The state of Washington uses a Tort insurance system. If you are found at fault in an accident, you and your insurance company have to reimburse the other drivers for their material losses and pay for the eventual medical expenses.
Washington requires its motorists to hold at least a 25/50/10 Liability insurance:
A certificate of deposit or a liability bond is also accepted. Alternatively, if you own more than 26 cars registered in Washington you can be self-insured.
Insurance costs in Washington are on an ascending trend since the beginning of 2012, yet still below the national average. Statistics show Washington residents pay $1,568 per year, while the rest of Americans pay an average of $1,678. Rates may vary from one location to another. It may cost, for instance, around $1,690 in Seattle, $1,479 in Spokane, $1,551 in Bellevue, $1,998 in Federal Way, $1,602 in Yakima, $1,268 in Bellingham, $2,000 in Kent, $2,052 in Tacoma, $1,815 in Everett or $1,644 in Vancouver.
Washington State has decided that drivers may only use cellphones together with hands-free devices. Texting while driving is prohibited. Moreover, young drivers in the GDL program aren’t allowed to use handheld devices altogether.
The Graduated Driver Licensing program is open to all Washington residents of at least 15 years old. Provisional license holders are subject to a series of restrictions:
Violations of these restrictions will result in the extension of the restriction period.
Driving without acceptable insurance in Washington is a traffic violation and is punishable by a fine of at least $250. The rest of the fees and assessments that usually go with such a penalty will amount to another $200. You will also have to take a public education and assessment course. A ticket for operating a vehicle without insurance will go on your WA driving record.