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Do You Need Proof of Insurance to Register a Car?
Most states require you to supply proof of insurance before registering your vehicle for the first time after purchase. Thankfully, this can be done quickly and efficiently from your phone or computer before you leave the car lot with your new vehicle. Most insurance companies now let you receive quotes and purchase new policies directly online or over the phone with the help of a representative.
If you’re looking to renew your vehicle’s registration, most states will let you do this online with verification that your car is still covered under your initial insurance policy. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. These include:
- New Hampshire: Some counties allow online renewals, but others don’t.
- Tennessee: Varies based on county, so be sure to check online.
- Wyoming: Varies by county.
Besides insurance, you’ll need a few other documents to register your vehicle. Whether online or in person, remember to bring your title, a valid state ID or driver’s license, and at least one other form of identification. Identification requirements vary by state and county, so ask or look online for relevant local information.
What Type of Auto Insurance is Needed to Register a Car?
Minimum auto insurance requirements vary by state. However, generally, you’ll need liability insurance (at a minimum) to register your vehicle. The amount of liability insurance will also vary based on location.
Liability insurance helps cover legal fees and medical costs if you’re legally responsible for causing property damage to another vehicle or personal injuries to another driver while driving your vehicle. For example, if you rear end someone, most states automatically assign you fault. In this situation, your liability insurance will cover any damages to the other party’s vehicle caused when you hit them.
What States Do Not Require Insurance to Register a Car?
Although most states require insurance to register a car, this rule has a few exceptions. You can find proof of insurance requirements for each state in the table below.
|State||Proof of Insurance Requirements|
|New Hampshire||No Requirements|
|New Jersey||Before Registering|
|New Mexico||Before Registering|
|New York||Before Registering|
|New Carolina||Before Registering|
|North Dakota||Before Driving|
|Rhode Island||Before Registering|
|South Carolina||Before Registering|
|Washington, D.C.||Before Registering|
|West Virginia||Before Registering|
What Happens If I Try to Register a Car Without Insurance?
If you try to register a car without insurance in a state that requires it, you won’t be able to obtain vehicle registration. However, you’ll be allowed to register your vehicle once you’ve purchased a policy. In states where insurance isn’t necessary before registration, you’ll be allowed to move forward with the process.
Our online approach makes it fast and easy.