Can I use a P.O. Box for my car insurance?

How can you get car insurance if you don't have a permanent address? Is listing a P.O. box for car insurance an option? Read on to find out if you can use a P.O. box when registering for car insurance.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 31, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You can only use a P.O. Box as a mailing address for car insurance
  • You need a garaging and mailing address to purchase car insurance
  • You must use a physical address for the garaging address

Can I use a P.O. Box for my car insurance? What if I need car insurance but don’t have a permanent address? Learn the address requirements for buying car insurance to maintain the right coverage for your vehicle.

Can I use a P.O. Box for my car insurance?

You can list a P.O. box as a mailing address on your car insurance, but you cannot register a P.O. box as your physical address.

Car insurance rates in the U.S. depend on where you regularly keep your vehicle. Since you can’t keep your car in the P.O. box for car insurance, it doesn’t meet the physical address requirement for car insurance. Therefore, P.O. box registration for your garaging address is not allowed.

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What is a garaging address?

A garaging address is where you physically garage your car most of the time. Whenever you request a car insurance quote or purchase a new policy, your insurance company will ask you where you typically park your car.

Your garaging address is usually the same as your home or permanent address, but there are a few common exceptions. These include:

Insurance companies allow you to list a mailing address and a garaging address on your car insurance policy. Your garaging address must be a physical location, but your mailing address for car insurance can be a P.O. box.

Why does car insurance require a physical address?

Insurers consider the physical location of your car when setting auto insurance rates, assessing your risk based on location-related factors such as:

  • Collision rates
  • Vehicle-related theft
  • Prevalence of natural disasters
  • Percentage of uninsured drivers

Even if you’re moving to a different location in the same city or state, it’s important to update your garaging address with your insurance company. This way, you get the most accurate rates and avoid losing your car insurance coverage. If you have a P.O. box in another state as your mailing address, you still need to list your garaging address where the car will most often be parked.

How to Get Car Insurance Without a Permanent Address

You can still get car insurance without an address. You just have to let your insurance company know where you are staying most of the time.

For instance, if you stay with family for a few months, you can list their location as the garaging address while maintaining a different mailing address.

It’s important to update your physical address with your insurance company every time it changes. Listing the incorrect address on your policy is considered auto insurance fraud, which could lead to losing your coverage or facing charges if not updated on time. You should never list a fake address for car insurance to get cheaper rates.

Can I use a P.O. box for my car insurance? The Bottom Line

You can use a P.O. box as a car insurance mailing address, but you cannot use a P.O. box as a garaging address on your policy. 

A physical garaging address is important in determining car insurance rates. If you don’t have a permanent address, list your current physical address to avoid penalties.

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