According to DMV.org, when an auto insurance policy lapses, the driver is immediately classified as an illegal driver. This classification occurs whether the lapse is intentional or unintentional.
DMV.org explains that when a driver is asked to present proof of insurance by a legal official, and the driver can't offer proof, the driver runs the risk of being fined and having his license or vehicle registration suspended. An uninsured driver also assumes the risk of facing higher insurance rates as a result of not maintaining financial responsibility on the vehicle.
If an insurance lapse occurs, the driver must either refrain from driving the vehicle or reinstate the auto insurance policy as soon as possible, DMV.org advises.