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Oregon Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

Oregon's mandatory insurance law ORS 806.010 requires every driver to have insurance. The minimum liability insurance a driver must have is:

Bodily injury and property damage liability
$25,000 per person;
$50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others; and
$20,000 per crash for damage to the property of others

Oregon State law also requires liability that provides:

Personal Injury Protection
(for reasonable and
necessary medical,
dental and other
expenses up to one
year after a crash)

$15,000 per person
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
$25,000 per person;
$50,000 per crash for bodily injury

You must prove that you have this insurance every time you register a vehicle, or if you buy a trip permit. You also have to keep insurance on a vehicle as long as it is registered in your name. This means the car that has been parked in your driveway for a year (not driven) but has current tags needs to be insured according to the law.

The State of Oregon DMV selects a random list of registered automobiles to inquire on insurance status if they do not show a current policy on the DMV records. To avoid this list, if your car is not going to be driven, turn the plates in to the DMV and re-register it when you are ready to go back to driving.

DMV records are automatically updated by insurance carriers and utilized by police officers in the field to check for insurance status prior to stopping a driver.

Although the limits you have selected on your auto insurance policy may be higher than Oregon State minimum requirements listed above, they will not appear on the actual Oregon Certificate of Liability Insurance card. The law requires you, the driver, to be able to locate immediately this certificate (proof of insurance) at the time a law enforcement officer pulls you over. You must also present the certificate at the time you register a car coming from another state or that has expired tags.

Most importantly, you must be able to present your proof of insurance at the time of an accident, no matter who is at fault. You are required to share with the other driver and law enforcement, if they are called to the scene of the accident, your personal information that appears on the Oregon Certificate of Insurance card.

In addition to the proof of insurance, you must also carry your valid drivers licence and registration to the automobile. Having these documents at hand will avoid additional problems at the time of an accident or when you may be detained by a law enforcement officer. Find an accessible place in your automobile to store your registration and proof of insurance. Practice locating them so you can find them easily at the moment when you might be most stressed; at the time of accident or when an officer pulls you over.

In the State of Oregon, a law enforcement officer may impound your automobile or motorcycle for simply failing to carry a current Oregon Certificate of Liability Insurance card in the vehicle. You will have to pay the cost of obtaining a Certificate of Release from the law enforcement agency that impounded your car. Then, you must pay for the cost of towing and storage fees.

So, be sure you have purchased at least the minimum auto insurance from your Independent Agent and ask him or her for a proof of insurance card to carry in the automobile. If you lend your car to someone, be sure that driver knows where the insurance card and registration are. Just because the DMV has your automobile on record doesn't mean an officer can't have your car impounded if the driver cannot produce a proof of insurance card.

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