Auto Insurance for Immigrants

Getting car insurance for immigrants may take more effort, but the protection it offers is invaluable. Read on for some valuable tips to help you get auto insurance as an immigrant.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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: May 11, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Car insurance for immigrants is easy to get as long as they have a valid driver’s license
  • Getting insurance can be much trickier for undocumented immigrants who live in states that don’t issue licenses to them
  • Car insurance for immigrants can cost a little more than the national average since the typical immigrant doesn’t have a driving record yet

America built its legacy as a land of immigrants, and that tradition continues today. Every year, thousands of immigrants stream into America, each for their own reasons. Ideally, an immigrant will have all the documentation they need, so it’s easy to start their new life.

However, the process of immigrating can be complicated and expensive, and without the proper documentation, so can getting car insurance.

Most immigrants need a car, but many states make getting a driver’s license difficult without proper documentation. It can be challenging to get auto insurance quotes without a driver’s license, leaving millions of immigrants without vital coverage.

With more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., car insurance for immigrants offers protection for everyone on the road. Read below to learn how to get car insurance as an undocumented immigrant, then compare rates to find the best price.

Whether you are a US citizen or immigrant, enter your ZIP into our free rate comparison tool above to get quotes  to find out who really has the lowest car insurance rates.

How can you get car insurance for immigrants?

The only thing you need to get car insurance in most cases is a driver’s license. Unfortunately, getting a license as an immigrant can come with its own challenges.

Documented immigrants will have an easier time getting a license, but it still requires paperwork. Requirements vary by state, but you typically need to provide an ID, a social security number, proof of residency in your state, a passport, and a green card.

You’ll also need to pass a written and driving test before you can get a license.

Undocumented immigrants have a harder time getting a license because they can’t provide the necessary documents. Since there are currently more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in America, some states have passed laws that allow everyone to get a license.

What states allow undocumented immigrants to get a license?

While some states ban non-citizens from getting a license, others have taken another approach to the number of undocumented immigrants within their borders.

When undocumented immigrants can’t attain things like a driver’s license, they pose an unintentional risk to themselves and those around them. You need insurance to drive, and most companies require a license to get coverage, which leaves undocumented immigrants without coverage.

Uninsured motorists usually can’t pay for the damage they cause to other vehicles or property, which leaves people with extra insurance stuck with the bill. About one in eight drivers is uninsured, and the number is growing. Collisions with uninsured motorists increase the overall insurance price, which is an unfair burden to people with proper coverage.

Understanding the toll uninsured motorists have on other drivers, the following states allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a license:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

The requirements to get a license as an undocumented immigrant vary by state, so check with your local DMV’s site to see what you need. You can also check when the license will expire and how to renew it.

Can you get car insurance for immigrants if your state doesn’t allow you to get a license?

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if you live in a state that doesn’t let undocumented immigrants get a license.

There are avenues to get coverage without a license, but they don’t cover as much as standard insurance. For example, some companies might sell you a policy if you list someone else as the primary driver.

Regardless, driving without insurance or a license is a crime and should be avoided. Even if you can get insurance on your vehicle, driving without a license is not worth the risk.

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How do you get the right car insurance for immigrants?

As long as you have a license, you’ll go through the same process as any other driver. There are a lot of insurance products available, and picking the right policy can feel overwhelming sometimes.

However, you don’t need to stress about buying insurance. Follow the steps below to get the perfect policy for your needs.

Determine Your Coverage Needs

The first step in purchasing a policy is to figure out what you need. For example, you probably need full coverage if you have a car loan or lease. Drivers with older, less valuable cars can get away with less insurance if they’re trying to save money.

To begin, consider the primary types of car insurance policies:

  • Liability. If you cause an accident, liability coverage will help pay for damage you cause to people and property. Most states require liability coverage.
  • Collision. After an accident, collision insurance helps pay for repairs to your vehicle. You’ll be eligible to make a claim no matter who is at fault for the collision.
  • Comprehensive. For damage not caused by an accident, there’s comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive usually covers damage from weather, vandalism, animal contact, theft, and more.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. As stated above, uninsured motorists are a serious problem on the streets. This coverage helps pay for damage caused by drivers with inadequate insurance.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, PIP will help pay for hospital bills, physical therapy, and even lost wages.

You will need a minimum amount of liability coverage in most states, while uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is required in about half. If you have a tight budget, minimum coverage is your cheapest option.

Full coverage, which usually includes everything except PIP, is ideal for people who can’t afford to replace their car, don’t own their vehicle outright, or have a valuable car.

In addition to the basic types of insurance, there are several add-ons that increase the value of your policy. Companies offer unique lists, but here are some of the most common you’ll find:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Guaranteed asset protection (GAP)
  • Custom parts coverage
  • New car replacement
  • Windshield repair
  • Rental car reimbursement

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to increase your policy’s value (and price). Before you sign up for any, make sure you really need the coverage. You can also speak with an insurance agent to get an idea of how much it will cost.

How much does car insurance for immigrants cost?

When it comes to insurance, companies treat immigrants the same as anyone else. There are several factors insurance companies use to craft a rate specific to you. Each company uses a different formula, but the most common factors are:

  • Age and gender. The higher the chances are of you filing a claim, the more your insurance will cost. Young people, seniors, and men are statistically more likely to file a claim.
  • Location. Insurance companies keep careful track of claims by ZIP code. You can see higher rates one ZIP code over because residents file more claims.
  • Driving record. One of the best indications of your riskiness to a company is your driving record. Immigrants usually don’t have a driving record, so they typically pay a higher price.
  • Vehicle. Like age and gender, some cars are more likely to file claims than others. Another aspect companies look at is how much your car costs to repair.
  • Credit score. An insurance company will consider you a higher risk if you have a low credit score. However, some states have outlawed the use of credit scores for insurance quotes.

This is why it’s so important to compare quotes with as many companies as possible. You can see vastly different prices for the same coverage level by shopping around.

While your quotes will be unique to your circumstances, you can get an idea of what you’ll pay by looking at the average price of insurance below.

Company Full coverage Minimum coverage
State Farm $1,256 $1,068
GEICO $1,192 $1,015
Nationwide $1,308 $1,294
Travelers $1,323 $1,168
Farmers $1,759 $1,521
Progressive $1,452 $1,235
Allstate $1,891 $1,682
American Family $1,759 $1,402

Of course, you might pay much more or less than the national average. Also, keep in mind that the cheapest insurance isn’t always the best. For example, Allstate is the most expensive on the list, but it has some of the highest satisfaction rates and an extensive list of add-ons.

Find the Best Car Insurance for Immigrants

While getting car insurance for immigrants takes more work, it’s well worth the effort. Insurance can save you thousands of dollars if you’re ever involved in an accident. It also makes sure that you can legally drive on American roads.

Since most companies offer auto insurance for immigrants, you’ll have a wide selection to compare when you’re ready for a quote. As long as you figure out what coverage you need first, you’ll be ready to find the perfect policy for you.

Enter your ZIP to get auto insurance quotes for the best coverage for citizens and immigrants alike.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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