Auto Insurance for Homeless

You must provide your insurer with a temporary physical address to obtain auto insurance. Also, your insurer may deny an auto claim if you live in your vehicle.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Nov 5, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • If you don’t have a permanent address, you’ll need to provide your car insurer with a temporary physical address
  • Your zip code is used to determine how exposed to loss your car is while it’s parked or driven near your home
  • You must provide an address where you receive mail so that you can pick up your invoices and other documents
  • If you’re living in your vehicle, there’s a possibility that your insurer could deny your auto claims
  • Make sure to update your policy and even your registration information when you find a new address

Being homeless doesn’t make you ineligible for a driver’s license.

Since the Department of Homeland Security has enacted the REAL ID Act, anyone who is otherwise eligible for a driver’s license but who doesn’t live in a fixed location will be offered more versatility as they go through the DMV application process.

Getting your driver’s license and getting auto insurance are two different processes.

Motor vehicle agencies must comply with federally enacted laws pertaining to addresses and identification, but auto insurance companies will have their own specific requirements.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find a company that will insure you for a great rate!

If you’re currently homeless, or you don’t have a permanent address, here’s what you need to know about getting insurance on your car:

How does the Real ID Act make it easier to get your license?

Not everyone has access to the verification documents that they need to submit with a traditional application to get a driver’s license.

While there are a lot of complaints about how states are being urged to issue IDs that are compliant with the new Federal act when the act was passed it benefited the homeless who would otherwise not be able to verify their identity.

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Can you register a car if you don’t have an address?

Whether you’re a nomad at heart or you just haven’t been able to find a permanent address in your city, it’s important that you know how to legally register your car.

All cars, no matter what your residency status is, must be registered in the state where they’re predominantly stored. If the car isn’t registered, it can’t legally be parked or driven on public roads.

When you’re registering a car in your name, you have to complete the entire registration application. The application does require you to provide an address. This is where you’ll receive renewal documents and requests for payment if you’re cited for parking or toll violations.

Every DMV has different rules. Some DMVs will allow you to use a P.O. Box for your mailing address, but even when this is allowed, you’ll still have to have a physical address to provide.

Here are some options for an address:

  • If you have a mailbox through a service provider like UPS, they may give you a physical address.
  • You may have to ask a friend to use their address so that you can be issued tags.


Do you have to insure a car if you don’t have a home?

In most states, you’re considered a resident as soon as you have a permanent address. If you’ve lost your home or you’re going from place to place, establishing residency might require some strategy.

When you already have an ID, it’s not too difficult to prove that you’re a resident.

If you haven’t yet established residency but you have a vehicle registered in the state, you still have to comply with the state’s auto insurance laws. As long as your vehicle is registered in a state, you must have it insured by a car insurance carrier in the state.

If the car isn’t insured, you could be cited or the car could even be impounded.

Getting your driver’s license and your registration is difficult enough when you’re homeless, but getting insurance can prove to be even more difficult.

As you’re applying for auto insurance, your carrier will ask you to provide a home address so that your region can be used for rating purposes. Without a rating for your region, the insurer wouldn’t be able to give you a premium estimate.

Can you give the insurance company a temporary address?

If you stay with friends or you’re going from hotel to hotel, it could be tempting to give the insurer a temporary address until you’ve settled into a place worth calling home.

Unfortunately, if you tell the insurer that you’re only going to be at the physical address for a short period of time, you’ll be declined for coverage because you’ll be moving within the next 30 days.

Make sure to give a mailing address that you can access before you move if you’re doing this.

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Why is your physical address so important?

Your home address is important for several reasons. First off, the garaging address that you give is where your car is most often parked. Since it’s there more than it is anywhere else, you’ll be exposed to the most risk in this zip code.

Crime rates and accident statistics in your region of residence will impact your rates.

You Can Give a Different Mailing Address

You’re allowed to have your mail sent to an address other than the home address where the car is rated. If you have your mail forwarded to a Post Office Box, this address can be listed on your policy. Anything mailed to you will go to the PO Box.

Getting car insurance as a homeless vehicle owner isn’t as easy as you might think.

If you have a friend who is willing to let you use their address, this could be an option. Make sure that you are staying at this address at least some of the time to avoid contract violations. Use our online rate quote tool and get a quote for insurance today.



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