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Can you get auto insurance with no title? (Laws + Rates)

Whether you have lost the title or need to insure a car that’s not in your name, the question is the same: Can you get car insurance without a title? We will answer that question and cover how to deal with insurance companies when you don’t have the title.

The quick answer to your question is yes you can get auto insurance with no title. A car insurance company can provide you with coverage as long as you can show that you’re a licensed driver and will need insurance because you’re driving someone else’s car or are in the process of leasing or buying your own.

Compare cheap auto insurance rates without a title today to see how much you could save. Enter your ZIP code in the box for free quotes, no title needed.

Table of Contents

Can you get auto insurance on a car without the title?

So, can I get car insurance without a title? Yes. You can receive auto insurance without a title. Let’s say you just got a new vehicle you have to make payments on. You’re required by law to get your newly leased vehicle insured. However, if you paid for your vehicle in full, you have to show proof of ownership within 15 to 30 days to the auto insurance provider.

Watch this video on auto insurance coverage known as non-owner car insurance. This video will explain how non-owner auto insurance coverage works.

Auto insurance companies have different policies, so shop around until you can find an auto insurance company that meets your needs.

Can you register a car that’s not in your name?

You can register a vehicle that’s not in your name. What this means is that the person or business that owns the vehicle holds the title, but you’re the primary driver. How do I register a vehicle without a title and how?

Register your vehicle at your local department of motor vehicles (DMV) as soon as possible. Most auto insurance companies require their customers to register their vehicles within a certain number of days. If you don’t register your vehicle, you could lose your auto insurance policy.

Signing Up for Auto Insurance

An auto insurance company can’t refuse auto insurance without a reason. States like Massachusettes have a bill that enforces auto insurance companies to evaluate your eligibility first. Most auto insurance companies will do that anyway, whether you have a title to a vehicle or not.

You’ll still have to give the auto insurance company some personal information, but you shouldn’t have any difficulty in getting car insurance coverage in this situation.

When you first apply for an auto insurance policy, you’ll be asked for some personal information to help the auto insurance company determine if they will insure you and how much you’ll have to pay for that policy.

This information typically includes your driver’s license so they can look up your driving record and make sure you’re licensed to drive. Incidents like DUIs and accidents show up on your record, so while you can get auto insurance after an accident, your rates will likely be higher.

Let’s look at how much auto insurance rates are based on driving records.

Law Enforcement Officer Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Based on Driving Record
Driving Record SummaryAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Clean driving record$1,896
With one speeding violation$3,669
With one accident$4,100
With one DUI$4,920

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Auto insurance companies will also want to know about your driving record so they can determine your level of risk.

People with clean driving records will pay less for auto insurance, while those who have been in accidents or have DUIs or DWIs will pay more expensive rates. You’ll be offered a quote based on the information you provide.

It’s important not to accept the first quote that you’re offered because you could save a lot of money by shopping around.

Did you know that your auto insurance rate is based on your credit history? In addition to your driving record, auto insurance companies will want to know about your credit history.

Before we move on to why they need your credit history when giving you a quote, let’s review the average annual rates for credit history.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Credit History
Credit HistoryAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Good Credit Score$3,166/year
Fair Credit Score$3,687/year
Poor Credit Score$5,151/year

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Auto insurance providers see credit history as a correlation to risk. Motorists with fair and poor credit are more of a risk to insure than those with good credit. Policyholders with good credit often pay cheaper auto insurance.

Watch this video on how credit scores affect auto insurance policies.

Auto insurance companies are eager to get your business, which means that there is strong price competition among the major auto insurance providers to offer good rates. Using a free online tool, you can instantly access the range of quotes available in your area.

Update Your Auto Insurance Information

If you buy an auto insurance policy before you’ve actually bought and registered a new car, you’ll need to update your policy information. It’s more than just a mere formality that you update the auto insurance provider on any changes to your policy.

You’ll have coverage for any accidents that occur with a new vehicle by making sure that the auto insurance company has that information in your file.

If you buy a new car after getting a car insurance policy, you might wonder: When do I add a new car to insurance? You have a certain grace period in which you’ll need to report any policy changes. If you don’t report an update during that time, you won’t have any coverage for an accident afterward.

This is a serious situation because it means that you could be personally responsible for any damages in an accident.

What’s Covered by a Liability-Only Policy

If you’re in a situation where you don’t think you need to buy your own car, you’ll still need auto insurance coverage as long as you’re driving on regular roads. To get a policy for this situation, you could choose to buy liability only auto insurance.

Unlike more comprehensive types of auto insurance policies, a liability policy only covers others for damages caused by your driving.

A liability-only policy means that another car that you damage in an accident could be covered, but you’d have to dig into your own pockets to pay for any damage to your own vehicle.

The information summarized in the data below is from the latest National Association of Insurance Commissioners auto insurance report, which describes the estimates for liability auto insurance coverage for the year.

Average Annual Liability Auto Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Annual Liability Rates
North Dakota$296
South Dakota$306
North Carolina$359
New Hampshire$406
West Virginia$508
New Mexico$510
South Carolina$554
District of Columbia$663
Rhode Island$790
New York$823
New Jersey$896

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The amount of coverage that you’re entitled to will depend on the limits that you set for your auto liability policy. Even though it’s a bit more expensive to have higher policy limits, it can be worthwhile if you’re ever in a serious accident.

Speaking of policy limits, let’s examine the policy limits for each state in the country.

Statute of Limitations for Auto Insurance Claims by State
StateBodily InjuryProperty Damage
Alabama2 years2 years
Alaska2 years6 years
Arizona2 years2 years
Arkansas3 years3 years
California2 years3 years
Colorado3 years3 years
Connecticut2 years3 years
Delaware2 years2 years
District of Columbia (D.C.)3 years3 years
Florida4 years4 years
Georgia2 years4 years
Hawaii2 years2 years
Idaho2 years3 years
Illinois2–3 years5 years
Indiana2 years2 years
Iowa2 years5 years
Kansas1 year2 years
Kentucky1 year2 years
Louisiana1 year1 year
Maine6 years6 years
Maryland3 years3 years
Massachusetts3 years3 years
Michigan3 years3 years
Minnesota2 years6 years
Mississippi3 years3 years
Missouri5 years5 years
Montana3 years2 years
Nebraska4 years4 years
Nevada2 years3 years
New Hampshire3 years3 years
New Jersey2 years6 years
New Mexico3 years4 years
New York3 years3 years
North Carolina3 years3 years
North Dakota6 years6 years
Ohio2 years2 years
Oklahoma2 years2 years
Oregon2 years6 years
Pennsylvania2 years2 years
Rhode Island3 years10 years
South Carolina3 years3 years
South Dakota3 years6 years
Tennessee1 year3 years
Texas2 years2 years
Utah4 years3 years
Vermont3 years3 years
Virginia2 years5 years
Washington3 years3 years
West Virginia2 years2 years
Wisconsin3 years3 years
Wyoming4 years4 years

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You can save a little money by lowering the policy limits, but you might find yourself in a real problem if you have a serious accident without a way to pay for the damage if it exceeds your policy limits.

Some U.S. states have UM, UIM, and PIP in their minimum requirements. UM stands for uninsured motorist coverage, which means your auto insurance provider will pay for bodily injuries and property damages when you’re in an accident with a driver that has no auto insurance coverage.

UIM, on the other hand, is underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you from an at-fault driver whose policy limit doesn’t cover the total cost of bodily injuries or property damage.

Finally, PIP or personal injury protection is auto insurance that pays for injuries that personally affect you. PIP will cover lost wages, child care, and other personal damages stemmed from an auto accident.

When you want increased policy limits, you’ll have to enroll in a higher coverage level. Higher coverage levels cost more for auto insurance. Here are the average annual rates based on policy limits, which our guides refer to as coverage level.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
Coverage LevelAverage Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Low $3,754/year

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The rates in the data are based on the average annual rates of major companies in the United States. In other words, these rates are a composite of coverage level rates from the largest auto insurance companies.

If you want to see what the auto insurance rates are like in your area, enter your ZIP code in the free comparison tool below.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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What other options are available if you get a car?

It’s easy to miss the information about your car before you get it. Most people are so focused on getting a vehicle, they often forget about the options available.

Come up with a plan on how you need to insure your vehicle. Liability insurance can help protect your finances, but it doesn’t help you obtain another vehicle if your new vehicle is damaged in an accident.

Watch this video on the auto insurance options for your vehicle.

When you buy your own car, it’s wise to look into additional auto insurance options to make sure that you’ve protected your asset. The most common additional forms of coverage include:

  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Collision insurance

While you’ll have a higher auto insurance premium for getting more coverage, this is the best way to protect a car if it’s damaged due to your own fault.

If you buy a used car or one that you don’t plan to keep for very long, it may be less important for you to have these additional forms of coverage on your policy.

The scenario in which this coverage is most beneficial is when you’ve bought a car that you’re still making payments on or one that you plan to drive for a long time.

Check out this video that describes the difference between collision and comprehensive insurance.

An easy way to reduce the cost of your premium for additional coverage is to increase the amount of the deductible. This means that you would end up having to pay a little more out of your own pocket when you file a claim.

Here’s a video that explains more about deductibles.

A deductible doesn’t apply to an auto liability policy, which only kicks in when you’re the cause of damage to another vehicle or person.

Getting Car Insurance Without a Car Title

If you need to get a car insurance policy but don’t have your own car title, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Car insurance companies understand that many dealerships require new car owners to show proof of insurance before they finalize the sale or lease of a car. This is why they’ll provide an assurance that you will be insured as soon as you make the first premium payment. Learning how to set up insurance for a new car is the first step.

Watch this video on what options are available when you don’t have title to a motor vehicle but you need auto insurance.

If you don’t plan to drive your own car, you can also buy a liability policy so you won’t have to worry if you get into an accident while driving someone else’s vehicle.

Is it against the law to sell a vehicle without a title?

Selling a motor vehicle without the proper documents is illegal in some states. The title shows ownership of the vehicle. Without it, no one can determine who the vehicle originally belonged to or whether it was stolen. Private sellers can confirm if a title is needed by contacting their local DMV. According to Kelley Bue Book, however, it is possible to sell a car even if you don’t have the title.

Here’s a video that goes over how you can legally sell a vehicle without a title.

Where does that leave dealerships? Dealerships have possession of the title of all vehicles, however, titles aren’t given to the driver until they’ve paid for the vehicle in full.

Use our free comparison tool today to find the best rate for your auto insurance without a title.

Frequently Asked Questions: Non-Owner Auto Insurance

For the last section of the article, we’re going to include some commonly asked questions from people across the internet as it relates to getting auto insurance without a title.

#1– How do I get auto insurance without a car?

“How can I get a title for a car without one?” is a common question among parents who have teens who drive. Auto insurance companies will allow you to enroll in non-owner auto insurance coverage. It’s much cheaper, but insuring a teen may be more expensive than average.

#2 – Can you get auto insurance if the car is in someone else’s name?

Yes. People obtain vehicles in various ways and it’s common for you to drive a vehicle that someone else owns. However, the owner of the vehicle has to be the person to add the vehicle and the driver to the auto insurance policy.

Auto insurance companies are likely to add your name to the list of drivers on the policy rather than open a new policy.

#3 – Do you have to be the registered owner of a vehicle to insure it?

A driver who isn’t the registered owner of the vehicle cannot start an auto insurance policy. They can only be added to a policy by the registered owner of the vehicle. So, does your car insurance and registration have to be under the same name? Yes.

Does this vary by company? Can you insure a car you don’t own with Geico? Will State Farm insure a car not in my name? Each company’s policies are different so it’s important to call and describe the situation to the company to find out if you can insure the vehicle.

#4 – Can I be on my parents’ car insurance if the car is in my name?

Your parent or legal guardian will have to add your car and you as a driver to their current auto insurance policy. Their auto insurance rates could increase, but if you’re a good student and currently in college, they could receive a discount.

#5 – How can I get a title for an abandoned vehicle?

You’ll need to find out the laws in your state for abandoned vehicles to get a title for an abandoned car. You will also need to find out what other interests there are in the car, including lienholders. The previous owner will need to sign over the title, or you will need to go through a legal process if the owner can’t be found.

#6 – Can I drive a car without the title?

Yes. There’s no law against driving a car if you don’t have the title.


  1. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-consumer-bill-of-rights-for-automobile-insurance
  2. https://www.kbb.com/articles/car-news/how-to-sell-a-car-without-a-title/
  3. https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-get-the-title-to-an-abandoned-car/

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