Using Out-of-State Car Insurance: Possible or Not Possible?

Do you always need car insurance from the same state you live in? Our customer service reps break down this common question from our Facebook users.

out-of-state car insurance

Few things are quite as exciting as buying a car. Sadly, a fresh set of wheels usually comes with a fresh set of extra expenses — license plates, titles, Carstaches® (and grooming kit), and of course car insurance.

Thing is, after shelling out big bucks to get the car itself, many drivers, especially younger ones, probably aren’t too excited about paying for insurance. In fact, a frequent question we receive from our loyal Facebook community involves one particular method of cutting costs: having parents or relatives who live in another state insure it under their policy.

Is insuring a car with out-of-state insurance even possible? We checked in with our customer service reps to get to the bottom of this issue.

The experts weigh in on out-of-state car insurance

When you own a car in one state, you typically cannot have Mom, Dad, Uncle Bert, or Grandma Betty insure it under their policy if they live in another. The main reason is because each state decides its own car insurance requirements individually.

So, for instance, while your state might ask drivers to have $25,000 in property damage liability insurance, your parents’ state might only require $10,000. If you got pulled over and didn’t have the right amount of insurance, you could wind up with a hefty fine. In most cases, your local DMV won’t even hand over license plates, a registration, or any other must-have documents unless you have car insurance from the state you’re living in.

In the rare case that your relatives’ policy does allow them to insure vehicles in multiple states and your DMV has no objections, make sure you’re listed as a covered driver and you have enough protection to satisfy state law … and your own peace of mind.

Temporary state changes

One possible exception to the “no out-of-state insurance” guideline is if you’re temporarily living in a different state (not as a permanent resident) and you brought the car with you.

For instance, if you take the family van across state lines for college, you parents can often still insure it. Or, if you take your car to a new state for a 3-month job assignment you might be fine keeping your home state’s coverage. In any case, you should always run the idea of using an out-of-state policy past your insurer to make sure it’s allowed and that you have enough protection for where you’re headed.

Still curious about out-of-state car insurance?

Have more questions about your car insurance possibilities? Ask away on our Facebook page. You can also check out our myth-busting center where we break down all kinds of coverage conundrums so you can drive (and enter trivia nights) with confidence.

Related post

Our expert answers your questions about out-of-state car insurance 

96 Responses to “Using Out-of-State Car Insurance: Possible or Not Possible?”

  1. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    September 21, 2014 #

    So I just moved to Fl from Ga. I recently got my license for florida resident. I have not yet switched my insurance to florida yet. How long do I have to do this and are there any fines involved if it is not done in time?

  2. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    September 21, 2014 #

    My daughter is becoming a resident of SC from PA. She is living there now plans on getting SC license but her car is leased in my husband's name. Can she drive the car registered and insured in PA while driving with a SC license? Or cand she get insurance in SC without transferring the registration since the car is not leased in her name?

  3. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    September 30, 2014 #

    I recently bought a vehicle from a friend in Florida. The registration is still in his name but insured in mine with a GA policy which exceeds Florida's requirements. Is this legal?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      March 18, 2016 #

      no you HAVE to regester it in the new buyers name seller is NO LONGER RESPONSIBLE you need TAGS ie rege
      stration AND new plate

  4. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    October 8, 2014 #

    So I just moved to Texas, my car is registered, insured, and all my paperwork is for NEW JERSEY. My License plates and Driver's License is also from NJ. I will be living here temporarily for 6 months. Can I just insure my car in Texas, and keep everything else the same?

  5. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Teah Keith
    October 15, 2014 #

    So if I have vehicles insured and want to move out of state and leave the vehicles behind and keep them insured, would I be able to do so?

  6. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    October 18, 2014 #

    Hi I was wondering my son has a job offer in california and he will be out there for 6 months and if he gets extended maybe more, can we keep him on our pennsylvania policy, since he is just going out there temporarily his car is already registered as of July in PA and he is on our insurance policy. Since he will be there for 6 months for certain and then possibly get an extention is that something he can keep his PA policy and then change over once he gets the extension.

  7. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Walter Melon
    October 24, 2014 #

    Here in OK it is required to have OK insurance unless you are active duty military stationed here.

  8. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    November 7, 2014 #

    I live in VA and recently lost my car in a bad divorce. My father lives in FL and he decided to let me use his car until I can get my own. I'm a single mom…so getting my own car might take me a while. So now his car is in VA, registered in FL with FL insurance. Am I able to get VA insurance and not change the registration? I wanted to avoid changing the registration to my name since I plan on giving the car back. But FL insurance is much more expensive than VA car insurance.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Jennifer Wood
      November 7, 2014 #

      Hi Romelia!

      This sounds like a question for our expert customer service reps. They're available all day, everyday, so please feel free to give them a call at 1-800-ESURNACE (1-800-378-7262).

      Good luck!

  9. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    November 24, 2014 #

    An active duty military member has his motorcycle registered in Florida but is operating his bike in California. He claims Florida does not require motorcycles to have insurance. What are the implications for operating his non-insured, Florida-registered motorcycle in California?

  10. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    patricia gilbert
    June 28, 2015 #

    if a person get fl car insurance can he keep sc tag and sc driver license

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      July 10, 2015 #

      Hello Patricia,

      We suggest that your vehicle be registered for the state you drive and insure your vehicle. Please speak to your local DMV for more information.

      Thanks for reading.

  11. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    August 1, 2015 #

    If you own two houses in different states what options do you have for insurance?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      August 12, 2015 #

      Hello Dave,

      Great question! This would be best answered by speaking to a licensed agent as there are many factors that come into play in these situations.

      Thanks for reading.

  12. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    January 8, 2016 #

    I just moved from FL to NY. My mother is letting me use her van until I can get my own. it's registered and insured in FL, is it possible for me to switch to an NY DL and still be on her insurance?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      January 11, 2016 #

      Hello Jay,

      This should not be a problem for the short term.

      Thanks for reading.

  13. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    DC Bill
    January 25, 2016 #

    How long a period can one (out of state insured) keep driving a borrowed auto nonstop out of their home registered state ? I heard it was 30 days…..wrong ? Facts would be much appreciated.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      January 26, 2016 #

      Hello DC Bill,

      This can vary from state to state and from company to company depending on whether you are asking about it from an insurance standpoint or a DMV standpoint.

      Thanks for reading.

  14. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Michael Crowe
    April 27, 2016 #

    I've been living in Florida for a couple years and have kept my insurance through New Jersey. Now I need to renew my registration and am having difficulty. Will Florida renew my vehicle tags with my insurance coverage coming from New Jersey?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      May 5, 2016 #

      Hello Michael,

      Thank you for reaching out. We always suggest that your car is registered and insured for the state where you drive. This reduces the possibility of complications with claims or registration issues. In most cases, FL and NJ require your insurance to match your registration. You may need to purchase FL insurance to resolve your situation.

  15. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Allison Essinger
    May 14, 2016 #

    We own 6 cars, most of whom are driven by our children. Two of the children live in another state from which me moved 2 years ago. Their cars have been on the same policy for that state. We are now selling on of the vehicles and replacing it with a lease that is in both the child's name and my name. That car will move to its own policy. My question is about the remaining car. It is still being driven and housed in a state in which I, the titled owner, do not live, and it is registered in that state as well. Do I need to change the registration and insurance to the state in which I live, or can it remain where it is operated?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      May 16, 2016 #

      Hello Allison,

      Thanks for asking. In general, you would want to make sure your vehicles are insured and registered for the state where the car is driven the majority of the year. This will reduce the possibility of claims issues or issues with your local DMV.

  16. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Charlene Davis
    May 17, 2016 #

    I just moved to Delaware. I've obtained insurance in Delaware today, however I have yet to transfer license, registration, title etc. over. There are a lot of fees and I do not have the funds to cover. On Delaware DMV it states that I have 60 days to complete this process. Once my PA insurance cancels, do I run the risk of PA cancelling my plate/registration thinking I have no coverage?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Sara Border
      July 1, 2016 #

      That is a possibility, Charlene. You would want to contact the PA DMV directly to explain the situation and look into your options.

      Thanks for reading.

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