Can You Get Auto Insurance As An Undocumented Immigrant?

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Leslie Kasperowicz
14 Years in the Insurance Industry (CSR & Writer)

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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As an undocumented immigrant who is planning to drive it is important to get car insurance for your vehicle. Whether or not an undocumented immigrant can get car insurance will depend directly on the state in which they live. While all states require their drivers to have some form of auto insurance, different states have different laws that determine whether or not an undocumented immigrant will be legally allowed to obtain a driver’s license.

If you are an undocumented immigrant and live in a state that allows you to obtain a driver’s license you should not have any issue with obtaining auto insurance as well. However, if you live in a state that does not allow you to have a driver’s license, obtaining auto insurance can be much more difficult. Even if you can purchase car insurance, the policy may essentially be worthless. There are a number of reports of insurers selling a policy to an undocumented immigrant and then refusing to pay any claims made on the policy.

auto insurance for undocumented immigrants

States that Allow Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain a License

There are several states that have laws regarding driving rights of undocumented immigrants. These states are Maryland, Nevada, Illinois, New Mexico, Washington, and Utah. California, Connecticut, Oregon, and Vermont will soon have laws in place regarding this issue as well.

The main purpose of these laws is safety. If more drivers are required to go through the necessary testing in order to be able to drive and buy insurance, the roads will be safer.

Each of the programs in these states requires the applicants to pass both a written and driving test before they are issued a license. They are also required to obtain auto insurance before they are allowed to drive. Each state has different rules that must be met before the driver’s license will be granted.

California Driving Laws

The state of California is one of the more recent states to offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. The officials of the state are hoping that by allowing immigrants to obtain a driver’s license that this will also get them to purchase car insurance.

To encourage undocumented immigrants to purchase car insurance the Department of Insurance in the state has been marketing a low cost car insurance policy available to immigrants who are projected to obtain their licenses under the new laws that were passed in the state. Since about 90% of the applicants are expected to be Spanish speaking, the marketing has been geared towards this area of the market.

The low cost insurance program is extremely basic and immigrants who can afford a better policy should consider joining a private plan that offers more coverage.

Rules for Undocumented Immigrants while Driving

As an undocumented immigrant with a driver’s license you will be required to follow all of the same rules of the road that are expected out of everyone. Once you have obtained your license to drive it is important to make sure that you obtain an insurance policy as well as this is required in every state. Any driver on the road, whether an undocumented immigrant or not, will need to be able to show proof of insurance after an accident or during a traffic stop. Once you have your driver’s license it is important to make sure that you obtain an auto insurance policy and to keep your proof of insurance card with you whenever you are driving your vehicle.

Obtaining Insurance in States that Do Not Allow Immigrant Licenses

The majority of states in the country do not currently have laws regarding undocumented immigrants obtaining driver’s licenses. If you are an undocumented immigrant who lives in one of these states it is important to not drive without legal driving privileges, even if you are able to obtain a car insurance policy.

One of the reasons for this is because there are many reports in states that do not allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a license being sold insurance policies that are simply not valid. If you do not have a driver’s license you should not be driving and if you are not driving you do not need auto insurance.

If you pay for an insurance policy and are involved in an accident, chances are the insurance company is not going to pay for any damages that you may have caused. When making a claim the insurance company will state that they will not pay it because you are not a licensed driver.

Overall, if you live in a state that allows you to obtain a driver’s license as an undocumented immigrant you will easily be able to find an auto insurance policy from a company that provides insurance for your state. if you cannot obtain a driver’s license legally in the state that you live in, you should not try to obtain a car insurance policy either.

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