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 Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 16, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • You don’t have to be the person who holds the title of a car to be the registered owner
  • If you’re leasing a vehicle, the lender or private owner will be on the title and you will be on the registration
  • The person who is named on the registration is the person responsible for paying for renewals, taxes, and fines
  • Most motor vehicle agencies will ask for a physical mailing address for your registration to ensure you’re a resident
  • While you can use a PO box for mailing purposes on your insurance, you do have to provide a physical address as well

Do your auto insurance and registration address have to match? If your car insurance address is different from home address, it can cause you headaches.

If you’re ever stopped for a law enforcement officer for speeding or running a red light, one of the first things the officer is going to ask you for is your license, registration, and proof of insurance.

It’s a pretty standard request that you’ve never really questioned because you’ve been taught to comply with these orders since you took your first driver’s education course.

Having all of the documentation that you need to prove you’re the owner of the vehicle and that you’re driving legally isn’t always enough.

You need to have your registration, but you also need that registration to match the name on your insurance card if you don’t want any further questioning.

If the name and even the address is off, it could be a major red flag that could land you in court or worse.

Compare the best rates for the types of auto insurance coverage you need with our free quote tool above. Use the address the car is at to get the most accurate rate quotes.

Enter your ZIP to get quotes now using your home address.

Table of Contents

Your Physical Address Needs to Match on Your Auto Insurance and Registration

Does your auto insurance address have to match your registration?

If you put your physical address on your registration, you should be prepared to put that same address on your auto insurance as well.

The last thing any consumer wants to do is pay for a product just to be treated as if they don’t have it when it comes time to verify coverage.

This is just what could happen if the right information doesn’t match.

Your name should always match on both the named insured line and the registered owner line. If you register a car in your name and then insure it in your boyfriend’s name, the DMV won’t be able to find coverage that can be verified in your name.

When you don’t have coverage in your name and at your address, then it could cause issues in many states with electronic verification systems.

How do the addresses work on your auto insurance policy?

There might be states where the only type of address that you can give for mailing or for location purposes is a physical one.

Regardless of what the registration rules are in the state, you’re allowed to use two separate addresses on all auto insurance policies because each address will be used differently.

The first address that you’ll see on all of your insurance documents is your mailing address. This is where the documents are sent and where envelopes are addressed.

You can put an address in any state in this line as long as this is where you’ll get your mail. The mailing address won’t impact your rates.

The second address on your car insurance policy that you won’t see on every document is your physical address.

Sometimes, this is the address where you reside day in and day out. Other times, this is a physical address to a garage where the vehicle is parked each night.

The address that you put here is where your vehicle sits when it’s not being driven. This is the one that needs to be in the state where it’s insured and will impact your rates.

So does your car insurance and registration address have to match?

If you lie about your address on your car insurance to get a cheaper rate, you can be charged with automobile insurance fraud.

Watch this video to learn more about insurance fraud and how to avoid it.

Not only can you get in legal trouble for lying to your car insurance company, but your claims can also be denied, leaving you to cover your claims yourself.

What does your address have to do with your auto insurance rates?

Where your car is parked might just be a matter of convenience for you, but it’s a big deal to the insurer. The company has to determine if you’re going to be more likely to file a claim for the coverage that you have than the average person.

One of the dozens of different factors that affect auto insurance rates is your address. Here’s why your address is so important:

  • Some zip codes have a higher rate of accidents than others
  • Expensive cars are more likely to be in certain zip codes
  • The rate of vandalism and property crime is higher in some areas

To get an idea of just how much your address can affect your rates, check out this table that shows you average annual car insurance rates in Miami by ZIP.

Miami Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP
ZIPAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
33139$4,579.56
33178$5,005.29
33186$5,037.04
33187$5,095.18
33138$5,107.52
33185$5,127.30
33181$5,133.33
33189$5,159.35
33193$5,166.19
33137$5,178.57
33131$5,191.03
33182$5,229.23
33190$5,233.86
33179$5,236.60
33177$5,245.02
33132$5,245.69
33133$5,280.50
33134$5,305.35
33129$5,305.73
33194$5,326.31
33122$5,420.95
33184$5,423.59
33199$5,442.69
33145$5,525.91
33126$5,532.75
33128$5,629.23
33127$5,717.89
33130$5,775.01
33136$5,775.01
33125$5,784.68
33135$5,784.68
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Based on the ZIP alone, Miami auto insurance rates can change by about $100 a month. That’s a huge difference just based on your address.

Why does anyone need to register their car?

If you want to be a resident of a state, you have to provide documentation that shows that you live there and who you are. You also have to pay vehicle registration fees that vary by state.

That’s part of the process of obtaining a state-issued government ID so that you can prove your identity, apply for jobs, apply for loans, and live a normal life.

Just like a person needs an ID to identify themselves, a vehicle needs an ID to identify who owns it. The vehicle isn’t a legal entity that can be sued, so someone has to take on the liability when the object causes damage to someone or something.

In almost all states, it’s the registered owner’s legal duty to pay for damages when someone in their car is negligent.

By requiring cars to be registered in the name of a person or business, a legal entity is taking ownership of the car and accountability whenever there’s a loss or a violation where a fine must be paid.

That’s why all private passenger vehicles, no matter if they are new or old, have to be registered before they can be tagged to be on public roadways.

Why do you need to provide an address for your registration?

You have to give your name, your date of birth, your social security number, and proof that you have a legal interest in the vehicle before you can register it.

The proof will be either a bill of sale, a title signed over to you, or financing documentation showing you’re the borrower. Without the proper documentation, the DMV won’t issue you a registration in your name.

Not only do you have to show that you’re who you say you are and that you have the right to claim residency in the state, but you also have to give an address.

In most states, you have the option to give two separate addresses on the application. That’s only if you live away from where you want to receive mail.

You can usually put a PO box or another mailing address where you want to receive notifications and another address that represents where you reside.

On all of your documents, including your registration, your mailing address is the one that will be printed on your paperwork. If you move, you have to notify the DMV within 10 days or you’re not complying with the rules.

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Auto Insurance can be Electronically Verified

Auto insurance is something that has to be verified. In the past, when there wasn’t any type of electronic system in place, the DMV used a process where they would randomly request insurance information from vehicle owners.

That didn’t do much good either because the owner could provide a falsified document. That’s why uninsured driver rates were so high.

Now the rates are on the decline because of new verification procedures. Instead of sending out a postcard asking for you to verify you had coverage on a certain date, the state has this real-time system where they can see if you have active insurance.

To guarantee the system is updated, laws have been passed requiring insurers to notify the DMV electronically as soon as a policy cancels. The notification also has to show the date the coverage ended.

Penalties for No Auto Insurance

Most states have minimum car insurance requirements. If you don’t meet those minimum requirements, penalties can be stiff, including fines, driver’s license suspension, and possible jail time.

You will have to pay the penalties for having no insurance if the system can’t verify your coverage because of your name and address.

You could be paying your rates but the state doesn’t see that if it kicks your policy information out.

When you’re penalized, you’ll get your license plates suspended and you’ll have to pay a fine at the minimum.

You should always be careful when you’re filling out your applications. Put the same name and the same physical address just so that you get everything in the mail where it’s supposed to be.

If you’re not happy with your rates, you can always get some quotes online strictly for comparison purposes.

Don’t miss out on our free insurance quote tool below. Just enter your ZIP code and start comparing rates now for your home address.