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Introduction

If you drive a car in the U.S., you must have car insurance even if you are not a resident. The best auto insurance for foreign drivers is determined by the length of time you intendto stay in the country. Rental automobile insurance is available direct from the rental firm for short-term travelers to the United States. Long-term foreign drivers should obtain or bring an automobile insurance policy from a United States company. If you're staying for a few months, several states may require you to obtain a U.S. driver's license.

Definition of International Driver Car Insurance

After you've found out how to get a valid driver’s license, you'll need to find out how to get International Drivers Car Insurance. In most states in the United States, driving without vehicle insurance is unlawful.

How to Get Car Insurance in the U.S. with a Foreign License?

As a non-citizen, you have two options for getting insurance in the United States: a car rental company or a car insurance provider. Consider obtaining insurance from your rental car company if you're on vacation in the United States. This will be less expensive and time-consuming.

If you plan to stay in the United States for an extended period of time, you must get insurance from a firm based in the United States. For several reasons, this can be challenging. Some insurance firms refuse to insure drivers who do not have legal U.S. driver's licenses. Insurance companies have a difficult time examining your driving history or credit score if you don't have a valid driver's license in the United States.

Some insurance firms in the United States offer plans for foreign drivers (pricing may vary). For example, farmers and Progressive both enable applicants to list their international licenses on their quotation pages, showing that they are willing to sell coverage to foreign drivers.

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How Does Car Insurance for Foreigners and Expats Work?

People who are visiting the United States for a short period of time, such as on vacation,are unlikely to need to purchase car insurance from a separate insurer. The most straightforward approach is to obtain temporary insurance directly from the car rental business. This coverage is similar to liability insurance, which covers any damage or injuries you cause to another driver if you're found to be at fault for an accident.

On the other hand, if you're an expat in the United States for a few months and want to buy or lease a car, you'll need to get your own insurance. In most states, auto insurance is required to register and drive a vehicle. Unfortunately, getting car insurance for foreign visitors is not always easy or inexpensive.

Different Scenarios

When visiting the United States

You'll need auto insurance if you're staying for several months and driving a vehicle that isn't rental. Standard insurance plans run for six to twelve months, although some insurers also provide temporary policies for a shorter period of time. If you'll be driving for less than six months, this will ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage.

When moving to the United States

Non-citizens moving to the United States for an extended period of time can drive on a foreign license or an IDP. The time limit varies by state, but you can usually drive for three months on a foreign license and a year on an IDP. You can then get insurance coverage for that period of time, either a temporary short-term policy if you're driving with a foreign license or a year-long one if you have an IDP.

If you plan on staying in the U.S. for more than a year, you'll need to get a driver's license. You may be able to take your international license to the DMV and have it converted to an American one, depending on where you're from.

Otherwise, you can schedule an appointment and take a test at the DMV to get a new license. You might wait until your IDP is about to expire, but it's ideal to get your U.S. driver's license as soon as possible if you plan to stay in the nation for a long time.

When coming to the United States from Canada

If you're traveling to the United States from Canada, the restrictions are slightly different. You don't need to take any extra precautions while you're on vacation; your Canadiandriver'slicense and insurance will cover you while you're in the United States.

You must register your car with the DMV in the state where you will be living when relocating from Canada to the United States. After that, you can get car insurance in the United States and begin the process of converting your Canadian driver's license to an American driver's license.

Car Insurance with an International Driver's Permit

You may buy car insurance in the United States if you have a valid driver's license. You also don't have to have a license issued in the United States. You may be eligible to use your foreign license after coming to the United States, depending on where you're from and which states you'll be driving in. You can also apply for an international driver's license (IDP).

An International Driving Permit (IDP) supplements your official driver's license that allows you to drive in several countries, including the United States. You can easily apply for an IDP with your home country's motor vehicle department. An IDP allows both short-term visitors and long-term expats to drive in the United States.

If you plan to live in the United States full-time, you may need to switch to a U.S. driver's license at some point. Some insurance firms only work with drivers from the United States.

How to Get an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

You can apply for an international driver's permit if you're over the age of 18 and hold a valid driver’s license. The procedure for obtaining an IDP may differ depending on your home country. Consult the department of transportation and regulations in your country. Remember that you cannot apply for an IDP once you arrive in the United States; you must do it before you arrive. Furthermore, your IDP must be granted by the same country that issued your license.

U.S. Car Insurance Requirements

In the United States, insurance is regulated at the state level but priced according to the ZIP code. In addition, most drivers are obliged to have liability insurance, which includes both physical injury and property damage coverage, with some exceptions.

Personal Injury Protection is required in a few no-fault states in the United States instead of physical injury coverage. If you're leasing or financing your vehicle, you'll also need collision and comprehensive insurance. The functions of various coverages are described briefly below.

  • Bodily injury liability: Compensation for medical expenses and costs incurred by other drivers or pedestrians is provided by bodily injury liability. This coverage is provided per person and per accident. The state minimum bodily injury liability insurance, for example, might be $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability: This liability compensates you for the damage you cause to others' property. This is only applicable per accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This protects you against bodily injury and property damage if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your medical and property damages.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This is needed in no-fault states and covers medical expenditures incurred as a result of an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Collision coverage: This coverage protects your vehicle in the event of a collision in which you are at fault. A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance provider pays you.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage protects your car from damage other than collisions, such as theft, vandalism, and animal-related claims. A deductible is also included.

How to Get Auto Insurance in the U.S.

As a non-citizen, you have two options for getting insurance in the United States: a car rental company or a car insurance provider. Consider obtaining insurance from your rental car company if you're on vacation in the United States. This will be less expensive and time-consuming.

If you plan to stay in the United States for an extended period, you must get insurance from a firm based in the United States. For several reasons, this can be problematic. Some insurance firms refuse to insure drivers who do not have legal U.S. driver's licenses. Insurance companies have a difficult time examining your driving history or credit score if you don't have a valid driver's license in the United States.

Car Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S.

If you plan on staying in the United States for a long time, you should consider purchasing a car and insuring it. Finding car insurance as an immigrant citizen can be difficult, but in some areas, it is possible.

Undocumented persons must have a valid driver's license in order to apply for insurance because the majority of car insurance firms require it before they can give you a policy.

Only 11 states and the District of Columbia now have regulations that allow unauthorized immigrants to get driver's licenses. You can apply for a driver's license through the DMV in your state or through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Insurance companies in jurisdictions that offer driver's licenses to illegal immigrants are permitted to sell auto insurance plans to those who lack proof of legal status in the United States.

Best Car Insurance Companies for Foreign Drivers in the US

A list of vehicle insurance firms that cater to drivers with non-US driver's licenses is provided below:

States Where Unauthorized Immigrants Can Get a License

Unauthorized immigrants can obtain a driver’s license in the following states:

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What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in America?

Coverages Average Annual Premium
State Minimum $632
50/100/50 BI/ PD $732
100/300/100 BI/PD $828
State Minimum with 1000 comp/ coll DED $1288
50/100/50 BI/PD with 1000 comp/coll DED $1464
State Minimum with 500 comp/ coll DED $1458
50/100/50 P.D. with 500 comp/coll DED $1554
100/300/100 BI/PD with 500 comp/coll DED $1654

Summary

Insurance firms cater to drivers with international driving licenses, which may surprise some. However, if you evaluate your alternatives and shop properly, you can still find affordable vehicle insurance. Anyone As a visitor, you must use some discretion to ensure that you are fulfilling your commitment to insure a car that can be driven anywhere in the United States at a reasonable rate.

How to Get Foreign Driving Car Insurance with way.com

If you're only visiting the United States for a short time, your automobile rental company can usually provide insurance. Liability insurance, a collision damage waiver, and personal accident insurance are the three primary components of car insurance supplied by rental businesses.

The amount of coverage for each of these components varies based on the rental business and your own preferences.

Auto Insurance Data Methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by Way.com’s data team. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes.

Quotes are typically based on a full coverage policy average unless otherwise noted within the content.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes will differ. Given this, it’s important to go through our insurance steps form to find how much you can save with way.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Does foreign driving history transfer to the U.S.?

If you're visiting the United States for a short time and renting a car, buying a policy from the auto rental agency is the most convenient option. However, if you're renting a car for a month or more, it might be worth contacting a car insurance company to get your own policy.

Why is credit history used to generate car insurance quotes?

The insurance score, which is based on the policyholder's credit history, indicates the likelihood of filing a claim for road accident insurance. Therefore, maintaining a high credit score is recommended since it makes filing a claim for vehicle insurance after an accident much easier.

Why should a driver apply for a license in the U.S.?

A valid driver’s license in the United States allows you to drive everywhere in the country. It is your obligation to become familiar with and follow the laws of the state in which you are driving.

Is it possible to get car insurance with a foreign license and U.S. permits?

Yes. It is similar to having a foreign license. For more details, you may get in touch with us at408-598-3338.

Can undocumented immigrants get car insurance in the U.S.?

Undocumented immigrants must hold a driver’s license. Most firms do not require a Social Security Number (SSN) to obtain vehicle insurance coverage.

How do I get car rental insurance in the U.S. for foreigners?

If you're visiting the United States for a short time and renting a car, buying a policy from the auto rental agency is the most convenient option. However, if you’re renting a car for a month or more, it might be worth contacting a car insurance company to get your own policy.

How much is car insurance for international drivers in the U.S.?

In the United States, car insurance costs an average of $1,548 per year. That works out to $774 for a six-month insurance or $129 per month. However, rates vary greatly depending on a variety of factors such as your age, credit history, and driving record. Your costs may also be affected by the type of coverage you select.

Do short-term visitors need to be insured?

Car insurance is only available in six-month or one-year increments; thus, it cannot be purchased every month. Instead, you have to purchase six months of car insurance, which you can pay every month or prepay in full and receive a refund.

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