Can You Get Insurance Without Registration?

Can You Get Insurance Without Registration

Can you get insurance without registration? Put your worries to rest because you can get insurance for your car before registration. This is often the case when you have recently purchased a car from a dealership. Moreover, the registration process can be taken care of by the dealership itself. However, in order to register the vehicle, the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) requires proof of insurance since most states mandate liability insurance. Hence, although not necessary to register before getting insurance, you need one for vehicle registration.

Can You Get Insurance Without Registration?

Your car’s registration status is not a prerequisite for obtaining insurance. Insurance companies do not consider your vehicle’s registration for coverage. The process of purchasing auto insurance is intentionally designed for simplicity. Whether you’re buying a new or used car from a dealership, you can get coverage online or by contacting an insurance company directly.

Typically, this process takes under 30 minutes, with the insurance company able to send you the necessary documents via email. Therefore, you get to have insurance coverage in place even before leaving the dealership. It is necessary because dealerships do not ideally permit driving off the lot without insurance. Moreover, being covered is a legal obligation, which explains why dealerships also offer car insurance. The dealership will provide a temporary license plate, followed by official plates delivered to you by mail within 30 days.

If you already have an insurance policy, you might not need to go online or call an insurance company for new car coverage. If you are adding a second car to your existing policy, a grace period typically applies, during which your current policy should cover the new vehicle. You just need to show the dealer proof of your current policy. Nevertheless, make sure to confirm the grace period in advance and bring a copy of your insurance policy, highlighting the grace period section to the dealer.

For a first-time car buyer without an existing policy, there is no grace period, and it is necessary to get insurance coverage for the vehicle before completing the purchase.

How to Get Insurance Without Registration

If you need to get auto insurance for a car you have no registration for, be prepared to spend some time exploring various insurance companies and quotes, and engaging with numerous agents before finding one willing to provide coverage.

It is better to get insurance for an unregistered car over the phone or in person, and not online so that the insurance agent fully grasps your specific situation, especially if the registration has the name of someone else. This measure prevents potential issues such as having your claim rejected despite buying a policy after experiencing a collision due to the insurer not fully comprehending your situation.

You will need to provide as much information including the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year, and other relevant details.

If you do not own the car, you want to inform the agent of your financial involvement with the car. For instance, you can persuade your insurer that the car is essential for your commute to work. Avoid providing false information to your car insurance company about car ownership.

Dishonesty with your insurer is not only illegal but could also nullify your policy and complicate your ability to secure insurance in the future. Insurance companies strive to reduce risk, and individuals who deceive them are perceived as high-risk clients. If the insurer finds out about your dishonesty following an accident, you could be held responsible for all damages resulting from the collision.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates According to State

StateEstimated Rate
District of Columbia$4,439.24
North Carolina$3,393.11
North Dakota$4,165.84
New Hampshire$3,151.77
New Jersey$5,515.21
New Mexico$3,463.64
New York$4,289.88
Rhode Island$5,003.36
South Carolina$3,781.14
South Dakota$3,982.27
West Virginia$2,595.36
Average≈ 3,472.49
Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by State

Do Not Wait for Too Long to Get a Registration

Make sure to register your car early, regardless of your reasons for delay. While having valid insurance for your car is important, without proper registration, you are legally restricted from driving it. The process of registering your car is straightforward; you just need to visit your local DMV with the necessary documents, including the title, VIN, and a valid photo ID (such as driver’s license). The requirements may differ according to state and nature of the vehicle acquisition.

Bear in mind that car registrations expire after a few years, so you would have to renew when due. The frequency of these renewals can vary depending on the state, with some states requiring annual renewals, while others may only need renewals every 5 or 10 years. Generally, newer models usually have less frequent renewals, whereas older cars may require more regular renewals. If you are a first-time owner, you might face a higher cost of registration.

Can you insure an unregistered car in California?

In California, you can insure an unregistered car, moreover, an unregistered status does not affect your ability to file a claim.

Can I insure a car not registered to me in PA?

You can. However, if you don’t own the car when buying a non-owner car insurance policy in PA, speak with an agent in person or on the phone to get your options straight. Not all insurance companies support non-owner policies. Those that offer them do not give online quotes.


With the advent of digital platforms, many states now facilitate online renewal of your car registration, eliminating the need to visit the DMV in person. It’s also possible to enroll for automatic renewal notifications in many cases.

Read also: insurance alternatives to retrieve a car from impound

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