Can I Transfer Auto Insurance to a New Owner?

If you're selling your car, you may want to transfer auto insurance to a new owner. You cannot transfer auto insurance to a vehicle you don't own, but you can transfer auto insurance to another person when you own the vehicle.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

Full Bio →

Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 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 auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry 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 auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

When selling your vehicle, you might want to transfer insurance to a new owner. Can car insurance really be transferred to a new owner? Or is the new owner required to get his or her own insurance policy?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about whether or not car insurance is transferable to another vehicle or another owner.

First, there are a number of situations where you might want to transfer insurance. You might want to transfer to a new car insurance if you bought a new car, for example, or if you’re selling the car to another person, or if you’re temporarily lending the car to someone. We’ll talk about a number of different situations below.

Did you buy a new car and sell your old car?

If you bought a new car, then you typically have a small ‘grace period’ to transfer insurance to a new car. Contact your insurance company to verify this grace period, as it can vary widely between states and insurers. Typically, most car insurance companies will allow you to buy a new car and at least drive that car directly from the dealership to your home.

Or, some insurance companies give you a 7 to 14 day grace period or a longer grace period. During this grace period, you are required to contact the insurance company and list your new vehicle on your policy.

All terms of your old insurance policy will apply to your new policy. Remember: if you had an older vehicle with no collision or comprehensive coverage, then you may wish to add this to your policy before driving away with your new vehicle. Otherwise, your new vehicle might not be protected against hail damage, a collision with another vehicle, and other incidents.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Did you buy a new car and keep your old car?

Insurance restrictions are different if you bought a new car and kept your old car. In this case, the insurance company now needs to cover two vehicles instead of just one. Simply transferring insurance to your new car will not work in this case.

In situations like this, you must notify your insurer much sooner – typically within 2 to 3 days of buying your new vehicle.

Again, we recommend contacting your car insurance company to verify you have collision and comprehensive coverage before buying a new vehicle. The terms of your old policy will apply to your new vehicle.

In both of the situations above, dealerships may not allow you to drive off the lot with your vehicle until you provide proof of insurance (unless you paid for your vehicle in cash).

Can I transfer insurance to a new car that’s a non-owned vehicle?

In other cases, you might want to transfer your own personal car insurance policy to a non-owned vehicle – a vehicle that you do not personally own.

This cannot be done. Car insurance follows the vehicle – not the individual. Your car insurance policy will provide liability coverage for yourself (say, if you’re driving a friend’s vehicle and cause injuries or damage), but your insurance will not transfer to a friend’s car.

Let’s say you want to borrow a friend’s car. Your friend does not currently have insurance for that vehicle. You think, “Hey, I have insurance. Why don’t I drive?” In this case, your auto insurance liability coverage is considered an ‘excess’ policy, which means it only comes into effect if your friend’s auto insurance coverage limits are exhausted. Since your friend does not have insurance, your insurance becomes the primary insurance – but only for liability coverage. Your insurance does not extend to your friend’s vehicle. Because of this, your car insurance will cover any property damage and bodily injury damage you inflict on other people (up to the limits of your policy), but it will not cover the cost of repairing your friend’s vehicle.

Transferring Insurance to a New Owner

If you are selling your car to another person, then you may need to transfer insurance to that new owner as well. This is certainly possible, and car insurance companies deal with these types of new owner insurance transfers every day.

If you are selling your vehicle to another person, then your insurance will follow the vehicle to the new driver. However, you will first need to complete paperwork to make sure the insurance carries over.

First, you’ll need to transfer ownership titles and change ownership registration at the local DMV.

After both parties sign the ownership title and ownership has been officially transferred, you can contact your insurance company to complete the switch.

The insurance company will have a well-established procedure for transferring insurance between individuals. The insurance company will provide documents proving that liability has been transferred to the new owner. Then, you’ll need to provide those documents to the DMV, at which point the new owner can legally drive the car.

The important thing to remember here is that car insurance only remains valid if the names on the ownership documents match the names on the insurance documents. If the names do not match, then insurance may not be valid.

At this point, the new vehicle owner can start shopping for a new car insurance policy.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can you transfer insurance to a new owner? A Final Word

You may be required to transfer insurance when selling your vehicle to a new person. The process is relatively straightforward: just contact your insurance company after transferring ownership at the local DMV. Once ownership has been transferred, you can contact your insurance company to complete the switch.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption