Understanding car insurance for non-U.S. citizens
Learn the basics about how to get car insurance as a non-U.S. citizen.
If you just arrived in the U.S. and want to drive, you should
- Check state-specific requirements
- See if your foreign license is valid and/or if you need an international driving permit(IPD)
- Get car insurance (required in most states)
Please note, if you plan to stay long-term, you need to get a U.S. driver's license in the state you live in.
For more help, we've gathered some answers to questions about car insurance for non-U.S. citizens. It's also good to make sure to check state-specific requirements before driving in the U.S.
Can a non-U.S. citizen get car insurance in the U.S.?
Yes. In fact, car insurance is required in most states to legally drive a vehicle. It's important to check with your state's department of insurance website to see what's needed. You can also contact an insurance company to talk about what's required to get car insurance as a non-U.S. citizen.
Can I get car insurance with an international driver's license (a license not issued in the U.S.)?
You may be able to get car insurance using your current license, if it's valid and not expired, but it may vary based on things like
- Where you're licensed to drive
- How long you're staying
- The state you're driving in
If you plan on moving to the U.S., long-term or permanently, you must get a U.S. driver's license in your state. Now, whether you're moving to the U.S. or just visiting, you need the minimum insurance required in the state you're visiting or living in, even if it's temporary.
Will my driving history in another country impact my insurance rates in the U.S.?
In general, your driving history in another country doesn't transfer to the U.S. That means when you get a quote, you're treated as a new driver with no previous driving experience.
What car insurance do non-U.S. citizens need?
Car insurance requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as U.S. citizens. Keep in mind, requirements and limits vary by state.
Most states require liability insurance, to provide you with financial protection if you're at-fault for an accident or cause property damage. Some states also require you to have Personal Injury Protection or Medical Payments Coverage. Other coverages like Comprehensive and Collision are typically optional if you're not leasing or financing a car.
The easiest way to determine the car insurance requirements, as a non-U.S. citizen, is to speak to an insurance company. They can help you select the coverage that's right for you and your situation.
Do I need a Social Security number to get car insurance?
If you're new to the U.S. and need car insurance, you may be able to get it without a Social Security number. Requirements vary by company, so shop around.
Do I need car insurance as a non-U.S. citizen if I'm just visiting the U.S.?
If you're just visiting the U.S., as a tourist for example, and have a valid foreign driver's license, you're generally required to get some type of auto insurance to legally drive in the states.
If you're renting a car, most car rental companies offer temporary insurance for your rental.
Remember, if you plan on living in the U.S. long term, you must get a regular state driver's license and buy an auto insurance policy.
See how much you could save with Liberty Mutual when you get a car insurance quote and only pay for what you need!