Can My Car Be Registered in One State and Insured in Another?

Whether you’re moving to a new state, working in a different state than you live in, or living in multiple states, you’re probably wondering: Can I have auto insurance from a different state than the state I live in? Technically, out-of-state auto insurance is a form of insurance fraud, but there are exceptions. Keep reading to learn about out-of-state insurance, how to go about getting affordable auto insurance and how to compare different insurance quotes to find the best rate.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2021

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Things to Remember

  • If you move to a different state and don’t tell your insurance company, your insurer may refuse to honor your contract because you failed to comply with the terms of the agreement.
  • Auto insurance rates vary from state to state, and buying out-of-state auto insurance to receive cheaper rates is a form of insurance fraud and is punishable by law.
  • If you are a resident of two states, many people simply get their insurance in the state where their vehicle is registered or where they spend the most time. You will need proof of insurance to register your vehicle and get a license plate.

Moving to a new state comes with a lot of organizational challenges, and it’s easy to forget about auto insurance. Can I have auto insurance from a different state than the state I live in? If your car is staying the same, then shouldn’t your insurance? The answer about changing your legal residence might surprise you.

While it is possible to have auto insurance from a state you don’t live in, out-of-state insurance isn’t generally legal, barring a few exceptions. It’s also necessary as a registration requirement with absolutely no grace period. It is typically illegal to have an active vehicle registration without auto insurance coverage as the vehicle owner, even if it is just a temporary registration.

Your auto insurance company won’t know you’ve made a move until you take the time to tell them. This is important because rates and the minimum auto insurance requirements vary from state to state. You need to make sure that you’re a valid driver in your new home state, and that may mean changing your current insurance.

But what if you aren’t permanently moving to a new state? What if you live in two states throughout the year? What if you travel for work, you’re a college student on campus in a new state? Can I insure my car in a different state? This guide will run through the answers to all these questions and more when it comes to out-of-state insurance.

Can’t wait to find affordable auto insurance in your new state? Enter your ZIP code from your new state into our FREE online tool above to compare the best auto insurance quotes in your new state.

Can I live in one state and have auto insurance in another?

A common question drivers ask when moving is, can I have auto insurance from another state?

Most of the time, you need to be living in the same state you’re insured in, or you risk getting convicted of insurance fraud. Because of the legal implications, it is very important to understand why that is.

First, you can’t drive without a valid vehicle registration and that requires valid insurance in every state. You must have automobile insurance and be able to provide acceptable proof of your current insurance, or you could face license suspension, or worse.

Auto insurance laws vary by state. Auto insurance in a different state will have different requirements.

For example, the risk of an accident in New York is higher than it is in Delaware, which means the insurance company charges you more for your New York auto insurance.

If you have an auto accident in New York and your insurance is based in Delaware, your auto insurance company may question why you are in New York and you’ll hit a wall when trying to file an insurance claim.

If you reveal you are living there, the insurance company can refuse to honor your insurance contract because you essentially lied on your policy by not changing the area in which you live. You should also be prepared to provide proof of residency to your current insurance company if they should ever need it, or when changing your auto insurance address.

Even neighboring states can have drastically different regulations in place. To legally drive in Maine, for example, you are required to carry more insurance coverage than if you lived in New Hampshire.

If you move from New Hampshire to Maine and do not update your coverage, your limits will not meet your new state requirements. When your insurance gets checked by law enforcement or during a claims process, you’ll be penalized for being underinsured.

Compare the requirements from your old state to your current state by looking in the table below, with data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements by State
StateMinimum BI & PD Liability LimitsRequired Insurance Policies
Alabama25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Alaska50/100/25BI + PD Liability
Arizona15/30/10BI + PD Liability
Arkansas25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
California15/30/5BI + PD Liability
Colorado25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Connecticut25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Delaware25/50/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
District of Columbia25/50/10BI + PD Liability, UM
Florida10/20/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Georgia25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Hawaii20/40/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Idaho25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Illinois25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Indiana25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Iowa20/40/15BI + PD Liability
Kansas25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
Kentucky25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Louisiana15/30/25BI + PD Liability
Maine50/100/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM, Medpay
Maryland30/60/15BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Massachusetts20/40/5BI + PD Liability, PIP
Michigan20/40/10BI + PD Liability, PIP
Minnesota30/60/10BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Mississippi25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Missouri25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM
Montana25/50/20BI + PD Liability
Nebraska25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Nevada25/50/20BI + PD Liability
New Hampshire25/50/25Financial Responsibility only
New Jersey15/30/5BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
New Mexico25/50/10BI + PD Liability
New York25/50/10BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
North Carolina30/60/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
North Dakota25/50/25BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Ohio25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Oklahoma25/50/25BI + PD Liability
Oregon25/50/20BI + PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM
Pennsylvania15/30/5BI + PD Liability, PIP
Rhode Island25/50/25BI + PD Liability
South Carolina25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
South Dakota25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Tennessee25/50/15BI + PD Liability
Texas30/60/25BI + PD Liability, PIP
Utah25/65/15BI + PD Liability, PIP
Vermont25/50/10BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM
Virginia25/50/20BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Washington25/50/10BI + PD Liability
West Virginia25/50/25BI + PD Liability, UM, UIM
Wisconsin25/50/10BI + PD Liability, UM, Medpay
Wyoming25/50/20BI + PD Liability
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Where you live is one of the major factors that affect auto insurance rates, and that’s a big part of why you’re required to notify your insurer when you move. If your rates are based upon you living in a different ZIP code, your policy can be considered invalid.

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Why Is Lying About Your Address Considered Auto Insurance Fraud?

If you move to a new state and do not tell your insurance providers, you could be charged with misrepresenting material risk, otherwise known as insurance fraud.

Lying about your address is considered fraud because your auto insurance rates are partially based upon your current address.

If you don’t tell your insurance provider your primary address, whether that’s because you want a cheaper rate, or you simply forgot, then you’re driving without valid insurance.

When you move, the data and statistics for your new city and state will be different than your old location. The underwriting process must be performed again to ensure that you’re paying the appropriate amount for your coverage.

Shouse Law Group Channel describes the different types of auto insurance fraud, including deliberately using a false address to get coverage.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, auto insurance fraud is the most common form of insurance fraud in the United States.

The worst possible consequence that could happen if you get caught committing insurance fraud is potential jail time. Fortunately, this is also the most unlikely scenario as well. 

Most insurance companies are more interested in getting the money you owe than sending you to jail. However, insurance fraud is a crime and the insurance company doesn’t have to file charges against you for you to be investigated for fraud.

Again, this is very unlikely, but the DA could make the decision to pursue a case against you despite the position of your insurance company, so keep this in mind.

Instead of jail time, it is more likely that your insurance company will charge you the difference between your old premiums and what you should have been paying for your coverage.

This is especially true if you mistakenly did not tell your company about your move due to a lack of knowledge about the laws and protocols. 

In addition, your provider will most likely refuse to pay for any damages from an accident that happened during the time when your auto insurance address was incorrect. It is also possible your provider will drop you as a customer. 

If your current insurance company terminated your coverage, it could hurt you financially. It will be marked on your underwriting profile that you moved out of state and didn’t inform your previous company.

Other insurers will see this and may automatically increase your insurance cost because there is the chance you will do something like that again in the future.

Some drivers might now be wondering, “Can I keep my auto insurance if I move out of state with the same company?”

Luckily, you can usually keep the same company as long as it operates in both states. But you will have to inform the provider about your address change so your policy can be re-written to reflect your current registration address. Your registration address is generally where your car is considered stored or garaged; if you drive your car daily, your registration address is most likely your primary residence.

If you make any move at all, you should inform your insurance company immediately. Even a move to a new ZIP code within the same larger city can affect your rates. 

What’s more, your rates could be less, but you won’t know until you talk to your insurance agent or use a quote tool.

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What Is The Seasonal Residents and Snowbirds Exception?

Some Americans spend large quantities of time throughout the year living in different parts of the country, like snowbirds or certain business owners. If this describes you, whether you’re a temporary worker or a full-time student, what state should you purchase an auto insurance policy from? Can you insure a car in another state?

Customarily, you should purchase your auto insurance policy in the same state where your primary residence is located.

For example, if you balance your time between a vacation home in New Jersey and a permanent home in New York, you should purchase your insurance in New York. This will typically reflect the address on your current vehicle registration, or drivers license.

However, check the local state laws. In some states, like Georgia, you’re required to register your vehicle if you will be there for a 30 day period or greater, even if you are not a resident.

In cases like this, you may need to purchase insurance in one state while you’re living there and then cancel it and purchase new insurance in the other state you live in when you return there.

This helps prevent overlapping coverage, which saves you money, but only works if your car travels with you.

You can also ask your insurance agent for more detailed information.  

What state should college students insure their car in?

Many college students are on a family auto insurance policy. Can I be on my parents’ auto insurance if I live in a different state as a full-time college student? Will you be required to purchase a different auto insurance plan to cover you while you attend school out of state?

Fortunately, no. If you are a college student, your school address is considered to be temporary, not permanent.

This means you can usually keep your current auto insurance policy because your permanent address did not technically change.

If you are not going to bring a vehicle with you, your parents can remove you from the policy to save some money.

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What state should military personnel insure their car in?

Active military personnel often relocate for work. Some assignments are temporary and only last a few months.

If you are in this situation, you can usually just purchase your insurance policy in the state where your permanent address is located.

Talk to your insurance agent for more details. 

Will my auto insurance cover me when I drive out of state?

Another common question we hear is, “Will my auto insurance cover me in another state?” The good news is that your auto insurance policy will follow you even when you drive to a different state.

Insurance providers use what is known as a broadening clause to increase your limits on the off chance you do get into an accident in a state where the requirements are more extensive than your home state.

Typically, your provider will extend coverages to you that are legally required in the state where the accident occurred.

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What to Do About Auto Insurance If You’re A Resident Of Two States

If you are a resident of two states, you have several options when it comes to auto insurance. In this situation, many people simply get their insurance in the state where their vehicle is registered.

If you live in Florida and Georgia because of business and your car registration is listed in Florida, you should maintain Florida insurance.

In fact, many states have auto insurance laws that will not allow you to register a vehicle in their state until you have insurance from that state, although that is not always the case.

Once again, it is important that you know your state’s laws before you make any changes to your auto insurance.

If you are moving and you aren’t sure where your car is going to be registered, your second consideration should be where you are going to spend the most time.

If you are spending three months in Florida and nine months in Georgia, for example, then you may want to consider purchasing insurance in Georgia.

Lastly, if you are splitting time equally between two states and the local laws allow for it, you might want to consider the state with the lowest rates. Then get your car registered in that state and pay insurance through that state.

What state has the lowest average annual auto insurance rates? Find out in the table below, we’ve organized the data from least to most expensive premiums.

Average Annual Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual Full Coverage Rates
South Dakota$766.91
North Dakota$773.30
North Carolina$789.09
New Hampshire$818.75
New Mexico$937.59
South Carolina$973.10
West Virginia$1,025.78
Rhode Island$1,303.50
District of Columbia$1,330.73
New York$1,360.66
New Jersey$1,382.79
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These rates are specifically for full coverage auto insurance policies, which include the state minimum requirements as well as collision and comprehensive coverage. After seeing these figures you may wonder, can I get auto insurance in another state? The answer is no, unless you live there.

Your individual rates will therefore change depending on what coverage level you are purchasing, as well as your age and driving record, among other things.

Don’t forget to discuss this with your insurance agent. Some insurance companies will require you to maintain the more expensive policy while others will let you decide for yourself.

If you’re not happy with the outcome, take the time to shop around for a new provider.

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How hard is it to change your address for auto insurance?

So how hard is it really to make a change to your insurance policy? For the most part, changing your insurance is remarkably easy. 

All you have to do is call your agent and let them know you want to make a change. It will be done in a matter of minutes.

In fact, there are many insurance companies that allow you to make the changes online so you don’t have to talk to an agent at all.

Before you make a change, however, make sure you take the time to get an auto insurance quote so you can compare rates and see who will offer you the lowest rates for your new insurance needs. 

Whether you’re moving out of state or not, shopping around for auto insurance is the best way to always keep your premiums lows.

Do You Have More Questions About Having Auto Insurance In A Different State?

You are now an expert on purchasing auto insurance when you move out of state. Refer back to this guide as much as needed while you shop around for your best rates.

Do you still have more questions? Check out our frequently asked questions down below.

#1 – Can you title a car in a state you don’t live in?

State laws require that you be in the same state that you title a vehicle in.

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#2 – Can your car be registered in a different state than your drivers’ license?

We hear this one asked a lot of different ways. Like, “Can I have a car registered in a different state than my license?” or “Can my car be registered in one state and insured in another?”

Unless you’re living in two states, car registrations must be in the same state you live in and insure the vehicle in. This should also be the state where your license is from.

#3 – Can I be on my parents’ auto insurance if I live in a different state?

Although you might be able to be covered on a larger insurance policy if you’re a student, that’s only true for large companies who reach across multiple states. And if you’re not a student, you’ll have to get your own individual policy.

Generally, a college student out-of-state’s car registration can remain in your home state if they’re full time.

#4 – Can you drive a car registered in another state?

If you’ve moved to a new state, that state’s DMV has set a period of time you have before it becomes illegal for you to drive the vehicle with out-of-state plates. Typically, that’s within 30 to 90 days.

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#5 – Can you insure two cars in different states?

It is possible to insure two cars in different states, especially if one is a commercial vehicle. However, this is very rare and you might need to purchase two separate policies.

Are you ready to buy auto insurance in your new state? Enter your new ZIP code into our free online quote comparison tool below to see affordable auto insurance rates.

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