A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

Full Bio →

Written by

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, mainly in the insuranc...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 8, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

Important Facts to Know

  • When you own a car that’s registered in your name, it’s important that you carry insurance that meets your state’s mandatory insurance requirements
  • In most states, the named insured or named insureds listed on your auto policy must match the names that are on the vehicle registration
  • While the names on your insurance and registration need to match, the addresses don’t

When you buy car insurance, it’s not only important to buy the right type of car insurance coverage, it’s also important to structure your policy right. Does your car insurance and registration address have to match? What is good car insurance coverage? Knowing this is the key to getting the right policy for you.

Car owners are legally required to comply with state vehicle codes when they register their cars to be driven on public roadways. Failure to satisfy the state requirements could land you in trouble with the law.

Unfortunately, buying insurance isn’t enough to guarantee you won’t be fined or penalized. You must meet your state’s minimum requirement and if your policy isn’t set up right, the coverage you pay for might not satisfy state law when you’re audited by the DMV. Be sure your insurance and registration are structured right. Your insurance agent should make sure you are set up correctly.

Shop around to make sure you have the coverage you need at the cheapest price. To ensure you have enough coverage to meet the requirements of your state, enter your ZIP code now to compare car insurance quotes.

Do your car insurance and registration addresses have to match?

Does your car insurance and registration have to be under the same name? How does the DMV verify insurance? Does the DMV call your insurance company? Does your license have to match your vehicle registration? We’ll answer these questions and more below.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance company rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I register my car at a different address?

While the DMV does recommend that you use the same address on your registration and your car insurance ID card, it’s not a legal requirement. Therefore, you can’t be fined if the addresses don’t match.

Can I register a car in a different state than my license? The short answer is yes. However, requirements will vary in each state based on length of residency, proof of residency, proof of vehicle ownership, and other factors.

These length-of-residency requirements usually don’t pertain to college students out of state car registrations. College students can retain their registration from their home state without facing penalties.

What is electronic verification?

Some states use electronic verification systems to check and see if you have coverage in real-time. In these states, the structure of your insurance policy is very important because it’s a computer system that checks to see if you have an active policy in place.

The computer matches auto policies and registration documents by the Vehicle Identification Number and the name of the legal owner.

When there is more than one registered vehicle owner, both owners need to be listed on the insurance – not necessarily as a driver, but as the named insured on the policy. If the names don’t match, you could still be fined by the state.

You cannot have your driver’s license at one address and car insurance at a different address. Legally, the policy owner and the legal owner of the vehicle must match. One of the reasons for this is because the policy owner needs to have an insurable interest in the car. The Department of Motor Vehicles isn’t as strict when it comes to the address on file.

You also generally cannot use multiple addresses for car insurance. Your car insurance home address should be the home where you spend the majority of your time.

Does my vehicle registration have to match my driver’s license? In most states, yes, the address on your car registration should match your driver’s license.

Do I need to tell my insurer about address changes?

You do, however, need to change your address within 10 days of changing your residence when you own a car that has an active registration.

Does your insurance and registration address have to match in New York? Each state has different rules for car insurance and registration addresses. For example, the requirements for car insurance and registration addresses in New York may be different than in California.

Keep in mind that each state is different, so the process may look a little different for you. The exact steps will vary by state.

When can you have two different addresses on your insurance policy?

What does an auto insurance policy look like? It’s a legal document that has personal information and your chosen coverages. But can you have car registration and insurance at different addresses?

It’s possible to have two different addresses on your car insurance policy. You can have your car insurance address different from your home address. One of the addresses, the one that shows on your car insurance ID cards, represents where all of your notices and documents are sent.

How does your address affect insurance rates? Your auto insurance company will look at crime and accident rates where you live, among other factors, when they are determining your rates.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance company rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Your Physical Address Needs to Match the Address On Your Auto Insurance Policy

The other address, which isn’t printed on your documents, is the address where the vehicle is stored. The physical address where your vehicle is stored is used to calculate your rates.

Does a change of address affect car insurance? Yes, where you live can affect your car insurance rates, which is why it is necessary to report a change of address. Even though reporting this change could potentially cause your premiums to go up, it could also decrease them as well. Even if you live in the same city, your ZIP code can make a big difference in rates.

Let’s look at Miami, Florida as an example. This table shows you the average annual car insurance rates based on the zip codes in Miami.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Miami, Florida by ZIP Code
ZIP CodeAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

There is over a $100 per month difference on car insurance just based on varying ZIP codes in Miami. This is one factor that you will want to talk over with your car insurance company. In areas where there is a high accident rate or a high crime rate, you will find that you pay more for comprehensive car insurance coverage and other types of policies.

What do you need to know if you’re moving to a new state?

Car insurance requirements and registration laws vary from state-to-state. If you are moving to a new state, make sure your car insurance meets the state’s requirements and check with the DMV to see what the grace period is for registering your vehicle.

What are the driver’s license and registration requirements?

You’re required by law to buy at least a minimum amount of car insurance.

There are very few states where you can legally drive a vehicle without insurance. AAA says that in most states, you’re required to carry at least some liability insurance (bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage). That ensures that if you cause an accident, your insurance will cover the other party. Your property damage or bodily injury will not be covered. Some states also require you to carry personal injury protection or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

What kind of insurance do you need for your car? Typically, state vehicle code says that you must have some kind of insurance for your car, usually including at least bodily injury and property damage coverages. All other first-party coverage options, such as collision and comprehensive coverage, can be rejected either verbally or in writing.

When you register your vehicle, you will need to bring your vehicle title certificate, your license (or proof of Social Security number), the inspection certificate document, and proof of insurance. You will also have to pay any applicable registration fees. Check your local DMV’s website for information about acceptable forms of payment.

If you get pulled over by a police officer or you’re in an accident and you can’t show proof of insurance, you could face some serious consequences.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance company rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens if you don’t have the insurance that’s required?

As soon as you register your vehicle to get license plates, you’re agreeing to comply with insurance laws and other applicable laws that are written into the vehicle code.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 13 percent of drivers don’t have insurance. That’s why many drivers carry uninsured motorists coverage so that if they are in an accident caused by a driver without insurance, their car insurance coverage will pay damages.

If you don’t purchase an insurance policy and keep it active, you could face several different penalties. Some of the penalties are criminal and others are monetary. They include:

  • A citation issued by an officer
  • A mandatory tow, impound, and fees
  • A mandatory court appearance, mandatory community service, possible jail time, and a misdemeanor on your record
  • Vehicle registration suspension and reinstatement fees
  • License suspension and reinstatement fees
  • High-risk insurance rates for a lapse of insurance or a no-insurance conviction
  • Force-placed insurance on your loan if the vehicle is financed

It just isn’t worth it to drive without insurance. You will wind up paying more in the long run, not to mention the possible jail time involved.

Make sure to keep your insurance identification card in your glove compartment or wallet so you always have it with you. You should receive your insurance card within a week or two of signing up for your auto policy.

It’s very important to look over your policy for errors whenever it renews. Make sure that drivers who need to be on the insurance policy are all listed correctly.

We hope we’ve answered your questions like:

  • Can my car be registered to a different address than insurance?
  • Can the car insurance address be different than the home address?
  • Can I register my car at my parents’ address?

You can always check with your car insurance company or state DMV for answers to more specific questions.

If you’re shopping around for coverage now, be sure to enter your name and address accurately. Use an online rate comparison tool, and you can easily see if it’s worth it to switch carriers.

Enter your ZIP code to compare car insurance rates to make sure you have the correct coverage and the most affordable car insurance.