Missouri, the heart of the westward expansion, is the birthplace of the Pony Express, the Oregon Trail and the Santa Fe Trail. “The Show Me State” is home to the Ozark Mountains, and has brought such notable Americans to international fame as Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, T.S. Eliot, Yogi Berra, Chuck Berry and J.C. Penney. With Civil War battle re-enactments to top notch ballet, Missouri holds surprises from border to border. While driving to the next surprise, don’t get bogged down with figuring how to stay protected on the road. CheapCarInsurance.net has done the searching and has brought all the essential information for Missouri drivers right here.
Average Car Insurance Premiums
Missouri’s average premiums reflect the changes of the national average almost exactly while at a much lower average. NAIC.org reports that both the nation’s and Missouri’s average premiums as a percentage of income have hit record lows.
Drunk Driving Fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows a gradual increase in Missouri’s drunk driving fatalities in 2012. 2011 saw a steep increase, and the state’s average remains above the national average.
Vehicular Theft in Missouri
Missouri’s vehicle thefts appear to be on the rise. Between 2011 and 2012, the state’s vehicle theft rate rose to 270, according to the FBI. This brings Missouri’s vehicle theft rate to almost 40 points higher than the national average.
From the Ozarks to the Northern Plains, Missouri’s variety seems endless. When figuring out the state’s car insurance laws and regulations, they can seem just as endless. Following is a list of all the important facts, figures and laws every driver should know when traveling or living in Missouri.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Missouri
- To operate a vehicle in Missouri, a driver must carry Liability insurance and Uninsured Motorist coverage.
- Liability Coverage minimums:
- $20,000 per individual to cover bodily injury or death.
- $50,000 per accident involving bodily injuries or deaths.
- $10,000 for property damage.
- Uninsured Motorist minimum:
- $25,000 per individual
- $50,000 per accident
Failure to maintain insurance and provide proof of insurance can result in fines, license suspensions and auto impounds.
New Driver Licensing Requirements:
- Missouri has implemented a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program for drivers between the ages of 15 and 18 to provide an opportunity to gain driving experience. The GDL consists of 3 steps: the Instruction Permit, the Intermediate License and the Under-21 Full License. Each stage must be completed before moving to the next, and each has unique restrictions and requirements.
- Instruction Permit: Applicants must be 15 years old for this 1-year permit, and the following applies:
- The applicant must pass the vision, road sign and written tests.
- Applicants under age 16 may only drive with a parent/legal guardian or a licensed driver age 25 or older who has held a license for at least 3 years.
- Applicants 16 years old may drive with a licensed driver age 21 years or older.
- Regardless of the applicant’s age, all occupants must wear seat belts.
- The permit must be held for at least 182 days.
- The applicant must complete 40 hours of driving, 10 of which must be night driving.
- Intermediate License: The applicant must be at least 16 years old. At this stage, the applicant must complete the driving test as well as the requirements for the Instruction Permit. While holding this license, the following applies:
- During the first 6 months, the applicant may not drive with an unrelated passenger under 19 years of age.
- After the first 6 months, the applicant may not drive with more than three unrelated passengers under 19 years of age.
- The applicant may not drive between 1 am and 5 am unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.
- Under-21 Driver License: In order to hold this license, the applicant must have no alcohol-related or traffic violations in the past 12 months. The driver must maintain his/her good driving record to transfer the license to a regular full driver license at age 21.
- Vision Exam. The vision test is used to determine if the applicant can see clearly enough to drive. A visual acuity of at least 20/40 is needed to pass. A peripheral vision of 85 degrees for both eyes or 55 degrees for one is needed to pass. Corrective lenses may be worn, and if they are, they must be worn whenever the applicant drives. Restrictions can be given for applicants with less than 20/40 vision.
- Written Test. The written exam consists of 25 multiple choice questions based on information found in the Missouri Driver’s Manual.
- Road Signs Test. This test evaluates the applicant’s ability to recognize road signs based on shape, color and/or symbol.
- Road Skills Test. The road test evaluates the applicant’s driving skills. The vehicle, provided by the applicant must have:
- Current plate(s) and inspection sticker
- Seat belts in proper working order
- Doors that access the front seat from the driver and passenger sides
- Two working brakes (parking and a foot brake)
- An operable horn
- The applicant will be tested on his/her knowledge of the basic interior controls of the vehicle. The following will be evaluated during the driving portion of the exam:
- Making right and left turns
- Grade parking
- Parallel parking
- Approach and obey warning signs, traffic lights and stop signs
- If the applicant fails the test, he/she may re-take the test the following day. Three attempts are allowed; however, upon the third failure, subsequent attempts must be approved by the Department of Revenue.
- Fees. The following fees apply to a new Missouri drivers license:
- Regular License, $35
- Intermediate License, $7.50
- Instruction Permit, $3.50
- BAC limit: .08 Missouri’s Department of Revenue provides information regarding the state’s DUI penalties:
- First Offense:
- Fine: maximum $500
- Jail: maximum 6 months
- License suspension: 30 day
- Possible Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Second Offense:
- Fine: maximum $1,000
- Jail: maximum 1 year
- License suspension: 1 year
- IID: possible for 1 year beginning after the suspension
- Third or Subsequent Offense(s) – felony:
- Fine: maximum $5,000
- Jail: maximum 5 years
- License suspension: 10 years
- IID required
- DUI conviction penalties can increase with aggravated factors and higher BAC levels.
Texting & Driving Laws
Distraction.gov states that Missouri currently holds a ban on texting for novice drivers.
Laws sometimes need some explanation. Missouri seems to have quite a few of those on its books, and one good example is the prohibition of installing bath tubs that have four legs resembling animal paws. Another one would be the Natchez law that makes it illegal to provide intoxicants to elephants. And drivers must remember that it is illegal to honk someone else’s horn!
State Department of Insurance
Department of Transportation
Department of Motor Vehicles
Missouri Department of Revenue
Motor Vehicle Titling and Registration
Harry S Truman State Office Building
301 West High Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Driver License: (573) 526-2407
Motor Vehicle: (573) 526-3669