Do You Need Proof of Insurance To Register A Car? #1

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Getting a good car is great, but one of the things needed to keep it on the road is proper registration. So, do you need proof of insurance to register a car?… We guess that may be the question. Relax, we’ve answered this question with you in mind.

Absolutely, Yes! Proof of insurance is a requirement for car registration in most states. You could be fined up to $5,000 and have your license revoked without it.

We don’t want that for you, so in this article, we’ve put together every question you could have concerning proof of insurance for your car; importance, risks involved, how to include registration with proof of insurance, and lots more.

Enjoy the read!

Do You Need Proof of Insurance to Register a Car?

Yes, Proof of Insurance is a requirement for registration of cars in the US, except for seven states.

Other states that do not require proof of Insurance from drivers, still require that drivers have some proof to show that they shoulder the cost if there happens to be an accident.

What is Proof Of Insurance?

A “Proof of Insurance” also known as a “pink slip”, is a document that backs your claim to having insurance. It is only given when you fulfill the minimum coverage requirement for vehicles.

You get proof of insurance from your insurance company and present it to your state’s DMV when you register your vehicle. You may also need to show it if you want to do a registration renewal. Not having proof of insurance is not advisable and could get you in trouble with the police.

Why Is Proof of Insurance A Legal Requirement?

Proof of insurance shows that you comply with the law and have gotten the minimum level of coverage required to register a car in your state. This means that the real issue is a question of insurance and its importance.

Having to get insurance may seem like an unnecessary hassle at the moment, but the payoff is huge. Insurance protects you and the other party in the case of an accident

Insurance is also meant to protect your vehicle, whether or not you’re the one driving. The type of coverage you get allows this possibility, but this is usually covered with liability insurance, which is the minimum type of coverage you are allowed. You may also be required to get additional coverage like Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

Do You Need Proof of Insurance To Register A Car?
Yes, Proof of Insurance is a requirement for registration of cars in the US, except for seven states.

What do you think happens if a Stolen Car is Found After Insurance Payment? Learn from this guide.

Some Documents That Could Be Proofs Of Insurance For Car Registration

Here are some examples of Proofs of insurance and they can represent different things in different states:

  • Insurance ID Card/Insurance Card
  • Proof of Coverage
  • Verification of Coverage (MD FR-19), and
  • Certificate of Financial Responsibility (FR-44 or SR-22)

1. Insurance ID Card/Insurance Card:

Your insurance card carries different information depending on the state you reside in. But generally, it consists of; policy number, policy effective dates, vehicles, and policyholders. This could serve as your proof of insurance.

2. Proof of Coverage:

This is a form that shows the vehicle, the policy effective and expiration date, and the limits of coverage carried on the vehicle. You can also use this for your as proof of insurance to a leasing company. 

3. Verification of Coverage (MD FR-19):

This is a form that specifically applies to residents in Maryland. Use this form when you receive a letter from your Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.

4. Certificate of Financial Responsibility (FR-44 or SR-22):

Both codes apply depending on the state you reside in. You will only need this as proof of insurance if you have certain driving-related violations.

States That Do Not Require Proof Of Insurance For Car Registration

Seven states in the United States do not require you to have proof of Insurance for car registration. But they do have other requirements that access your ability to provide financial coverage if there is an accident.

Here are the seven states that don’t require proof of insurance for car registration:

  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington

#1. Mississippi:

In Mississippi, you do need to have insurance coverage; for bodily injury and property damage. But you don’t need to present it to get your registration like in other states.

#2. New Hampshire:

There is no car insurance requirement in New Hampshire, even for driving, but you are required to have enough money per time to cover the expenses that could come from having an accident.

#3. North Dakota:

You are required to have insurance to drive legally in North Dakota, but providing proof during car registration is not a requirement so you can do without it.

#4. Tennessee:

Although the DMV in Tennessee does not require insurance for a car registration, you are required to provide proof of financial stability by either bond or cash deposit. This is to be paid to the Department of Revenue.

#5. Virginia:

$500 is all you need to get your car registered without insurance in Virginia. But you’re still left with handling the bill if there’s an accident.

#6. Wisconsin:

You are required to fulfill the minimum insurance requirement to use your car in Washington, but it is not a requirement for car registration

#7. Washington:

Washington requires you to have proof of self-insurance, a  $60,000 certificate or deposit, or a $60,000 liability bond.

Are you unsure whether you need insurance to register your car in California? Check out this helpful guide.

10 Risks of Driving Without Proof Of Insurance

Don’t drive without that “pink slip”, you could get in a lot of trouble. 

Here are the risks you are prone to when you drive without proof of insurance:

  1. If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance, you could be fined or even arrested.
  2. Your license could be suspended or revoked.
  3. If you have a history of driving without insurance, your insurance company might deny you coverage in the future.
  4. Your car could be impounded or seized by the authorities as though you do not have insurance.
  5. Your insurance company can make you pay higher premiums.
  6. You would be denied entry into states where proof of insurance is required.
  7. You could face a lawsuit from another driver’s insurance company in the case of an accident.
  8. Your credit score could be affected negatively.
  9. You could face difficulties if you need to obtain travel documents.
  10. You could be denied future car loans or leases if you are known to drive without proof of insurance.

Best Companies To Get Your Insurance As You Register Your Car

You need to have insurance to provide proof of insurance. Since you already know that it is a legal requirement, here is a list of 5 insurance companies that offer good deals:

If you don’t know what to look out for, check out our article “Auto Insurance Transport Requirements

Steps To Getting A Proof Of Insurance From Your Insurance Company

If you’ve got insurance, the next step is to get proof of insurance from your insurance company.

Follow these simple steps to get your proof of insurance:

  • Contact your insurance company and request a copy of your proof of insurance.
  • You would likely be asked for identifying information, such as your name, policy number, and address.
  • You can also be asked to provide a reason for the request, such as a traffic violation or for car registration purposes.
  • Once they have the necessary information you should get a copy of your proof of insurance, either by mail or electronically.

Some Other Requirements For Registering A Car Aside from Proof Of Insurance

Proof of insurance is not the only legal requirement for registering a car. 

Below are other requirements for registering a car:

  • The original title of the vehicle (or other proof of ownership).
  • Insurance ID card(depending on your state).
  • Bill of Sale.
  • Proof of Identity (driver’s license, state ID).
  • A completed vehicle registration application.

Steps To Getting Your Car Registered

#1. Offline Approach

Car registration in the United States does not always follow the same process across all states, but there are general steps that apply to most states:

  • Put together the required documents, such as proof of insurance, title, registration application, and driver’s license.
  • Visit your local DMV office
  • Complete the registration application and pay the required fees.
  • Have your car inspected (if required).
  • Get your license plates and registration documents.

It’s a good idea to check with your local DMV for correct information because the specific requirements and steps may vary depending on your state.

#2. Online Approach:

Some states like California allow you to do your entire registration online and only come to their office for a car inspection. Here are the steps for an online registration:

  • Go to your state’s DMV website and create an account.
  • Fill out the online registration form with all required information.
  • Upload any required documents, such as proof of insurance and proof of inspection.
  • Pay the registration fees online.
  • Submit the registration application and wait for confirmation from the DMV.

You should keep in mind that these steps may vary slightly depending on your state’s requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Do I need proof of insurance to register my car?” answer-0=”Yes, most states require proof of insurance before you can register your car.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=”What kind of proof of insurance do I need?” answer-1=”Most states require a valid insurance card, and some states accept an insurance declaration page.” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”Can I use an expired insurance card to register my car? ” answer-2=”No, your insurance card must be current and valid in order to register your car.” image-2=”” headline-3=”h3″ question-3=”Can I use a photocopy of my insurance card to register my car?” answer-3=”Some states allow this, but others require the original copy of your insurance card. Check with your local DMV to find out what your state requires.” image-3=”” headline-4=”h3″ question-4=”What if I just bought a car and don’t have proof of insurance yet?” answer-4=”In this case, you can usually get a temporary registration from the DMV that will allow you to drive your car until you have proof of insurance.” image-4=”” count=”5″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Important Recommendation


Proof of Insurance is a necessity for getting your car registered. But getting it not only ensures you keep the law, but it helps you as well. Follow the different steps given in this article to get proof of insurance and get your car registered.

Hope to see you again, friend.

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