Will Insurance Cover An Unregistered Car?

Getting your car insured and registered is the first step after buying a vehicle. But will insurance cover an unregistered car? Let’s find out.
will insurance cover an unregistered car
Will Insurance Cover An Unregistered Car?
Will insurance cover an unregistered car? Does an expired registration affect insurance? Can you register a car without insurance? Find all your answers here.
In this article

Will your insurance cover for damages if you drive an unregistered car? This is one of the most frequently asked questions among drivers nationwide. Sometimes, you may wonder if an expired registration can stop you from getting coverage in case of an accident. This blog answers the question: Will insurance cover an unregistered car?

The insurance and registration of a vehicle are two separate things. Most states require proof of insurance, but the exact answer varies by location. Let us learn more about unregistered car insurance coverage. 

Will insurance cover an unregistered car?

Yes, insurance will still cover you even if you drive an unregistered car. Your insurance covers all damages and has nothing to do with the vehicle’s registration. You might face minor fines in case you are pulled over. It’s better to renew insurance and registration on the same day to keep documents updated. Some states might ask for proof of insurance before registering the vehicle.

Ensuring Coverage for Your Unregistered Car

New Purchase: When you buy a new car, the dealership provides temporary plates, typically lasting about 30 days. Even before registration, you can purchase insurance, offering protection during this period and beyond.

Project Car: If you’re working on a fixer-upper, your vehicle may remain unregistered if it’s not roadworthy. Comprehensive insurance can safeguard it against damage, theft, and vandalism until it’s ready for the road.

Collectible Vehicle: For collectible or antique cars kept for display rather than daily use, classic car insurance is available. Even if these vehicles are unregistered due to their condition or purpose, insurance can cover them against various risks, including natural disasters and theft, reflecting their value to collectors.

Driving an unregistered vehicle is a crime in the United States

No, it is not a crime to drive a vehicle without registration. Usually, a car registration lasts for a year, and one has to renew it. Even if it expires, it only costs less than 100$ to renew and even less in fines. But it is not advisable to drive a vehicle despite it being unregistered.

Will insurance cover an uninspected car?

Insurance will only cover the vehicle with the corresponding inspection. It is possible for your auto insurance company not to insure your vehicle after an inspection. Car insurance policies require vehicle inspections if you live in a state that requires them.

Will insurance cover unregistered cars that you don’t own?

The answer to this question depends on your policy. The Standard car insurance policies won’t allow you to insure a vehicle you don’t own. Such insurance is more expensive, but it’s helpful for drivers who use someone else’s car. Non-owner auto insurance is more costly, but it’s helpful for drivers who use someone else’s car.

Why won’t insurance companies allow me to insure a car that’s not in my name?

Most insurance policies require you to own the vehicle you want to insure. The car owner is liable for all accidents. Hence, the owner must be the primary policyholder. But if someone else is driving, one must have a non-owner insurance policy to cover for damages to the other. This type of insurance does not cover vehicle damage. It is valid only for immediate family members. 

If you are looking for good car insurance, you can use Beem to find the best insurance quotes to help you make the right choice. 

Which states require proof of car insurance before registration?

Almost all states require insurance before a vehicle can be registered. States that require proof of insurance before driving include Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington. 

Does expired registration affect insurance?

An expired registration is a non-driving violation. It will not affect your insurance coverage and your premiums at any time. However, if you are pulled over with an expired registration, you might be fined or face a non-movable violation, depending on the state.

What happens if you get in an accident with an expired registration?

The car insurance company will cover you even with an expired registration. Say you’re at fault and have full coverage in a car accident, then your auto insurance company will pay for damage and injuries. When you are not at fault in an accident, the other driver’s liability insurance policy will cover your injury and property damage costs.

Does car insurance cover unlicensed drivers?

Yes, they do. Drivers are not covered by insurance, but their vehicles are. An unlicensed driver who causes an accident may be covered by the insurance company even if they are not at fault. However, unlicensed at-fault drivers with full coverage can be sued by their insurance companies for property damage and injuries.

Can you file a car insurance claim on an unregistered vehicle?

Yes. Unregistered status should help your ability to file a claim since most states require insurance first. The policy covers you if you get into an accident after you buy it and leave the dealer’s lot so that you can file a claim immediately.

Does homeowners insurance cover damage to your unregistered car?

No, homeowners insurance does not cover this. Comprehensive coverage is the only way to get coverage for your unregistered vehicle. Your comprehensive insurance will cover the damage caused by a fallen limb. However, before you can receive the coverage, you will need to pay a deductible.

Can you register a car without insurance?

In the United States, most states ask for proof of insurance before vehicle registration. States like New Hampshire, Washington, Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Wisconsin, and North Dakota do not require residents to show proof of insurance for registering. It is essential to drive an insured and registered vehicle rather than compulsion to insure it before registration. It differs from state to state. 

When should you register a car?

It might be legal to drive without registration in some states. Still, it is illegal to do so without a valid insurance policy. Without Registering your car, you might have to pay fines; hence, registering it as soon as possible is better. Moreover, the process of registering your vehicle is relatively simple. 

You only need to submit the relevant documents to your local DMV. It might be legal to drive without a car registration in some states. Still, it is illegal to do so without a valid insurance policy.

Where can you register a car without insurance?

Some states don’t require proof of insurance before registering your car. However, most states like New Hampshire, Washington, Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Wisconsin, and North Dakota don’t need any proof of insurance to register a vehicle. However, once your car is registered, you must have insurance. That is because, except for New Hampshire, driving without insurance is illegal in most states. 

What happens if your insurance lapses after car registration?

It is unsafe to drive a vehicle with expired insurance after registration. You might face prison time and hefty fines if you ignore expired insurance. It is illegal to drive a car without insurance in the United States. It is essential to maintain documentation of vehicle registration and insurance and keep them updated to avoid fines.


In conclusion, will insurance cover an unregistered car? Car insurance and registration are the first steps you must follow after buying a vehicle. Usually, you must renew registration after every halibut insurance remains valid as long as you pay the premiums. One must keep documentation updated and avoid paying hefty fines, or your vehicle will be impaired. It is better to follow rules and regulations than to pay fines. Vehicle registration is a simple process and is affordable as well. 

Also, it helps to remember that auto insurance with Beem covers damage to your vehicle, other vehicles or property, and injuries to yourself or others.  


Does your car need to be registered to get auto insurance?

No, it is not mandatory to register your car before insurance. However, some states require you to insure your car first. These states need you to submit proof of insurance before car registration. 

Why is car registration necessary for getting auto insurance?

No, car registration is not compulsory for insurance, but vice versa. Most states need to insure cars before registration. This ensures the vehicle is fully insured and registered. 

Can I get temporary auto insurance without registering my car?

Yes, you can apply for temporary auto insurance without car registration. 

Can I get insurance coverage while waiting for car registration?

Yes, you can. Most states require a vehicle to be insured first. Depending on the state, your canopy requires minimum insurance policies to ensure it is legally required to drive the car.

What should I do if I just purchased a car and need insurance before registration?

One can apply for insurance at the dealer where they bought the car. You can also look for multiple insurance providers online and offline before purchasing the car. You cannot drive a vehicle without insurance, so it is better to prepare before buying a car that you would like to buy insurance from.

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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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