Nevada requires that all motor vehicle owner maintain an auto insurance policy that carries minimum coverage. Failure to maintain such a policy could result in a misdemeanor conviction.
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Nevada requires all Nevada-registered vehicles to maintain an automobile insurance policy from a duly authorized seller. The policy is necessary to maintain the following minimum coverage levels:
- $15,000 of liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in any one crash;
- $30,000 of liability coverage for bodily injury or death of any two persons in one accident; and
- $10,000 of liability coverage for destruction or damage of property in a single accident.
These are statutory minimum coverage levels; insurance companies are free to offer coverage options that go beyond the statutory minimums. The policy must expressly provide coverage for tort damages, bodily injury and property damage.
Additionally, Nevada penalizes individuals who fail to maintain compliance with these provisions. Nevada punishes drivers who operate or knowingly permit the vehicle to be operated by a driver who lacks insurance. Additionally, all drivers are required to carry proof of their insurance and failure to do so is a violation. Drivers, if asked by a peace officer, are mandated to surrender their proof of insurance and identification and failure to comply could subject the driver to criminal sanctions.
Furthermore, drivers who operate another individual’s car are required to ensure that either (1) they have the requisite policy coverage, or (2) there is proof of the vehicle’s policy in the car.
Failure to comply with any of these provisions could result in a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a fine of not less than $600 and up to $1,000 per violation.
Hearings after a Crash
The Department of Motor Vehicles is permitted to conduct a hearing after any accident resulting in a serious bodily injury, death, or property damage of more than $750. The DMV must determine that the party who bears liability for the evidence was released from liability, adjudicated and judged not liable or executed an agreement in which s/he pays all payments to all parties for injuries resulting from the crash.
The Department is required to give all parties subject to the hearing at least 30 days notice in writing of the hearing. The notice must provide a brief description of the proceedings, the method by which the driver may request a hearing, and possible consequences. Hearings are not automatic rights: drivers must request them.
At the hearing, the driver is permitted to submit evidence in their favor. The purpose of the proceeding is to determine if there is a reasonable possibility that a judgment could have been rendered against the driver as a result of the crash. Additionally, the hearing decides the amount of security that may be required of the driver to satisfy any judgment for monetary damages.
It is not possible to avoid these hearings. The presiding officer is granted the authority to issue subpoenas for documents and witnesses and certify all official acts. The Director, if the witness is uncooperative, may submit the subpoena to the relevant district court who can then issue an order directing the witness to produce themselves to the Director within ten days. If the witness continues to refuse, the judge may hold them in contempt of court and issue a bench warrant to find and apprehend the witness.
The Department may require the driver to take out a security bond for the duration of the proceedings. The bond ensures that the driver pays sufficient security to satisfy the judgment. The bond must be for no less than $15,000 for bodily injury and no less than $10,000 for property destruction. The Department may impose a higher bond amount.
The Department will suspend the license of any driver against whom an adverse finding is made at the hearing.
Violations and Penalties
Failure to maintain proper insurance authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend the driver’s license. The suspension continues until s/he provides proof of an insurance policy and the financial ability to maintain it. Furthermore, if his or her license is suspended, he or she is required to remit it to the Department.
Similarly, if the vehicle’s registration lapses, the driver must remit the registration certificate and license plate to the Department. Failure to do so authorizes the Department to detail a peace officer to collect the items.
If s/he continues to operate the vehicle with a suspended license, s/he is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be fined up to $600 and sentenced to not more than one year in jail. Additionally, if s/he fails to return any of the items mentioned above to the Department, s/he is guilty of a misdemeanor.