Car Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants

Securing car insurance for undocumented immigrants demands a nuanced approach, considering factors like driver’s license acquisition, legal nuances, and specialized insurance providers. Let’s explore.
car insurance for undocumented immigrants
Car Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants
To understand the exact steps for applying for car insurance for undocumented immigrants, it’s advisable to contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Read on to know more.
In this article

The complexity of auto insurance might be difficult for undocumented immigrants living in the US. Irrespective of immigration status, securing adequate auto coverage is crucial. This guide acts as a helpful companion, steering you through the intricate process of obtaining car insurance for undocumented immigrants. It simplifies the journey, from grasping the intricacies of obtaining a driver’s license to dissecting legal prerequisites. 

By delving into state-specific insurance costs and identifying optimal providers for this demographic, the guide provides a comprehensive roadmap for informed decision-making. In a landscape marked by unique considerations, this resource offers crucial insights for individuals seeking clarity and coverage, ensuring confident navigation through the path to responsible and legal driving.

How to Get Auto Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants

For undocumented immigrants in the U.S., obtaining a driver’s license and car insurance can be challenging. Still, it’s a crucial step given the necessity of auto insurance for all vehicles on American roads. Despite making up 4.4% of the U.S. workforce, many cannot secure these essentials. The risk of driving without car insurance looms large, making it imperative to explore available options.

The good news is that illegal immigrants can get a driver’s license and auto insurance in several states. At the moment, fifteen states and Washington, D.C., have made this possible by realizing that appropriate paperwork is required to guarantee road safety. Washington, D.C., Oregon, Utah, Vermont, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Washington, D.C. are some of these states.

In these states, the process becomes more accessible, allowing undocumented immigrants to comply with legal and insurance requirements. Securing a driver’s license is the initial step, and obtaining auto insurance becomes feasible. This crucial linkage is rooted in the U.S. mandate, requiring drivers to possess valid licenses to acquire insurance coverage.

As an undocumented immigrant, navigating these processes may seem daunting, but the opportunity exists in states with progressive policies. By understanding the specific states that allow this pathway, individuals can work towards ensuring their compliance with both driving regulations and insurance mandates.

Get a Driving License

Acquiring auto insurance for undocumented immigrants hinges on obtaining a driver’s license, a process complicated by the fact that only 15 states and Washington, D.C., allow undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses. An exception exists for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, who can apply for regular licenses in most states. This limited accessibility underscores the challenges in accessing essential documentation for driving legally, impacting the ability of many undocumented individuals to secure auto insurance. To be eligible for DACA, individuals must have: 

  1. Arrival before 16th Birthday: To qualify for DACA, individuals must have come to the U.S. before turning 16, emphasizing the importance of early entry.
  2. Birthdate Requirement: DACA eligibility applies to those born on or after June 16, 1981, setting a specific date criterion for qualification.
  3. Continuous U.S. Residency: Consistent residency in the U.S. is a crucial criterion, highlighting the need for a continuous and uninterrupted presence.
  4. Lack of Lawful Immigration Status: DACA requires individuals to lack lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012, underlining the significance of undocumented status for eligibility.
  5. Educational Attainment: Completing a GED or high school diploma is necessary, stressing the educational milestone for DACA qualification.
  6. Current School Enrollment: DACA extends to those presently enrolled in an educational program, emphasizing ongoing educational commitment.
  7. Military Service: Honorably discharged veterans also meet DACA eligibility, providing an alternative pathway for those with military service.
  8. Clean Criminal Record: A clean criminal record is imperative, emphasizing a clear legal history for DACA qualification.

While DACA provides federal protections, driving privileges are determined at the state level. In most states, some DACA recipients may receive a Social Security number (SSN), enabling them to apply for a regular driver’s license. The process varies by state. For example, in California, applicants don’t need a valid SSN. Still, they must prove their identity and residency and pass standard driving tests. The Enumeration Beyond Entry (EBE) program allows recipients to apply for work authorization and an SSN. The process ensures undocumented immigrants can legally drive, fostering interactions with employers, banks, insurance providers, and government agencies.

Can You Proceed Without a Driving License?

Obtaining auto insurance without a valid driver’s license poses challenges for undocumented immigrants. While some states may allow insurance without a Social Security number or license, the requirements vary, highlighting the importance of checking state-specific regulations. Undocumented individuals should contact insurance providers who may consider coverage for those lacking a valid driver’s license.

Driving without insurance is a significant risk, especially for undocumented immigrants. Being caught without coverage can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and criminal charges. In such cases, charges might be reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and you may face deportation. To avoid these severe consequences, undocumented immigrants must refrain from driving uninsured. So, the best alternative is transportation options until proper car insurance can be secured.

How to Apply for a Driver’s License as an Undocumented Immigrant

Securing a driver’s license as an undocumented immigrant involves navigating state-specific processes, each with its guidelines. To understand the exact steps for application, it’s advisable to contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV is the authoritative source that can provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding the application process for undocumented immigrants.

If contacting the DMV seems daunting, online resources can be valuable. Many state DMV websites offer comprehensive information on how undocumented individuals can apply for a driver’s license. Conducting thorough online research may clarify your state’s necessary steps and requirements.

For those who feel uncertain or overwhelmed, seeking assistance from an immigrant advocate can be beneficial. Immigrant advocates are knowledgeable about the nuances of immigration-related processes. They can guide the specific requirements and procedures for obtaining a driver’s license in your state.

Each state’s DMV may have unique regulations, so gathering accurate information tailored to your location is essential. By contacting the DMV or utilizing online resources, you can ensure that you are well informed and on the right path to obtaining a driver’s license as an undocumented immigrant.

What Documents Are Needed?

Navigating the process of securing a driver’s license as an undocumented immigrant in the United States is a nuanced journey, subject to varying state regulations. Not every state extends this privilege to undocumented individuals, making it imperative to recognize the diverse rules and document requirements inherent in each state’s application process. Before initiating an application, a comprehensive understanding of these specifications becomes essential to ensure preparedness.

Crucially, using a driver’s license as a form of identification diverges among states, necessitating careful consideration of each jurisdiction’s specific rules. Some licenses may confine their validity strictly to driving within the issuing state, emphasizing the importance of clarifying usage parameters before venturing across state lines. Misunderstandings with law enforcement may arise from assumptions about cross-state recognition.

An illustrative example is the recent enactment of a law in Florida, effective from July 1, 2023. This law not only prohibits the issuance of driver’s licenses to undocumented drivers but also criminalizes providing transportation to undocumented individuals entering the state. The severity of this legislation is underscored by the potential for a 15-year prison sentence for those found in violation, regardless of their relationship to the undocumented individuals.

What Do Laws Say About It?

The laws surrounding driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants underscore a crucial distinction: while a state-issued license confirms your ability to operate a vehicle legally, it doesn’t alter your immigration status or confer legal residency. Although you can present it as valid photo identification to state law enforcement during traffic stops, using it with federal or out-of-state officers might lead to complications.

Notably, licenses for undocumented citizens typically bear a label like “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY,” potentially drawing attention to immigration authorities. This caution extends to federal entities like Border Patrol or TSA, where using your license for identification during commercial flights is discouraged.

Starting May 7, 2025, licenses for undocumented citizens won’t be valid for federal or REAL ID purposes, such as air travel or voting. However, some states, like New Mexico and Washington, have fewer restrictions. Standard requirements include proving residency and supporting documentation, while additional state-specific rules may apply. For instance, Utah limits validity to one year, Virginia extends privileges until the second birthday after issuance, and Maryland restricts firearm purchases for license holders. Understanding these nuances is crucial for undocumented individuals navigating the complex landscape of driver’s licenses and their implications.

What Is the Cost of Car Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants by Each State?

The cost of car insurance for undocumented immigrants can vary across states, especially in regions where they are eligible for driver’s licenses. The impact on insurance rates may hinge on factors like the immigrants’ driving records, which could influence premiums. Recent immigrants might face higher costs due to limited driving history.

Several elements contribute to determining car insurance expenses, including age, gender, credit score, and residential address. These factors collectively shape the insurance landscape for undocumented immigrants.

The table below illustrates the average monthly car insurance rates in each state.

StatesMonthly Liability RatesMonthly Full Rates
District of Columbia$52$111
New Hampshire$33$68
New Jersey$72$115
New Mexico$41$78
New York$67$113
North Carolina$30$66
North Dakota$25$64
Rhode Island$63$109
South Carolina$44$81
South Dakota$25$64
West Virginia$41$85
National Average$45$84
Table 1.0: Liability vs. Full Coverage Auto Insurance Rates by State
car insurance for undocumented immigrants

The Best Auto Insurance Companies for Undocumented Immigrants

Determining the best auto insurance company for an undocumented immigrant involves carefully comparing options. Since rates can vary significantly, exploring multiple companies to find the one that suits your needs is essential. As a new driver, expect higher-than-average rates due to the perceived increased risk by insurance companies.

For those seeking comprehensive coverage, it’s essential to be prepared for relatively higher premiums. Being classified as a new driver implies a higher risk profile for insurance providers. On the other hand, if your goal is to secure a policy meeting your state’s required coverage, some companies offer surprisingly affordable monthly rates.

Several insurance providers are recognized for providing fair rates to new drivers, including undocumented immigrants. These companies include

  1. Beem
  2. SafeAuto
  3. Geico
  4. Infinity Insurance
  5. Bristol West


Beem enables users to compare personalized car insurance quotes from top providers. Leveraging partnerships with leading insurance companies, Beem strives to deliver tailored quotes that suit individual preferences. The platform’s user-friendly approach simplifies obtaining and comparing quotes, ensuring users can make informed decisions about their car insurance coverage.

  1. Quick and Convenient: Beem offers a streamlined process, delivering personalized car insurance quotes within five minutes. This efficient approach saves users time and simplifies the quote acquisition process.
  2. Centralized Comparison: Acting as a central hub, Beem consolidates significant car insurance providers in one place. This feature enables users to compare different options conveniently, aiding in decision-making.
  3. Potential Savings: Beem’s platform allows users to realize potential savings, possibly saving up to $1000 annually. The emphasis is on providing cost-effective coverage tailored to individual requirements.
  4. Discounts and Incentives: Beem promotes safe driving practices by offering discounts of up to 40% for individuals with commendable driving scores. This incentive-based program aims to encourage responsible driving behavior.
  5. Trusted Provider Collaborations: Beem has affiliations with reputable insurance companies such as Progressive and GEICO, fostering a sense of reliability and quality assurance among users.

Practical advantages, including a consolidated comparison platform, a swift and straightforward service, associations with trusted providers, and the potential for substantial savings, underline the choice of Beem. The objective is to empower users with the information needed to make informed decisions about their car insurance coverage within budget constraints.

Beem’s auto insurance coverage extends to the typical aspects, including protection from vehicle damage, damage to other vehicles or property, and injuries to oneself or others. By simplifying the process, Beem aims to offer users clarity regarding coverage details and associated costs.


Safe Auto, affiliated with Direct Auto Insurance, is a non-standard insurer specializing in serving high-risk drivers often neglected by mainstream providers. Tailoring its services to individuals facing coverage challenges elsewhere, Safe Auto prioritizes accessibility and flexibility. It goes beyond conventional offerings by supporting SR-22 filings crucial for high-risk categories, covering diverse risk profiles, including lapses in coverage and DUI convictions.

Fundamental auto insurance coverage spans Liability, Collision, Comprehensive, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist. Additional support includes Personal Injury Protection for medical expenses, while optional add-ons like MedPay, Roadside Assistance, and Rental Reimbursement enhance coverage. Safe Auto’s commitment is evident in addressing the distinct needs of high-risk drivers, ensuring comprehensive protection for those navigating complex driving scenarios.


  • SR-22 Filing Assistance: Safe Auto provides essential support for drivers needing an SR-22 filing, particularly valuable for individuals in high-risk categories. This service helps fulfill legal requirements and facilitates the process for those with specific mandates.
  • Non-Owner Insurance Policies: Safe Auto offers non-owner insurance policies to accommodate individuals without vehicle ownership. This extends coverage to those who may drive intermittently or use shared vehicles.
  • Multiple Purchase Channels: Policy acquisition is made flexible through Safe Auto’s availability across various channels, allowing customers to choose between online, phone, or agent-assisted purchases. This diverse approach enhances accessibility for individuals with different preferences and needs.


  • Limited Availability: Safe Auto’s services are unavailable nationwide, potentially limiting accessibility for customers in specific regions. This could pose challenges for individuals outside the insurer’s areas.
  • Higher-than-Average Complaint Index Score: Safe Auto has received a higher-than-average complaint index score, suggesting potential concerns with customer satisfaction. This aspect should be considered when evaluating the insurer’s performance and service quality.


Geico is a competitive car insurance provider with an average annual cost of $1,846 for full coverage, surpassing the national average by over $100. Geico caters to diverse driver needs by offering a comprehensive range of state-specific and basic coverage options, including liability, collision, and comprehensive and property damage liability. The company’s customization extends to bundling options, featuring homeowners, renters, boaters, motorcycles, RVs, ATVs, and life insurance.

Geico also uniquely provides Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) as an extended warranty and perks like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and rideshare coverage for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, or Grubhub drivers. While Geico boasts competitive premiums, diverse coverage options, and robust online tools, varying customer satisfaction and limited physical offices are notable considerations for potential customers.


  • Bundling Options: Geico offers an extensive array of options, allowing customers to combine various insurance policies, including homeowners, renters, boat, motorcycle, RV, ATV, and life insurance, under a single policy.
  • Competitive Premiums: Geico is renowned for its competitive premiums, particularly in auto insurance. The average annual cost of $1,846 for full coverage is notably lower than the national average, providing cost-effective options for diverse driver types.
  • Financial Backing: As part of Berkshire Hathaway, Geico benefits from the financial strength of a robust parent company, offering customers added assurance of stability and reliability.
  • Online Tools and Mobile Apps: Geico provides a user-friendly online interface and a mobile app, enabling policy management and claims processing with ease and convenience.


  • Varying Customer Satisfaction: Geico’s customer satisfaction experiences can vary, with some customers reporting differing levels of service quality. While many appreciate the competitive premiums, others may have mixed opinions on customer interactions.
  • Possibly Not the Lowest Rates for Certain Demographics: Geico may only sometimes offer the lowest rates for specific demographics. While competitive, individuals with unique circumstances or specific driving profiles might find more favorable rates elsewhere.
  • Limited Physical Offices: Geico’s availability may be limited for those who prefer in-person interactions, as the company has relatively few physical offices. This may impact customers who prefer face-to-face engagement with insurance representatives.

Infinity Insurance

Infinity Insurance, headquartered in California, is a specialized auto insurance provider primarily serving its home state. The company distinguishes itself by focusing on high-risk drivers, offering coverage to individuals with challenging driving histories or less-than-ideal credit. A notable aspect of Infinity’s approach is its active support for Hispanic drivers, aiming to enhance accessibility to coverage within this demographic. By addressing the specific needs of drivers who may face difficulties with other insurers, Infinity establishes itself as a unique player in the insurance landscape, emphasizing inclusivity and tailored solutions for those in high-risk categories.

Infinity offers essential car insurance policies, including liability, comprehensive, collision coverage, optional add-ons like uninsured motorists, medical payments, and rental car reimbursement. The company caters to a niche audience, making it an option worth considering for those facing challenges obtaining coverage elsewhere.

Infinity’s car insurance covers bodily injury and property damage liability, comprehensive and collision, medical payments, personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured motorist, rental reimbursement, custom equipment, special glass coverage, and gap insurance. The company also provides additional services like roadside assistance through DriverClub and SR-22 assistance for drivers with significant offenses on their records.


  • Insures High-Risk Drivers: Infinity stands out by specializing in offering insurance coverage for high-risk drivers. This targeted approach caters to individuals facing challenges in obtaining insurance from conventional providers, providing an option for those with a higher risk profile.
  • Extra Support for Hispanic Drivers: Infinity demonstrates a commitment to addressing the specific needs of Hispanic drivers. This additional support acknowledges the diverse requirements within this demographic, aiming to enhance accessibility and understanding of auto insurance services.


  • Limited Coverage Area: Infinity’s insurance policies are constrained to seven states, which may limit its accessibility for customers outside these areas. Prospective policyholders must consider this geographical restriction when evaluating Infinity as a potential auto insurance provider.
  • Higher-than-Average Customer Complaints: Infinity has encountered a notable number of complaints, potentially indicating variations in customer satisfaction. Elevated complaints signify areas where the company could enhance its services or communication to improve customer experience.

Bristol West

Bristol West is an insurer committed to providing accessible and affordable auto coverage, catering to diverse drivers, including those with low credit scores, new drivers, and challenging driving histories, such as DUIs or multiple traffic violations. Bristol West, available in 42 states, sets itself apart with its user-friendly services, which include online claims processing, flexible payment options, and 24/7 policy information via its mobile app.

Bristol West offers a comprehensive range of insurance coverage, including liability, comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist, bodily injury, property damage, rental reimbursement, and rideshare coverage for drivers working with Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare platforms. The company provides flexible rates with various plans to accommodate diverse coverage needs, offering discounts for automatic payments, paperless billing, safe driving, and multipolicy enrollment.


  • SR-22 Availability: Bristol West offers the convenience of obtaining an SR-22, addressing the needs of drivers with specific legal requirements. This service reflects the company’s commitment to assisting individuals navigating complex situations related to driving records.
  • Diverse Payment Options: Bristol West prioritizes policyholder convenience by providing a range of payment options. This flexibility allows customers to choose payment methods that align with their preferences and financial circumstances.
  • Widespread Availability: With coverage available in most states, Bristol West ensures broad accessibility. This widespread availability caters to a diverse customer base, offering reliable auto insurance solutions across a significant geographical footprint.


  • Complaints to Regulators: Bristol West has garnered more complaints than anticipated regarding auto insurance, indicating potential disparities in customer satisfaction reported to state regulators. These complaints may suggest areas for improvement in service or communication.
  • May Not Be Ideal for Low-Risk Drivers: Bristol West may not be the preferred option for drivers with lower risk profiles, given its specialization in serving high-risk individuals. Those seeking standard coverage and lower premiums might find more suitable alternatives.


Securing car insurance for undocumented immigrants requires a nuanced approach, considering factors like driver’s license acquisition, legal nuances, and specialized insurance providers. By delving into the intricacies of these aspects, individuals in this demographic can proactively make informed choices, ensuring their protection on the road. Navigating through these challenges requires a combination of awareness, adherence to legal requirements, and strategic selection of insurance options tailored to the unique circumstances faced by undocumented immigrants. Ultimately, this proactive approach empowers individuals to drive legally, responsibly, and with the necessary coverage.


Can Illegal Immigrants Get Insurance in the US?

No, illegal immigrants cannot obtain traditional car insurance in the US. Insurance providers generally require a valid driver’s license and legal residency. However, specific states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C., allow undocumented immigrants to get car insurance if they possess a driver’s license. It’s important to check state regulations and consult with insurers catering to this demographic.

Should You Risk Driving Uninsured if You Cannot Get a License?

Driving uninsured is not advisable, even if you cannot obtain a license. Operating a vehicle without insurance poses significant risks, including legal consequences, fines, and potential deportation for undocumented immigrants. In accidents, financial liabilities and legal complications may arise, leading to severe consequences. Instead of risking these repercussions, exploring alternative transportation options or working towards obtaining proper documentation and insurance coverage is recommended. Prioritizing safety, legal compliance, and responsible driving choices is crucial, even when obtaining a license may be challenging.

Can Undocumented Immigrants Drive Without Auto Insurance?

No, undocumented immigrants should not drive without auto insurance. While some states permit them to obtain driver’s licenses, insurance is a vital requirement for all drivers in the U.S. Driving without insurance can lead to severe legal consequences, including fines and potential deportation. In an accident, being uninsured can result in substantial financial liabilities. Undocumented immigrants must explore insurance options available in states where they can obtain licenses, ensuring compliance with legal and financial responsibilities associated with driving in the United States.

Are There Any Specific Considerations for Auto Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants?

Yes, there are specific considerations for auto insurance for undocumented immigrants. While some states allow them to obtain driver’s licenses, the insurance landscape can vary. Undocumented immigrants may need help finding affordable coverage and more insurance options. Researching and identifying insurance providers willing to offer coverage to individuals without a valid social security number or driver’s license is essential. Additionally, understanding state-specific regulations, potential limitations in coverage, and seeking insurance tailored to the unique circumstances of undocumented immigrants are crucial steps in navigating the complexities of auto insurance in the U.S.

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Picture of Aniket Kulkarni

Aniket Kulkarni

A seasoned Product Manager specializing in car insurance content, Aniket has a passion for simplifying complex insurance concepts. His strategic approach to content development reflects years of experience in the product development industry, coupled with a commitment to providing accurate, reliable information.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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