As of 2010, 49 states and the District of Columbia require automobile insurance. New Hampshire is the only state that does not require automobile insurance as of 2014.
In California and Wisconsin, drivers can choose to opt out of auto insurance and provide proof of financial responsibility instead. Each state requires a different bond amount to be filed with their Department of Motor Vehicles in case the driver is involved in an accident. This amount is meant to cover the expenses of an accident in lieu of insurance.
In 1927, Massachusetts became the first state to enact mandatory automobile insurance laws. Mandatory insurance laws were in place in most states by the 1970s. Prior to this, several states had financial responsibility laws that required drivers to prove that they could pay for accidents out of pocket.