Why should I keep proof of insurance in my car?

Carrying proof of insurance in your car is required by law. An insurance card is issued to drivers after they purchase a policy and counts as proof of insurance.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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®

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Having proof of car insurance in your vehicle at all times is a legal requirement
  • Laws concerning proof of car insurance varies according to states
  • Insurance is available even if you are a high-risk driver with expensive premiums

To protect yourself, as well as other drivers on the road, it is important to have some form of car insurance.

There are too many drivers who take the risk of driving without insurance. When they are caught, they find themselves facing a heavy penalty.

To get quick car insurance quotes, just enter your zip code in the search tool now!

About Proof of Car Insurance


When you purchase a car, you are not allowed to drive off the lot without some form of car insurance.

At the very least, you are required to carry liability coverage which protects the other driver in the event of an accident.

If the car is being financed by a bank or finance company, they often require full coverage to protect themselves, the car, and the other driver.

A policy is established at the time of purchase so the car is immediately protected when driven off the lot.

An insurance card is issued to the driver, usually within two weeks of purchase or transfer.

The company usually sends two cards to the driver for convenience. They also send proof of car insurance to the bank and Department of Motor Vehicles.

Some states may allow drivers to register their cars by paying an uninsured motorist fee or offering proof of financial ability to pay.

Insurance companies are required to report all uninsured motorists, new policies, and changes to existing policies.

Most states require that the driver shows proof of car insurance if stopped by the police. Several other states only ask for a driver’s license and registration.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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What if I cannot afford car insurance?

It is hard for some to cover the expense of insurance in addition to a car note; especially those with bad credit.

The average cost of car insurance can differ dramatically based on individual circumstances.

There are companies who help those who may not be able to afford a standard full coverage policy.

Drivers under 25 or high-risk drivers with several negative driving points are subjected to higher premiums; therefore, they may not be able to afford the average policy.

There are many ways to earn lower auto insurance rates:

  • Attend driver safety classes
  • Purchase a simple liability policy and forego the extra coverage options
  • Higher deductibles will lower monthly premiums
  • Buy a vehicle that is cheap to insure

To avoid the possibility of getting caught without proof of car insurance, enter your zip code for car insurance quotes now!


  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/liability_insurance.asp
  2. https://www.dmvnv.com/50_state_dmv_list.html
  3. https://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/proof-of-insurance-101-527410
  5. https://www.nsc.org/learn/Safety-Training/Pages/defensive-driving-driver-safety-training.aspx

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