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Can you drive a car without insurance in your name?

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Things to remember...

You can’t legally drive an uninsured vehicle and expect not to face some serious consequences.

By law, you’ll have to purchase insurance as soon as you purchase a vehicle. If you don’t have insurance when it’s time to register your vehicle, your mission to get license plates on your vehicle will be delayed and you’ll have to spend even more time in the DMV.

Whenever you’re planning to buy a car, you need a budget for all of the expenses that come with vehicle ownership.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows just how much it costs to own their own car until it’s too late. One way to help save on ownership costs is to find the lowest rate on car insurance. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool to find the lowest rate for your car insurance.

You don’t want to fall into a predicament where you’ll have to pay penalties for failing to maintain insurance. Here’s what you need to know:

Why do you have to carry insurance on your car?


There are a few reasons why auto insurance is required by law in most states. Unlike other types of property that you own, a car is a heavy piece of machinery that can seriously hurt someone if it’s not operated safely.

More than 95 percent of households in the United States have a vehicle and all those vehicles on the road lead to accidents which lead to billions of dollars in damage each year.

All states require vehicle owners to pay for all of the repairs that are needed if they damage someone else’s property. In most states, the driver who causes the accident is also liable for paying for medical bills when there are injuries.

The state can’t always verify that someone has money to pay for all of this out of pocket and this is why mandatory auto insurance is standard in all but two states.

What type of auto insurance do you legally have to carry?

You don’t have to carry full coverage on your car but you do have to carry at least the mandatory minimums. There’s not one universal coverage requirement that applies to all drivers in the country.

These requirements vary by state and they are dictated by the most up-to-date vehicle code. Most of the time, you’ll have to carry the following coverage:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – pays for third-party medical bills and treatment if you’re liable for an auto accident
  • Property Damage Liability – pays for third-party property repairs and replacement if you’re liable for an auto accident
  • Personal Injury Protection – required in no-fault states where you file a claim with your own carrier to pay for your personal injury expenses

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What happens if you don’t buy insurance on a vehicle that you own?

If you own a car and you make the conscious and risky decision to not insure your vehicle, the chances that you’ll have to face the consequences for trying to get away with driving uninsured are very high.

Just remember that you don’t have to be caught driving to get caught driving without insurance. The state can see your insurance status real-time.

You have to have insurance on your car as soon as you become the legal owner. That means that you need insurance in your name when you fill out the application to put the car’s registration in your name whether you buy the car from a dealership or from a private seller.

Some agencies will ask you to show proof of insurance when you register the car and some don’t. If you don’t have continuous coverage from that day on, penalties include:

  • If pulled over, you can be cited for no insurance
  • If pulled over or parked on a public street, your car could be towed and impounded
  • You could be ordered to pay a fine or complete mandatory community service
  • Owners with multiple offenses for being uninsured may face a sentence of up to six months in jail
  • Your tags will be suspended if no insurance is reported to the DMV
  • You may be ordered to file an SR-22 for three years if you are convicted

Does your auto insurance on your car have to be in your own name?


Not only does your auto insurance have to be reported, it also has to be written in the right name. Your insurance and your registration should be in the same name or the system might make it look as if you don’t have insurance.

Some agencies will accept insurance as long as one of the named insured is on the registration.

If you let someone buy insurance for you, it could work against you down the line. When insurance is kicked out of a verification system because the names don’t match, the state may look at it as if you don’t have insurance.

This means that your registration could be suspended, your car could be impounded, and you could be ordered to file and SR-22.

Will insurance companies even let someone else insure your car?

Not just anyone can insure a car. You have to have an insurable interest in the property to insure it. When you’re insuring a vehicle, insurable interest means that you own the car or the car is financed to you.

You would have to be dishonest to put car insurance in your name when your name isn’t on the car’s tags.

You can’t legally drive a car if it doesn’t have insurance. Since your car needs to have insurance in your name, it’s crucial that you buy a policy. You’ll have to get quotes for coverage and then you need to apply for a policy for coverage to take effect.

The best way to get quotes for insurance is to compare them online. Enter your information right here, look at the rates, and get insurance.

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