Was the vehicle registered to you when the insurance was canceled?
  • Did you continuously maintain insurance throughout the registration period?