Featured Expert
James Stout Highway Safety Data Program View bio

The least-populous state in the country also has some of the best roadside attractions: Devil’s Tower, The Grand Tetons and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, for starters. But it also has its share of danger. Narrow rural roads and a widely dispersed population raise the risk of fatal crashes, according to traffic safety experts. With that in mind, Wyomingites should pay close attention to insurance laws and other rules of the road.

Wyoming Vehicle Insurance Requirements

Summary

Wyoming gives its residents options when it comes to buying car insurance. For example, your car insurance company must include coverage against uninsured motorists, but you are free to opt out of it. Before you waive that coverage, you should know that nearly one out of 10 Wyoming drivers doesn’t carry proper coverage. And because Wyoming roads are more dangerous than most, a good insurance plan could be a wise investment.

Who Needs Vehicle Insurance in Wyoming?

Every owner of a vehicle on Wyoming roads must have either car insurance or a bond that proves that they’re ready to cover the costs of an accident. Not many people choose the bond option, which leaves car insurance as the main way to go.

Proof of Insurance

Wyoming drivers must be able to show proof of insurance (or their security bond) for each vehicle they want to register with the DMV. The state uses an online verification system for instant checks to confirm coverage.

You’ll also have to pull out your insurance card (or a copy of it on your smartphone) when a police officer asks for it or after any accident involving another driver.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements

Wyoming requires at least these levels of liability coverage, which will cover other people for damage that you may cause:

  • $25,000 per accident for injury or death
  • $50,000 for all injuries or deaths
  • $20,000 for property damage

The minimum uninsured motorist coverage will cover $25,000 for injuries and $50,000 per accident, but it doesn’t cover any property damage. You can opt out of it, but you’ll have to do so in writing.

Alternatives to regular insurance

Wyoming allows motor vehicle owners to put down a $25,000 bond per car or truck as an option to buying insurance.

Drivers who’ve been in multiple accidents or have a DUI or moving violations on their record may have difficulty getting an insurance company to cover them. Drivers classified as “high risk” may find help through the Wyoming Automobile Insurance Plan. Any insurance agent licensed in Wyoming can help with the application to this plan.

What Happens If You Drive Without Car Insurance in Wyoming?

If you can’t show proof of insurance, you have seven days to provide it. Failure to do so can bring the following penalties:

  • A fine of up to $750.
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Filing a form SR22 from the insurance company

An SR22 form is a guarantee from an insurance company that the driver has coverage through the expiration date on the form, which is usually three years.

If the DMV suspends your driver’s license for operating without insurance, you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee of $50. This can be paid online.

How Much Vehicle Insurance Do You Need?

Living in a high-crash state, Wyoming drivers may want to consider auto insurance coverage that provides protection beyond the state-required minimum.

What Percentage of Drivers in
Wyoming Lack Vehicle Insurance?
8.7% National Average: 12.6 %

Additional coverage includes:

  • Collision insurance, which pays for vehicle repairs no matter who caused the accident.
  • Comprehensive insurance, which covers repairs from theft, fire, natural disasters and hitting a deer or other animals.
  • Medical payment, which covers hospital bills and funeral expenses.
  • Uninsured motorist insurance, which help protect you in the event of a hit-and-run or being struck by an uninsured motorist

For more on the types of insurance that’s right for you, see the MoneyGeek guide to car insurance.

Car Insurance and Special Groups

Teen Drivers in Wyoming

Parents or guardians are responsible for their teen drivers in Wyoming. Since teens will inevitably be charged more for a policy, the Wyoming Department of Insurance suggests comparison shopping for insurance. You can also help lower your premium by raising your deductible and make sure your teen drives a large-frame sedan with advanced crash protection (not a sports car or SUV).

Teens and Car Insurance in Wyoming

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

$1,675 increase This is a difference of 117%.
Comparison of Premium Ranges
25th - 75th Percentile Median
Speed Bump

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

Male teen

$756

Speedometer
Female teen

$697

Teen Driver Discounts in Wyoming

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

$234 saved

How Wyoming Insurer Premiums Compare

Policy costs may vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so shop around. Compare the annual average premiums for a married couple with a 16-year-old teen driver in Wyoming:

Insurance Provider Min MEDIAN MAX
GEICO $1,545 $2,844 $6,228
State Farm $2,202 $3,765 $7,616
SAFECO $2,361 $3,697 $8,193
Allstate $2,491 $4,242 $7,727

Which Cars Drive Up Your Premium in Wyoming?

Insurers consider sports cars a more risky choice for teens than sedans and minivans, and premium rates reflect it.

Average premium for two 2014
Mustang GTs

$4,969

Average premium for two 2008
Town and Country Limiteds

$2,969

Annual benefit of minivans:

$2,000 saved This is 40% less expensive.
Premium Comparison for Two Adults + 16 Year Old
25th - 75th Percentile Median

College Students in Wyoming

If you’re moving to Wyoming to go to college, you don’t need a Wyoming license while attending school.

If you’re a Wyoming student attending college in a different state:

  • Always let your insurance company know if you’ll be driving your car in another state for more than 30 days a year.
  • Be wary of loaning a car to friends. Most states still hold the vehicle owner liable for damages if the driver isn’t insured or has inadequate coverage.

High School Drivers vs. College Students in Wyoming

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

$873 decrease This is a decrease of 24%.
Comparison of Premium Ranges
25th - 75th Percentile Median

Annual Rates: How Wyoming Insurers Compare

Each year, study your policy before it renews to see whether you could get a better rate somewhere else. Compare the average premiums for a married couple with a 19-year-old college student in Wyoming.

Provider Min MEDIAN MAX
GEICO $897 $1,959 $4,558
SAFECO $1,567 $2,474 $4,493
State Farm $1,266 $2,452 $5,687
Allstate $2,230 $3,666 $6,389

Surprising Savings for Wyoming College Students

You may see a small savings on your family’s premium if your student moves 150 or more miles away from home.

Average premium for a 19-year-old male
  • $3,316 at home
  • $2,529 at school
  • $787 in savings
Average premium for a 19-year-old female
  • $2,837 at home
  • $2,300 at school
  • $537 in savings

How Car Choice Can Lead to Savings in Wyoming

A college student driving a minivan will cost less to insure than students who drive a sports car, which insurers associate with speeding.

2014 Mustang GTs (2)

$3,639

2008 Town and Country Limited minivans (2)

$2,131

Annual benefit of minivans

$1,508 saved This is 41% less expensive.
Premium Comparison for Two Adults + College Driver
25th - 75th Percentile Median

Military Drivers in Wyoming

If you are one of the 3,200 active-duty military personnel nearly 50,000 veterans. stationed in Wyoming, you are eligible for a variety of benefits and discounts, including reduced rates on auto insurance. There’s no special application or procedure. All you need to do is show the insurance company your military ID or a valid veteran’s card and you’ll get the deal. To get the best deal, compare quotes from at least three carriers, as rates can be quite different.

Unlike some states, Wyoming does not offer extensions to military personnel for vehicle registration renewal, which must be done annually.

Wyoming Service Members:
How Vehicle Choice Affects Your Premium

Rollover crashes are more common among SUVs and pickups, according to the Insurance Information Institute, but an older model SUV still has less impact on your premium than a recent model sports car.

Military Drivers: How Premium Ranges Differ by Driver Age and Vehicle
25-Year-Old Driver
50-Year-Old Driver
25th - 75th Percentile Median

Age-Based Savings for Wyoming
Service Members

Median auto insurance
for service members:

$1,147
Male (25 yrs)$1,444
Male (50 yrs)$1,116
$328 savings
Female (25 yrs)$1,283
Female (50 yrs)$1,074
$209 savings

Compare Average Premiums Available to Wyoming Military Personnel

Before your policy renews, it pays to do some comparison shopping. Check out the average annual rates you can get in Wyoming.

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

Seniors in Wyoming

Wyoming does not require auto insurance discounts for seniors, but most insurance companies offer them anyway to stay competitive. In addition to age-based discounts, drivers 55 and up may be eligible for discounts for a good driving record or passing a defensive driving course, which typically provides a rate discount of 10 percent for up to three years. After that, you can retake the course and get another discount.

Undocumented Workers in Wyoming

Undocumented immigrants can get a driver’s license in Wyoming if they qualify for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act. This applies to people who came to the United States before turning 16 who have lived in the country at least five years and are not yet 31, among other things. DREAMers, as DACA recipients are called, can contact their local DMV for details.

Ridesharing Insurance: Are You Covered?

App-based ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have operated in pats of Wyoming since 2015, although the state legislature took no action on regulating transportation network companies that year. The actual services have been slow to roll out. This is due partly to Wyoming’s widely scattered population, although rides are available in major cities like Cheyenne and tourist spots such as Jackson Hole.

Until the legislature creates specific insurance rules for ridesharing services, passengers should check with their insurance agent to make sure they’re fully covered in the event of an accident. Drivers should also talk with their agents, since a personal auto policy generally doesn’t cover “driving for hire” and the company’s liability policy may have some gaps. Ask your agent what, if anything, you need to do to be fully protected.

Car Accidents: How to File a Claim

The Wyoming Department of Insurance advises drivers to follow these step after an accident:

  • Call 911 and move out of traffic, if possible.
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with all drivers involved.
  • Write down the make, model, year and license plate number for all vehicles.
  • Gather witnesses’ names and contact information.
  • Write down the name, badge number and contact information for the police officer who investigates the accident. Ask where to get a copy of the accident report.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Keep records of all correspondence related to the accident.

Driver Safety: How Does Wyoming Rank?

Wyoming’s scenic country roads can be a crash hazard, especially if you’ve been drinking or you’re not wearing your seat belt, according to safety experts.

“We don’t have a large population in Wyoming, and the average distance between our cities is 40 to 50 miles on very rural roads,” says James Stout, who tracks crash data for the state’s Office of Highway Safety. “The average distance between our cities is 40 to 50 miles on very rural roads. The number one problem causing fatal crashes seems to be single vehicles running off the road.”

Stout says the state’s transportation department is working hard to install more guard rail barriers. “We run a lot of commercials on television about seatbelt use and drinking and driving,” he adds. “I would certainly agree that people are much more likely to survive a crash if they’re buckled up,” he says.

Wyoming Driver Safety Ranking

19th 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 25 2.71 14th
Speeding-Related Fatalities 40 4.30 39th
Passenger Vehicle Unrestrained Fatalities 41 4.40 35th
Unhelmeted Motorcycle Fatalities 5 0.54 23rd
Multiple Vehicle Fatalities 37 3.97 19th
Pedestrian Fatalities 4 0.69 6th
Bicyclist Fatalities 0 0.00 1st
Total Vehicle Fatalities 87 9.35 16th

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

Wyoming: Protecting You from Injury on the Road

Wyoming has some strong safety laws in place to reduce highway deaths. Among other things, ignition interlock devices, which prevent a car from starting if the driver has had too much to drink, are mandatory for six months after a first-time DUI conviction.

However, Wyoming gets a red, or “danger,” ranking for its traffic safety laws from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, an alliance of consumer, public health and insurer groups. The alliance urges it to drop an all-rider motorcycle helmet law, mandatory ignition interlocks for all DUIs and a primary enforcement law for seat belts.

Wyoming safety advocates agree. The state has a secondary seatbelt law, Stout says, meaning police must have another reason for stopping a vehicle other than spotting a driver or passengers who aren’t buckled up. He adds that the state legislature has tried without success to pass a primary law through the years.

Safe Driving Laws – Wyoming

  Requirement Wyoming Law Details
Mandatory seat belts Required for all vehicle occupants.
Child passenger safety Safety seats Required for children 9 and younger.
Driving under the influence (DUI) For a DUI (known as a DWUI in Wyoming), 0.08% blood alcohol content is the legal limit for adults; 0.02 for drivers under 21; 0.05 for any age if there are other signs of impairment. Penalties for a first conviction include license suspension up to six months; fines up to $750; jail time up to six months.
Ignition interlock after DUI (in some counties) Six-month ignition interlock upon first conviction for a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher
Talking on cell or texting while driving Texting is illegal. Drivers with learner’s permits prohibited from using cell phones.
Protections for young drivers Graduated license program. No driving from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. except for work. Driving range no more than 50 miles from home.
Motorcycle helmet law Partial Required for riders 18 and younger.
Bicycle helmet law No statewide helmet law.

Sources: Governors Highway Safety Association and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Car Insurance Resources for Wyoming Residents

Car Insurance Assigned Risk Auto

Consumer resource for high-risk Wyoming drivers to find insurance coverage if they are denied by three or more companies due to their record.

Governors Highway Safety Association

Reports key highway safety laws in Wyoming.

New Wyoming Residents and Driver’s License

Department of Transportation resource for new Wyoming residents on how to apply for a license.

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

A rundown of Wyoming auto insurance requirements, types of coverage and a glossary of insurance terms.

Wyoming Department of Insurance

Portal to consumer information on buying auto insurance and where to go for help with an insurance company complaint.

SafeRoads/Wyoming

A yearly report on Wyoming’s progress toward optimal traffic safety laws by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.