Requirements of Section 16056 of the California Financial Responsibility Law

To drive in California, you must be able to prove financial responsibility in case of an accident.
••• Police officer at the scene of the Jeep and car road accident. image by Dragan Trifunovic from

California's Financial Responsibility Law mandates that drivers in the state must have valid liability insurance, a $35,000 bond, or a certificate from the Department of Motor Vehicles stating the driver has $35,0000 in self-insurance. Section 16056 specifies the requirements of the companies issuing the bonds and insurance and breaks down the liability amounts in terms of what damages and injuries are covered at what amount.

Insurance or Bonds

Section 16056 states that a driver in California must have liability insurance or a bond issued by a surety company. The insurance or surety company must be licensed to do business in California.


To be in compliance, the insurance or bond of a driver in California must cover a minimum of $15,000 for the death or injury of one person, $30,000 for the death or injury of two people and $5,000 for the damage of others' property, for a total of $35,000 liability.

Nonresidents With Suspended or Revoked License

If a driver does not live in California and his license was suspended or revoked in another state due to noncompliance with that state's financial responsibility laws, he may legally drive in California under certain conditions. The driver must provide proof to California's Department of Motor Vehicles that he has a bond or insurance policy that meets the state's liability requirements and the company providing the bond or policy must be a licensed business in the driver's state of origin.

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