Featured Expert
Lt. Paul J. Reinsch
Lt. Paul J. Reinsch Missouri State Highway Patrol View bio

Missouri has a rich history when it comes to driving: the famous Route 66 laces across 300 miles of the state, from St. Louis to Springfield. Find out more about what the Show Me state requires for state insurance, driver protection, and road safety laws.

Missouri Vehicle Insurance Requirements

Summary

Missouri ranks 18th when it comes to the percentage of drivers on the road without insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In an effort to force uninsured motorists to get coverage, state legislators passed a bill in 2013 making it all but impossible for an uninsured driver to file a lawsuit against an insured driver for injuries.

Read on to find out more about what kind of car insurance you need in Missouri and how the state stacks up in terms of driver safety.

Who Needs Vehicle Insurance in Missouri?

To drive in Missouri, you have to register your vehicle with the Missouri Department of Revenue and carry insurance for it (or offer an alternative – see below). Missouri also requires vehicles to pass a safety inspection, and out-of-state vehicles have to pass inspections of the VIN and odometer.

Proof of Insurance

To drive legally, you must carry proof of valid auto insurance (or an alternative) in Missouri at all times. This can be a traditional insurance card or digital proof-of-insurance on a smartphone or mobile device. Insurance cards should include the driver’s name, insurance policy number and vehicle(s) covered. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, you are also required to show proof of insurance in the following situations:

  • When registering or renewing a registration
  • When asked by a law enforcement official
  • When applying for or renewing a driver’s license

Minimum Insurance Requirements in Missouri

Missouri state law mandates that all vehicle owners and drivers have auto liability insurance coverage. The minimum coverage is a 25/50/10 policy:

  • $25,000 for each injured person per accident
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury to two or more people
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage

In addition to liability insurance, drivers in Missouri must also hold uninsured motorist coverage, with the minimum requirements as follows:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident

Remember, though, only carrying the minimum car insurance in Missouri may not be enough to cover the total costs of an accident. Missouri is a “pure comparative” state. That means you could have your damage payout reduced depending on your level of fault in an accident.

High-risk Auto Insurance Program

If you qualify for traditional coverage may apply through the Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate they have applied for and have been denied auto insurance in Missouri within the past 60 days. They must also have an active driver’s license or be eligible to receive one in the state. To learn more, contact your insurance agent.

Alternatives to Insurance in Missouri

You can drive without car insurance in Missouri if you qualify for three pricey alternatives: a surety bond, a real estate bond and a cash/securities deposit. After filing the proper financial bonds or securities, you will receive a certificate to submit to the Department of Revenue in lieu of an auto liability insurance policy. Here are the details behind each option:

Surety Bond

You may submit a $60,000 surety bond and Power-of-Attorney form to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Real Estate Bond

You must file a Justification of Sureties form to the Circuit Court Judge in county or city where the property is located. The form must show two or more property owners holding real estate with at least $120,000 in equity value.

Cash or Securities Deposit

You may deposit cash or negotiable securities to meet proof of financial responsibility if you file one of the following with the State Treasurer’s office: a cash deposit of at least $60,000, a Certificate of Deposit worth $60,000, stock or bonds certificates valued at $60,000 or other approved negotiable securities.

Whether you choose an insurance policy or proof of financial responsibility, you must keep the policy in every vehicle you own or operate in the state.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Car Insurance in Missouri?

Missouri law states that drivers must have insurance on their vehicles at all times as long as the vehicle is registered in the state. If you don’t have car insurance, you risk a series of penalties, suspensions and fines, including the following:

  • A conviction and four points assessed on your driving records (eight points in 18 months leads to driving privileges being revoked)
  • A suspension of driving privileges for failing to provide proof of insurance

Suspension periods and fines are as follows:

  • 1st Suspension: 0 days and $20 reinstatement fee
  • 2nd Suspension: 90 days and $200 reinstatement fee
  • 3rd+ Suspension: one year and $400 reinstatement fee

How Much Vehicle Insurance Do You Need?

Motorists in Missouri are required to maintain a minimum level of liability insurance. Yet, if you stick with the minimum, you may not have enough liability insurance to cover the cost of an accident, especially if the other driver is uninsured.

What Percentage of Drivers in
Missouri Lack Vehicle Insurance?
13.5% National Average: 12.6 %

Ideally, insurance consumer groups note, drivers should carry 10 or more times than the state’s requirement in liability coverage. They also recommend uninsured motorists coverage. Finally, if you have a new car or valuable car, you may want to get collision and comprehensive insurance to protect it.

For more on the different types of insurance coverage and possible discounts you may qualify for, see the MoneyGeek guide to car insurance on the topic.

Car Insurance and Special Groups

Teen Drivers in Missouri

If your teen is learning how to drive, contact your insurance company to let them know which vehicle(s) your child will be driving. The parent’s insurance policy typically covers both people named in the policy as well as people who have permission to drive the car. Traditionally, most families add their teenage drivers to their existing auto insurance policies to save money.

To help keep teens safe as they prepare to take the wheel, the state of Missouri in 2001 instituted a graduated driver’s license law, which requires different stages of training and experience before the teen can obtain a full driver’s license. The state’s revenue division also offers a guide to parents of teen drivers, a sample parent-teen driving agreement and a sample driving test for teens, among other things.

How a Teen Driver Will Change Your Premium

Median annual price change for MO families with a teen driver on their policy:

$1,767 increase This is a difference of 107%.
Comparison of Premium Ranges
25th – 75th Percentile Median
Watch Your Speedometer

Average annual premium increase if your teen gets a speeding ticket while driving 11-15 mph over the speed limit:

Male teen

$432

Speedometer
Female teen

$351

Check Out Discounts for Teens in Missouri

Impact on annual premium with Good Student and Defensive Driving discounts:

$388 saved

Compare Auto Quotes from Missouri Providers

Check out the annual average premiums for a married couple with a 16-year-old teen driver in Missouri. Comparison shopping will help you find a premium that’s right for you.

Insurance Provider Min MEDIAN MAX
Farmers $1,514 $2,622 $4,716
State Farm $1,573 $3,073 $6,952
Automobile Club of Missouri $1,970 $3,663 $9,704
American Family $2,152 $3,985 $8,379
Shelter $2,161 $4,375 $11,331

Which Cars Drive Up Your Premium in MO?

Sports cars, which studies associate with speeding, are a more risky choice for teens than sedans and minivans .

Average premium for two 2014
Mustang GTs

$4,371

Average premium for two 2008
Town and Country Limiteds

$3,205

Annual benefit of minivans:

$1,166 saved This is 27% less expensive.
Premium Comparison for Two Adults + 16 Year Old
25th – 75th Percentile Median

College Students in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Insurance recommends that college students take these steps:

Missouri Teen Drivers vs. College Age Students

Median annual premium change with a college student vs. high school driver

$850 decrease This is a decrease of 24%.
Comparison of Premium Ranges
25th - 75th Percentile Median

Annual Premiums for Missouri Insurance Providers

Each year, review your policy before it renews to see whether you could get a better rate. For example, here are the average premiums for a married couple with a 19-year-old college student in Missouri.

Provider Min MEDIAN MAX
Farmers $1,205 $2,075 $3,684
American Family $1,200 $2,259 $5,389
State Farm $1,165 $2,269 $5,325
Automobile Club of Missouri $1,790 $3,088 $6,632
Shelter $1,617 $3,158 $7,232

Distance Discount: Savings for Missouri College Drivers

You may get a small break in your family’s premium if your student lives 150 miles away from home.

Average premium for a 19-year-old male
  • $3,043 at home
  • $2,634 at school
  • $409 in savings
Average premium for a 19-year-old female
  • $2,589 at home
  • $2,344 at school
  • $245 in savings

Which Cars Drive Up Your Premium in Missouri?

A college student driving an older-model minivan will cost much less to insure than if he or she drives a newer model sports car, which studies associate with speeding.

2014 Mustang GTs (2)

$3,184

2008 Town and Country Limited minivans (2)

$2,313

Annual benefit of minivans

$871 saved This is 27% less expensive.
Premium Comparison for Two Adults + College Driver
25th - 75th Percentile Median

Military Drivers in Missouri

The “Show Me” state of Missouri has about 17,200 active-duty military personnel and more than 365,000 veterans. Discounts on car insurance are available to both groups and their families through most of the major insurance companies and carriers that cater exclusively to members of the armed forces. Discounts are usually automatic for qualifying individuals, although insurance companies still look at factors like credit and driving history when setting a rate. This is why it’s always a good idea to get several quotes from different companies before buying insurance. The Missouri Department of Insurance also offers tips on lowering your insurance rates beyond a military discount.

Along with proof of insurance, military personnel stationed out of Missouri will need to submit documents to register a vehicle, including the Certificate of Title, signed Application for Missouri Title and License (Form 108). Everything you’ll need to complete is available online from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Missouri Service Members:
How the Type of Vehicle You Buy Affects Your Premium

Our research shows an older model SUV or minivan has less impact on your premium than a recent model sports car -- a vehicle insurers associate with speeding.

Comparison of Premium Ranges by Driver Age and Vehicle for a Military Driver
25-Year-Old Driver
50-Year-Old Driver
25th - 75th Percentile Median

Age Savings for Missouri
Service Members

Median auto insurance
for service members:

$1,077
Male (25 yrs)$1,246
Male (50 yrs)$1,014
$232 savings
Female (25 yrs)$1,228
Female (50 yrs)$1,016
$212 savings

Compare Average Premiums Available to Missouri Military Personnel

When you're looking for affordable insurance, it pays to shop around. Check out the average annual rates you can get in Missouri.

Premium Comparison for a Military Driver
25th - 75th Percentile Median

Seniors in Missouri

Missouri doesn’t explicitly require its car insurance companies to give discounts to older drivers, but AARP indicates that they do anyway after the completion of a good driver course.

Undocumented Workers in Missouri

Since 2013, undocumented immigrants have been able to get a temporary license in Missouri if they have lived there for at least a year and can show either a valid passport or an ID from their consulate. At the federal level, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before they turned 16 can also get licenses under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, provided they are students or have graduated high school, haven’t committed a crime and meet the residency requirements set out in the program. Having a driver’s license is a prerequisite for car insurance, so the next step is to register the vehicle and get it insured.

Ridesharing Insurance in Missouri: Are You Covered?

Ridesharing companies, including Lyft and Uber, have changed the face of transportation. Through mobile apps, passengers seeking a ride can be connected to a driver using their own car within the ridesharing network. However, many drivers and passengers are unaware of the insurance risks associated with these transportation network companies (TNCs). Since insurers will not pay for an accident if a car is being “driven for hire,” and some TNC coverage only kicks in when the passenger enters the car, drivers may face serious financial jeopardy if they’re in an accident.

If you’re a ridesharing driver:

Missouri state legislators recently passed legislation to fill this gap. It requires TNC drivers to carry a liability insurance policy when they are logged in and available to provide ridesharing services. The policy is $50,000 for injury and death per person, $100,000 for death or injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage. Drivers must also hold uninsured motorist coverage, as well as collision and comprehensive coverage if they use their own personal policy.

If you’re a passenger using ridesharing services, check with your insurance agent to make sure you’re completely covered.

Car Accidents in Missouri: How to File a Claim

In Missouri, you are required to stop if you are involved in a traffic accident. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, it’s a crime to leave the scene of an accident. Take these steps to file a claim if you’re involved in an accident:

  • Exchange personal information (name, address, driver license number), VIN, license plate number, insurance company name and insurance policy number with the other individual(s) involved in the accident.
  • If law enforcement is called, remain at the accident scene until an officer says you may leave.
  • File an accident report with the Department of Revenue if the accident involved an uninsured motorist, caused more than $500 in property damage or caused an injury or fatality.

You should also contact your insurance company during or immediately after the accident to begin the claim process and assess fault.

Driver Safety: How Does Missouri Rate?

Missouri is slightly above the national average for car fatalities, but since 2007 its traffic death rate fell steadily until 2013. “Traffic fatalities have been going up over the last several years in Missouri,” says Paul Reinsch of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, noting that deaths from car crashes jumped from 757 in 2013 to 876 in 2015.

Reinsch blames inattention, speeding and impaired driving for the bulk of the crashes. “Driving is a full time job, and texting/cell phones and other forms of inattention contribute heavily to traffic crashes each year,” he says.

Among other things, the state has a campaign against impaired driving (a third of fatal crashes in Missouri involve alcohol). The state driver’s guide also encourages residents to buckle up; among people killed in car accidents in the state at last count, 63 percent were not wearing seat belts. One state PSA begins “Pickup trucks rock. They also roll” as an effort to get more Missourians to wear seat belts.

Missouri Driver Safety Ranking

27th in the U.S.
About Our Data

The driver safety table shows the different safety factors that contribute to your state's overall safety rank (in the green box). The overall safety ranking and the National Ranking column scores in each category (including crash fatality rates) are from safest to most dangerous, with 1st being the safest and 51st the least safe.

How did we create the safety rankings?

We created a traffic safety ranking of all US states plus the District of Columbia by combining data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. We looked at fatality rates by distance traveled as well as by population and gave more weight to behaviors that were riskier and preventable (i.e., drunk driving, not using a seat belt), as well as to accidents that involved more than one party (i.e., multi-vehicle).

Driver Safety Profile Number of Fatalities Fatality Rate

The fatality rate is the rate per one billion vehicle miles traveled, except for pedestrian and bicyclist fatality measures, which are per measured per a population of 100,000.

Ranking
(National)

Rankings are in order of safest to least safe. A state with the lowest fatality rate would be the safest, and thus ranked #1.

Drunk Driving-Related Fatalities 250 3.60 34th
Speeding-Related Fatalities 308 4.43 41st
Passenger Vehicle Unrestrained Fatalities 325 4.68 36th
Unhelmeted Motorcycle Fatalities 7 0.10 12th
Multiple Vehicle Fatalities 309 4.45 25th
Pedestrian Fatalities 73 1.21 24th
Bicyclist Fatalities 4 0.07 6th
Total Vehicle Fatalities 757 10.90 30th

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Missouri: Protecting You from Injury on the Road

Since 2003, the state has launched a series of highway safety plans aimed at making roads safer, including Missouri’s Blueprint to Arrive Alive. The result? Between 2007 and 2013, the number of fatal road accidents decreased by nearly 24 percent, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

Below is an overview of the major safe driving initiatives and laws in Missouri.

Safe Driving Laws in Missouri

  Requirement State Law Details
Mandatory seat belts Statewide law in effect requiring driver and passengers to wear seat belts. $10 fine for violating the provision.
Child passenger safety Children 4 and under, regardless of weight, must use an appropriate child safety seat; <40 pounds, regardless of age, must use a child safety seat. Children between ages of 4 and 7, under 80 pounds and shorter than 4’9” must use a child safety or booster seat. Children over 80 pounds or 4’9” must use a seat belt or appropriate booster seat; $50 fine for violating child passenger safety rules.
Driving under the influence (DUI) First-time conviction results in an automatic 90-day license suspension; a second offense within five-year period results in a five-year license suspension; a third (or more) offense results in a 10-year license suspension. Fines range from $500 to upwards of $5,000.
Ignition interlock after DUI Partial State law requires individuals convicted of a second or subsequent DUI-related traffic offense to use an ignition interlock device before regaining driving privileges.
Talking on cell or texting while driving No statewide ban on texting or driving while using a mobile device; drivers 21 and younger may not use mobile devices while driving.
Protections for young drivers Permit holders <16 years of age, may only drive with an immediate family member or driving instructor who is 25 and has at least three years of experience; >16 must have a licensed driver at least 21 years old occupy the front passenger seat; intermediate license holders age 16 to 17 may not drive alone between 1-5 a.m.
Motorcycle helmet law Partial Statewide universal helmet law repealed in 2015. Drivers under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet.
Bicycle helmet law No statewide bicycling helmet laws in Missouri.

Source: Missouri Driver’s Manual; Missouri Department of Revenue; Missouri State Highway Patrol; Missouri Secretary of State;

Car Insurance Resources for Missouri Residents

Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan

Created to ensure drivers who are unable to get car insurance in Missouri have access to state mandated coverage.

Missouri Department of Insurance

The state regulatory agency responsible for the insurance industry, including auto insurance. It offers a wealth of resources, from auto insurance guides to teen driving tips.

Missouri Department of Revenue

Manages the vehicle and driver’s license registration and renewal processes in Missouri. Drivers can download the state’s safe driving manual and access FAQs on Missouri’s insurance requirements.

Missouri Department of Public Safety

Includes eight different agencies and six programs, including the Highway Patrol. Consumers can access resources such as information about vehicle crash reports and seat belt laws.

Missouri Insurance Education Foundation

This nonprofit organization offers consumer education about auto insurance and supports students through scholarship and outreach programs.