Does Car Insurance Change By State?

Yes, car insurance varies by state. Most states require a minimum amount of liability insurance and may even require other specific types of coverages be on your policy. If you plan on moving to a new state, you'll need to make sure your policy is updated so you're sure you have the right coverages and limits on your policy.

We get it. Getting ready for a big move to another state is exciting — and stressful. On top of all the packing, renting a truck and other moving musts, you’ve got your car insurance to think about. We’re here to help! We’ve highlighted how to navigate the process of registering your car and transferring car insurance to another state, so you can make your move with one less item on your to-do list.

How Long Do You Have to Switch Car Insurance When You Move?

Typically, you'll have 30 to 90 days to switch your car insurance when you move to a new state. While you can — and should — plan ahead, you don't want to cancel your current policy until the move is made. Follow these steps to prepare for switching car insurance to another state. 

Gather your documents

Make sure all your important documents are readily available so you’re not searching through boxes later. Use a portable safe or another form of secure storage to transport them.

Call your insurance agent

Let them know you’re moving to a new state and ask about your coverage options in your new home.

Get a quote

If your current insurance isn’t traveling with you, you’ll need to start shopping for a new policy that works in your new state.

Do I Have to Change My Car Registration If I Move to Another State?

When you move to another state, your car registration needs to match the location of your new home. There are a few ways to change your vehicle registration from one state to another.

Visit the DMV

Go to your new state’s DMV site, or to the DMV itself, and fill out a new registration form. You’ll need to provide a form of payment to complete the registration. This usually costs around $95.

Get a new driver’s license

You’ll also need to apply for a new driver’s license when you finish your move. This can be done within 30 to 90 days, depending on the state. Call your new DMV or local law enforcement to ask about their grace period.

Hang onto your registration

Keep a copy in your vehicle and make sure your license plate is swapped for the new one you receive in the mail.

Can I Keep My Car Insurance If I Move to Another State?

Car insurance providers often operate in multiple states throughout the U.S. Check with your insurance agent before you make the move to see if your current insurance company will provide coverage in your new home state. If they will, you can take it with you. Be sure to ask your agent if any changes will be made to your coverage — some states have different insurance requirements than others, some of which may cause your premiums to rise.

If your current insurance company doesn’t provide insurance in the state you’re moving to, you’ll need to purchase new coverage when your move is complete. Once you’ve moved, you have between 30 and 90 days to get everything adjusted.

Hang on to your current insurance

Don’t cancel your current auto insurance policy until you have a new one ready to go.

Compare quotes

Make sure you’re getting the best deal by shopping multiple insurance companies’ options.

Purchase your new insurance

Once you’ve decided on the right auto insurance, go ahead and purchase it.

Immediately call your old insurance

Call to cancel your old insurance and provide the end date of the old insurance policy, which will be the effective date of your new insurance policy. So, if you’re buying new auto insurance with an effective date of April 4, tell your old auto insurance to cancel your original policy effective April 4.

Moving to a new state? Connect with your American Family Insurance agent to make sure your car insurance coverage complies with your new state’s requirements and that you have the right insurance to protect what matters most while out on the road.


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Related Topics: Insurance Needs , Car Insurance