Car Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants

Car insurance for undocumented immigrants is a possibility. However, many states still deny driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, and on average undocumented immigrants will pay 20% more in premiums.

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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: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Can you get car insurance if you’re undocumented? Undocumented immigrants can get auto insurance coverage
  • Most U.S. states still continue to deny driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants despite the ongoing campaigns aimed at reducing uninsured motorists on U.S. roads
  • What states allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. If you are undocumented, some states, for instance, California and New Mexico, will still give you a driver’s license so you can drive legally on U.S. roads
  • On average, undocumented immigrants will pay 20 percent more in premiums when they purchase coverage

Nobody should ever drive uninsured. Sometimes, circumstances might force and undocumented immigrant to do so, but that’s risky.

What happens if you don’t insure your car? In addition to putting other drivers’ lives at risk and putting yourself through potentially massive financial problems, you might find yourself having problems with the law, and that might leave you facing charges and possible deportation.

Find a way to drive legally in the United States. It is possible to obtain coverage but if you can’t, use alternative means of transport. Rates are going to be higher than usual but don’t give up yet.

Compare quotes and shop around until you find a suitable car insurance policy. Enter your zip code above to get started.

Obtain a Driver’s License

It is highly unlikely that insurance companies will sell coverage to you if you don’t have a driver’s license, so get one. If you are lucky and happen to reside in California or any of the few states where you can get one, go for it.

Otherwise, check if you qualify under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). If you still don’t meet eligibility requirements, stick to public transport or move someplace else where you can get a driver’s license.

In 49 out of 50 American states, you will be required to carry some level of auto insurance coverage if you are going to drive. Carefully weigh all your options and consider all the factors before you settle for a policy.

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Types of Coverage

  • Liability coverage – will take care of medical expenses and damages to other people’s property if you get in an at-fault accident. Most states require this type of coverage.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) – will take care of medical bills in the event of an accident that results in bodily injuries.
  • Uninsured/underinsured coverage – will protect you from financial losses if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you or if you get involved in a hit and run.
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage – will pay for the damages or replace the actual cash value of your car if it’s stolen, vandalized, damaged by a natural disaster, overturns or any other form of collision related damages.

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Factors to Consider Before You Buy Car Insurance

– The State’s Auto Insurance Laws

Think about your states minimum auto insurance requirements. All states, except New Hampshire, have minimum auto insurance liability requirements. In most states, you will be required to carry a given level liability coverage.

Other states have decided to step it up a notch higher and on top of the mandated liability insurance, throw in personal injury protection (PIP) or Uninsured / underinsured motorist protection, or both.

Whatever the case, visit your state’s department of motor vehicles and inquire.

– The Car

You cannot afford to overlook your vehicle before buying while deciding on what level of auto insurance protection you need. There are many different aspects of your car to put into consideration.

First, the make and model of your vehicle. Some models will be more expensive to insure than others, based on the number of claims made by people driving that particular model.

Second, your vehicle’s physical state; old and cheap to replace if it’s totaled in an accident or new and expensive.

Other aspects to consider include:

  • safety ratings
  • performance
  • theft prevalence

– Your Age, Gender, and Marital Status

All these three elements of your personal life will come into play when you purchase auto insurance coverage. Younger drivers; anybody below the age of 25 years will get a higher quote.

The reason behind the higher rates is that young drivers are more prone to accidents than older drivers, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Female drivers pay less in auto insurance. Gender bias in auto insurance applies for all ages, but it’s more pronounced among drivers under the age of 25.

Male drivers are more likely to get involved in an accident than female drivers.

Your marital status will also affect your auto insurance rates. Single drivers, male or female, will pay higher in auto insurance rates compared to their married counterparts.

According to auto insurers, married couples with children tend to be safer drivers.

– Deductibles

Typically, the auto insurance provider will allow you choose the deductible. The deductible is the amount you will have to pay towards the settlement of your claim before your auto insurance kicks in.

A higher deductible will lead to lower premiums, and a lower deductible will result in higher premiums. Choose carefully; this amount will come out of your pocket in case you get in an accident.

– Your Driving Record

As an undocumented immigrant, you driving records or any records for that matter are virtually non-existent.

Consequently, auto insurance companies will treat you like an inexperienced driver, regardless of how many years of driving experience you’ve had. But you can always slash auto insurance costs via shop-comparison.

Cutting Auto Insurance Costs Down

Auto insurance costs are high for every driver in the United States. If you are undocumented, expect the costs to be a little higher due to your absent driving history.

Here are a few ways to bring them down:

  • Add a more experienced driver to your policy.
  • Opt for usage-based auto insurance.
  • Take a defensive driving course and inform your insurer.
  • Choose a lower deductible.
  • If you live in California, you can enroll in the state’s low-cost car insurance program.

If you are an undocumented immigrant and you wish to drive, make sure that you have mandatory auto insurance coverage before hit the road.

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states, not to mention costly if you get in an accident. Use our online comparison tool to compare quotes from different insurers as you shop for coverage.

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State