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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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 11, 2019

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Important facts to know...

  • Illegal immigrants in the United States do not have driving licenses meaning that it is illegal for them to drive any car
  • The car insurance premiums for the workers are slightly higher since the state has classified them as at-risk drivers
  • Illegal immigrants face strict charges such as deportation and hefty penalties if caught driving without car insurance or driving license

In 2014, illegal immigrants in the United States accounted for three and a half percent of the total population and the number of immigrants driving was on the increase, too.

Most of the states in U.S. do not give driving licenses to the immigrants. Therefore, most of them drive around without insurance coverage. The 12 states that provide driving licenses to illegal immigrants are:

  • California
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • Washington
  • Vermont
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii

You will find that most of the illegal immigrants move to these states to obtain driving licenses and different insurance policies. Compare car insurance quotes today and see how much you could save.

Why Immigrants Require Insurance Coverage

About five percent of the illegal immigrants work in the United States and they have school going children. Workers in the country require having a reliable means of transportation to get to work and take their kids to school.

They will, therefore, risk driving their cars without a driving a license and insurance coverage thus posing more danger to themselves and other drivers on the roads.

People who have never had insurance coverage at all cause most of the accidents in the country compared to the ones who have had their insurance cover suspended.

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Importance of Providing Insurance Covers to Undocumented Immigrants

Most states hold to the belief that the illegal immigrants should not enjoy state privileges such as driving license. However, some states have given the benefits of insuring undocumented immigrants in the country that include:

  • Financial protection – an at-fault immigrant without an insurance cover may opt to pay the damages in cash if they are financially able. If they do not have an insurance policy and are unable to cover the costs, they may leave the repair costs to the other driver.
  • Safe driving – insured immigrants are known to be among the safest drivers in the country. States like California have experienced a decrease in the number of accidents since they decided to offer driving licenses to the undocumented immigrants.
  • Increase on the number of the registered cars – in some states like Colorado, an immigrant would not register their cars unless they have a driving license and insurance. Registration of a car makes it easier to track if it is involved in an accident or any other unlawful activity.

In the states where they allow the immigrants to own driving licenses, the drivers must have knowledge and road tests to ensure they understand the rules of the road. This means that there will be fewer unskilled drivers on the roads unlike before.

However, the insurance premiums for the immigrants may be a bit higher since they are termed as inexperienced drivers and as the high-risk drivers. Therefore, it is important to shop around for the cheap insurance quotes online before settling for one.

However, the high insurance rates will subsidize if you avoid accidents, keep away from violating the traffic rules, and maintain a constant insurance coverage.

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How to Obtain an Insurance Policy if You Are an Immigrant

Some insurance providers will give you an insurance policy even without a driving license. In the case of an accident, most of the insurance providers would deny a claim to the drivers sighting the absence of a driving license.

Below is the ideal process of obtaining insurance cover if you are an immigrant:

  • Obtain a driving license – Undocumented immigrants would get a license if they were residents of the 12 states. Additionally, anyone who qualifies for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program is also eligible for a driving license.
  • Identify the suitable car insurance that you want to purchase – The minimum auto insurance policies for most people in the country include the coverage for the treatment of injuries and the repair of the damaged property.

Illegal immigrants should ensure that they obtain the minimum amount of liability insurance policy required in their state.

Other insurance policies that vary with the states include the collision, personal injury protection, comprehensive, and the uninsured or underinsured motorists.

Illegal immigrants who cannot afford the hefty premiums in the other states can move to California where they can enjoy the Low-Cost Auto Insurance Program.

The AB60 Law

In 2003, the California governor signed a bill into a law known as AB60. AB60 law allowed the illegal immigrants in the state to acquire a driving license and it attracted more than one million illegal immigrants.

The Department of Insurance in California went ahead and provided reasonable insurance rates to the undocumented immigrants to allow coverage for everyone.

The Low-Cost Car Insurance Program gives an annual rate of $10,000 and $3,000 for the bodily injury and property damage consecutively.

The rates are slightly lower than the private auto insurance policies for the bodily injury and property damage that range from $15000 and $5000 respectively.

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Other Ways of Getting Auto Insurance

  • Some states only require one to have any government identification, for example, passport, and a driving license from your previous country to give you liability insurance. As much as the company may not cover your claims, it will protect you from the lawsuits and penalties of driving without a valid license.
  • A work permit may help any illegal immigrant acquire an insurance coverage. Anyone with a work permit would get a Social Security number easily which enables an immigrant to get a driving license. Anyone in possession of a driving license would quickly acquire an insurance cover.

Most illegal immigrants will rarely file a claim after an accident to avoid deportation. However, in the United States, everyone, including the illegal immigrants, has the right to submit a claim and collect compensation for any injury caused by another vehicle owner.

If involved in an accident, the first reaction would be using an unreal name of hiding which may lead to denial of compensation.

The police officers may detain you if you were driving without proof of insurance or drivers license. It is important to contact an attorney who would help negotiate for the best compensation available.

Summary

Buying car insurance without a driver’s license is one of the challenges facing illegal immigrants in the United States. You may opt to purchase a vehicle from a friend and keep the original owner’s registration.

Additionally, different insurance companies offer different quotes for different policies. Sometimes the quotes may even differ by hundreds. Therefore you should probably get at least three quotes from different companies.

Compare car insurance quotes side-by-side today!

Driving without insurance cover would lead to deportation to your home country or earn you a jail time in the U.S.