Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Do You Need Insurance To Register A Car In California

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State Car Insurance Requirements

Buying, Selling, and or Registering a car with no title or a lost title (pink slip) in California

All states have some form of compulsory insurance or financial responsibility law in place. These laws may change every couple of years, but they are essential to keeping drivers and pedestrians safe on public roadways.

If you are new to a state or you have never brushed up on the requirements, you should set aside some time to learn about the minimum insurance requirements set by your state officials.

Some states may only require you to have liability insurance and others may require more. Many times, coverage requirements depend upon what type of system is used for car insurance injury claims.

What do we mean by that? Keep reading to see a breakdown of the two types of systems widely used in the U.S. today.

What Are The Types Of Financial Responsibility

  • Motor vehicle liability insurance policy.
  • Cash deposit of $35,000 with DMV.
  • DMV-issued self-insurance certificate.
  • Surety bond for $35,000 from a company licensed to do business in California.

For information regarding cash deposits or self-insurance, contact the DMV Financial Responsibility Unit at 657-6520.

To locate a company that issues surety bonds, contact the Department of Insurance at or by calling 1-800-927-4357.

Other Options For Complying With California’s Financial Responsibility Requirement

While the overwhelming majority of car owners in California will purchase a car insurance policy in order to comply with the state’s “financial responsibility” laws, California does allow vehicle owners to choose from a few other methods of compliance. Instead of purchasing a qualifying insurance policy, vehicle owners can:

  • make a cash deposit of $35,000 with the California Department of Motor Vehicles
  • get a self-insurance certificate from the California DMV, or
  • get a $35,000 surety bond from an issuer licensed to do business in California.

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Faq: Registration And Insurance Between States

Can my car be registered in one state and insured in another?

You almost always need to have your license, registration, and insurance in the same state. You usually cannot register a vehicle without first providing proof of insurance. Most states have a 10- to 60-day grace period until you need to update your insurance and registration after moving.

Can I drive a car registered in a different state?

You must register your car in the state where you reside. When you visit other states, you are allowed to drive your car that is registered in your home state. Most states have rules for how long you can continue to operate a vehicle registered outside of the state. Check local laws, but the average is about 30 days.

How long do I have to register a vehicle with out-of-state plates?

How long you have to register a vehicle with out-of-state plates is different from state to state. In most cases, you will be fined if you do not register your vehicle within a certain amount of time after moving.

Does my license have to match my vehicle registration?

Your drivers license needs to match your vehicle registration. In most states, you cannot register a vehicle without holding a state-issued license.

Can you have out-of-state car insurance?

Most auto insurance policies in the U.S. will cover you when driving in all 50 states and Canada. However, you cannot buy out-of-state car insurance. In most cases, you need to buy car insurance in your state of residence.

How Much Does It Cost To Register A Car

Do You Need Insurance To Register A Car In California / Do ...

Generally, its not expensive to register a car. The national average rate is roughly $35. Many states price registration fees based on the weight or age of the vehicle, so its difficult to say which states are the most and least expensive. If youre a first-time driver, the initial registration fee might be higher than the annual fee.

The table below includes a breakdown of the registration and title fees in each state, based on data from AAA:

Registration fee

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To Register A Car In California You Need The Following Documentation:

  • Registration fees
  • California certificate of title
  • Odometer disclosure
  • Smog certification
  • Completed application for title or registration
  • Vehicle verification by DMV employee

The penalties for driving without insurance in California can be steep, so you should get insurance right away and have proof of coverage at all times.

Can I register a car in a different state than my license?

The answer is usually no since there are only eight states that allow you to register your car in a different state than your license. In those eight states, the only requirement is that you can prove residency in the state where you register your car. You are not obligated to register with one state over the other, and in some states, you can even have dual registration. But its important to know what different states require so you can be sure youre following the full answer

Odometer Disclosure On 2011 And Newer Vehicles

Avoid repeat DMV visits! Complete the Odometer Reading section of the title on any 2011 or newer vehicle.

Effective January 1, 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires odometer disclosures until vehicles are 20 years old, beginning with vehicles of the 2011 model year. The previous rule was 10 years.

  • If your vehicle is a 2011 model or newer, you must enter the current mileage in the Odometer Reading section of the title upon sale of the vehicle.
  • If your vehicle is a 2010 model or older, you may check the exempt box on the title.

You must disclose the mileage even if the title says “Exempt – Model year over 9 years old.” Titles now being issued reflect the new rule as shown below.

The seller must provide the buyer with a paper title for vehicles 2011 and newer. A Bill of Sale and Application for Duplicate Title or a non-secure Power of Attorney will not be accepted.

2011 vehicles will become exempt from odometer disclosure in the year 2031. 2012 vehicles will be exempt in 2032 and so on.

  • Vehicle ownership transfers using a bill of sale and application for duplicate title and/or multiple bills of sale will not be allowed for model year 2011 and newer vehicles.
  • Multiple private party sales will not be allowed for model year 2011 and newer vehicles.
  • Use of a non-Secure Power of Attorney, for a vehicle sale, will not be allowed for 2011 and newer vehicles.

The Odometer Reading section of a Nevada title which reflects the new rule.

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Minimum Insurance Requirements In Ca

If you choose to have liability insurance, there are minimum requirements for the amount of insurance you have on the vehicle and yourself as the driver.

Comprehensive or collision insurance does not meet vehicle financial responsibility requirements. Liability insurance is necessary to compensate those other than the policyholder for property damage and/or personal injury that occurs from an accident.

The California State liability insurance minimums are:

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
  • $5,000 for damage to property
  • Low-cost coverage is available from the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program if you find that you are unable to afford liability insurance in California.

    Ca Good Driver Discount

    How to register a vehicle with a title

    Good drivers deserve a break, and in California, those who meet certain criteria could receive at least a 20% discount on their auto insurance premium. In California, a Good Driver is one who²:

  • Has verifiable license experience for at least the previous three years or
  • Has been licensed in the United States or Canada for the most recent 18 months, which experience must be verifiable, and certifies the previous 18 months of license experience in any jurisdiction outside of the United States or Canada and
  • Has not accrued more than one Department of Motor Vehicles point in the last three years. A point is usually assigned for a vehicle code violation or a “principally at-fault” accident³ and, if the driver was involved in a “principally at-fault” accident, it must not have resulted in injury or death and
  • Has not had a conviction during the past ten years for specific driving under the influence related driving offenses or specific felony convictions4.
  • Speak to one of GEICO’s auto insurance agents, if you have any questions.

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    Car Registration Fees In California

    There are a few different fees that are needed when registering for a new vehicle identification, depending on the circumstances. Those buying a car from a dealership will find there are fees that already take care of registration and are included in the price of the vehicle. Fees must be paid to the California DMV if buying a car from a private party. Make sure you take care of these fees immediately.

    All vehicles require:

    • A CA Highway Patrol fee of $23.
    • Late Registration Fees

    You have within 20 days to register your vehicle once becoming a resident of the state. If you do not, you must pay late fees that will depend on how late you are.

    After buying a vehicle from a private party, you only have 10 days from the day of the sale to pay the fees.

    Late Registration Fees:

    Original Registration Penalties for CA Highway Patrol Fee

    • Less than 1 year late = $30
    • 1-2 years late = $50
    • 2+ years late = $100

    Other fees will be different from vehicle to vehicle. For those who want a more accurate prediction of the fees that need to be paid, please check out the California DMV website to try their California VLF calculator. Be sure to have your email address on hand. All fines, debts, and citations must be paid off with the California DMV before you are able to register a car and receive new vehicle identification.

    Can You Register A Car In A Different State

    Proof of auto insurance coverage during vehicle registration varies from one state to another. Some states require car owners to renew their vehicle registration yearly while others allow for several years before renewal.

    The requirements for vehicle registration vary in different states, and insurance companies must follow these differences when underwriting their insurance policies.

    Some states do not recognize insurance coverage from another state therefore, you will be required to acquire a different one upon arrival.

    You will need to go to the DMV to learn how to register a car in your state.

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    More Information On California Car Insurance Rules

    For more information on car insurance in California, straight from the state, see Insurance Requirements for Vehicle Registration from the California DMV.

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    Car Insurance Requirements Of A State

    Do You Need Insurance To Register A Car In California / Do ...

    Every state requires some form of compulsory insurance or financial responsibility. These laws are essential to keep drivers and pedestrians safe on the road. Take the time to learn your area’s insurance requirements.

    Some states require basic liability insurance, while others require more depending upon the system they use for accident injury claims. Driving without insurance is an offense that can lead to costly fines or even jail time for repeat offenders. If you let your insurance policy lapse, expect a suspension of your registration.

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    Is Proof Of Insurance Necessary To Register A Vehicle

    Most states require you to get car insurance first before you can register your car. Even in states that don’t, you’ll still need a car insurance policy with minimum coverage before you can drive in that state.

    StateProof of Insurance is RequiredAllows Online Renewals?

    New Hampshire is the only state that does not require liability insurance to operate a car. However, the state does require proof of financial responsibility, which means that drivers must prove they could cover the cost of an accident if they cause one. Most New Hampshire drivers achieve this by purchasing liability insurance anyway. See the table below to find out when your state requires proof of insurance.

    Most states offer an online renewal system that eliminates the need for a trip to the DMV. Drivers must renew their registration every 1 to 5 years, depending on the state and the year of their vehicle. Newer vehicles tend to require renewals less frequently since their engines were built to comply with higher emissions standards.

    Many states let you sign up online for an automatic reminder of when it’s time for your next renewal. All states except New Hampshire require current liability insurance in order to renew your registration. See the table below to find your state’s online renewal information.

    Whats The Last Word On Car Registration And Getting Auto Insurance

    Does insurance or registration come first? Well, when you buy a car, you will not have it registered until the necessary paperwork is filed with your state DMV.

    However, you will be required by the dealer to show some proof of auto insurance before you drive it off the lot.

    Therefore, you are able to get auto insurance on a car that is not yet officially registered under your name at the state DMV.

    How long do I have to register my car? You should act quickly to get your car registered with the state DMV so that you are in compliance with state laws and do not risk getting a fine if you are pulled over without having the proper tags and registration.

    If you have offenses, such as driving without registering your vehicle, you could end up having higher rates for insurance in the future.

    So, can I get insurance without my car being registered? Do you need auto insurance to register a car? The answer to both is yes, as insurance should be taken care of before registration.

    Can I get my car registered without insurance? In most cases, the answer is no. So when wondering if you should get insurance or registration first, the answer is always insurance. This will allow you to avoid any fees or legal issues down the line.

    To get the best auto insurance coverage at affordable rates, get as many online quotes as you can and make comparisons. Enter your ZIP code to find the best auto insurance quotes for the coverage you need before you register your car.

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    Must I Notify Dmv Before I Cancel My Insurance

    Yes. To prevent a vehicle registration suspension, you must notify DMV before you cancel your insurance. If you are not operating your currently registered vehicle, and it is not parked on a California roadway, you may submit an Affidavit of Non-Use form to DMV online at, by calling the automated voice system at 1-800-777-0133, or by mail to one of the addresses at the end of this brochure.

    You may remove the ANU during the same registration year online at, by calling 1-800-777-0133, or by mailing evidence of insurance to the DMV-VIP Unit at the address at the end of this brochure.After filing the ANU, the vehicles insurance may be cancelled. However, if the vehicle is still not in use when registration renewal fees are due, you must pay renewal fees or request the vehicle be placed on planned nonoperation status. You are not eligible to file an ANU once the registration expires. You can obtain additional PNO information at

    How Much Does It Cost To Register A Car In California

    California Vehicle Registration Suspension | All In One Vehicle Registration

    In California, youll likely pay the vehicle registration fee, plus a California Highway Patrol fee, vehicle license fee, county fee, as well transportation improvement fee.

    If youre wondering how much to register a car in California, it can depend on various factors. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles , your registration fees are determined by:

    • Your vehicle type
    • Your vehicles purchase price or declared value
    • When you purchased your vehicle or the date your vehicle entered California
    • The city and/or county you live in
    • The city and/or county your business is based in
    • The unladen or declared gross vehicle weight and the number of axles your vehicle may have
    • Any special license plates your vehicle may have
    • Whether you have any unpaid parking violations or toll evasion bail

    The California DMV has useful calculators to evaluate what your prospective costs might be. Use the following tools to see how much it might cost you to register a car in California:

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    Will I Be Asked To Provide Evidence Of Financial Responsibility

    You may be requested to submit additional insurance information to DMV, such as:

    • A document or identification card from your insurance company.
    • A DMV authorization letter, if you are a cash depositor or are self-insured.
    • California Proof of Insurance Certificate form for broad coverage or owners policy.
    • Evidence that the vehicle is owned or leased by a public entity defined in California Government Code §811.2.
    • A Notification of Alternative Forms of Financial Responsibility form for a vehicle covered by commercial or business policies and being registered for the first time.
    • A Statement of Facts form certifying the motor carrier has evidence of insurance on file with the Public Utilities Commission or DMV pursuant to CVC §34630.

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