VC 16028 (a) – Failure to Provide Evidence of Financial Responsibility
A conviction for VC 16028(a), not having insurance, in Orange County carries a base fine of $200. However, when mandatory penalty assessments and fees are tacked on, the total amount owed is about $900. The good news is that VC 16028(a) is always charged as a correctable offense. This means if you can show proof that you did have valid insurance at the time of the citation, on the vehicle you were driving, then the case will be dismissed with a $25 proof of correction fee. In most cases, it will not even be even be necessary to appear in court. You can simply send the proof of valid insurance through the mail, or to a clerk at the courthouse.
Technically, the $200 base fine is a mandatory minimum. If you did not have insurance at the time of the offense, but you do purchase insurance after the fact, you may show that as proof of correction. If you can show proof of insurance after the fact, the mandatory minimum is lowered to a $100 base fine. That comes out to about $490 after penalty assessments and fees. The California Judges Bench guide to Traffic Court Proceedings makes a point to specify that judges are required to enforce these minimums, because the legislature has expressed a great interest in making sure all drivers are insured.
Even if you were not the owner of the vehicle, you can still be held liable for not being insured. When you get behind the wheel, you are responsible for making sure the vehicle is properly insured, registered, equipped, and in good working order.