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 

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

  1. sara
    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. Barb
    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. Jo
    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?

  4. David
    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. 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. David
    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. Walter Melon
    October 24, 2014 #

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

  8. Romelia
    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.

    • 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. Bob
    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?

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