Does My License Have To Match My Vehicle Registration? (2022)
Wondering if your license matches your vehicle registration? If you decide to move states, finding legal accommodation on the road is often difficult. We’ll discuss the most common licensing and Vehicle registration requirements across the country, including whether the addresses on each must match.
When you’re ready to find insurance coverage, be sure to check out our review of the best car insurance companies to get the best rates. If you’re ready to compare quotes, enter your zip code below. Or, for a simpler process,
Do your license and registration match?
A common question many drivers have is, “Does your driver’s license match your vehicle registration?” The simple answer is yes, most of the time. Most states across the country require that you obtain a driver’s license and register your vehicle in the state where you live. This means that your license and vehicle registration must match the same home address.
Note that you should never use an invalid address or zip code on your auto insurance policy to try to get better rates. This type of insurance fraud can have serious consequences. If you want to save money on car insurance, talk to a local agent about eligibility for discounts or explore coverage from cheap auto insurance providers.
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Moving to a new state and registration grace periods
When you make a permanent move, you should definitely update your insurance company and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In most states, if you move to a state and plan to live there permanently, you must obtain a new driver’s license and registration for your vehicle.
In eight select states, the DMV does not require licensing and Vehicle registration to match. In Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, New York, North Dakota and Pennsylvania, drivers must prove their residency in the state where the vehicle is registered.
When you move to a new state, many local DMVs will give you a grace period to register your car, often around 30 days. Check with your local office to see how much time you have to register your vehicle in the new state.
What are the licensing and registration requirements?
Licensing and Vehicle registration requirements will vary by state and county. To get the most accurate account of what you’ll need to bring with you to the DMV, check your local office’s website.
For now, here are some of the most common documents and information you should bring when applying for a new license and vehicle registration:
- Valid driving license
- Proof of residence
- Certificate of Title or Bill of Sale
- Current odometer reading
- Emissions or safety inspection scores
- Proof of minimum liability auto insurance required by the state
- Payment for any applicable fees
In most states, the vehicle owner must insure the vehicle in their name. However, there are some exceptions to this. For example, if the car owner is not the primary driver, some insurance companies may tailor a policy for the primary driver. No matter your situation, it’s important to be upfront with your auto insurance agency and local DMV to make sure you’re complying with all laws.
Does your car need to be registered in the same state as your license?
In most states, the vehicle must be registered in the state where the owner or primary driver permanently resides. People with special circumstances or temporary residency can contact the local DMV to discuss options.
For example, if you move to a different state temporarily (such as for a short-term job or school), you don’t need to re-register your car for that new state. You may qualify for a non-resident permit, which allows you to legally drive in that state for a few months and still maintain a valid driver’s license in your home state. Be sure to research your local DMV’s requirements for non-resident Vehicle registration.
Does your insurance need to match your registration?
Another common question about being road legal is, “Does car insurance have to match Vehicle registration?” The easiest and simplest answer is yes. Often, car insurance companies want the insured to be named as the owner of the vehicle on the policy. Therefore, the insurance policy should match the name and address on the driver’s license and vehicle registration.
There may be some special cases where the vehicle is owned by a different person and insured at different addresses. If something like this affects you, it’s best to discuss your individual situation with an auto insurance agent to determine your best course of action.
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You must prove insurable interest
Car insurance companies need to see that the driver has an insurable interest in the vehicle. That means they will be financially affected and liable for the damage to the vehicle. Without this verified liability, there could be cases of reckless driving and inability to cover damages in the event of an accident.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as borrowing and driving a friend or family member’s car. In these cases, getting a non-owner insurance policy can protect you down the road.
How does your address affect insurance rates?
Many factors affect your insurance rates, such as your age, gender, driving history, credit score and more. The area where you live also plays a major role in determining your car insurance rates. That is why it is important to provide accurate information about your home address and where your vehicle is permanently garaged.
Your car insurance company wants to know where you live, so its agents can get a feel for your potential risk of getting into an accident or needing to file a claim. For example, drivers living in urban areas will pay more for insurance than those in rural areas.
Here are some other factors that can increase car insurance rates in your neighborhood:
- Densely populated with heavy traffic
- Frequent accidents
- High crime rate
- Severe weather conditions like snow, hail and heavy rain
- Roads that are not properly maintained or have frequent potholes
Discuss your rates with a local insurance agent. They will be able to guide you about the factors that affect insurance rates in your city. Then, compare those rates with some of the cheapest full coverage car insurance options.
Our recommendations for car insurance
When you’re looking for a new car insurance policy, it’s a good idea to shop around for multiple quotes. You can compare rates to see which provider offers the best value.
We’ve reviewed some of the best auto insurance companies in the country to give you our honest opinion on customer service, pricing, coverage, discounts and more. State Farm and USAA are two of our top picks.
#1 State Farm: Best for Students
State Farm, one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, offers standard auto insurance coverage options, as well as coverages you can add, such as roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement. State Farm has helpful local agents in each state who are knowledgeable about the driving laws in your area. You may be eligible for discounts for bundling multiple policies, driving safely and going accident-free.
Read more in our State Farm insurance review.
#2 USAA: Best for Military
USAA auto insurance is available in all 50 states with great rates for active duty military members, veterans and their families. It offers standard insurance coverage along with optional coverages like rideshare insurance and accident waivers. Members enjoy USA’s already low rates, but they’re also saving money by accessing discounts like good students, defensive driving and lower annual mileage.
Read more in our USAA insurance review.
We recommend getting quotes from several providers to find the best deal. Enter your zip code below or call (844) 246-8209 to start a comparison.
In an effort to provide consumers with accurate and unbiased information, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to compile a ranking of the best insurance companies. Companies receive scores in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for certain groups of drivers.
Coverage: This rating is based on the types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits and add-on policies.
Pricing and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for different drivers in each state. Companies with low prices and many car insurance discount opportunities get the best scores.
Customer Service: We at J.D. We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like Power.
Technology: With mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics, auto insurers are more likely to meet customer needs.