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If you have arrived in the United States and intend to drive, you will need two things in addition to a car: a permit or license, and car insurance.
Car Insurance For International Drivers
International Driving Permit translates your driver’s license information into 10 languages, apart from English. This serves as proof that your home country allows you to drive abroad. An IDP is not a valid US driver’s license, and some countries require that you also carry your valid state license.
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It may be difficult to find car insurance with an international driving permit; Some insurers will only sell you an insurance policy if you have a US driver’s license. This is because car insurance companies rely on US records to determine how dangerous it is to insure you. These records include:
Auto insurance companies also set prices based on these records, so rates for non-residents may be higher to account for the lack of information.
An independent car insurance agent who works with several companies can help you find insurance. The agent may find more than one company willing to insure you and can help you choose the best option.
Some car insurance companies will only offer a policy if you get a US license in a short time. As soon as you can, get a driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles in the US state where you live.
Driving Abroad: Do I Need An International Driving Permit?
Find out more about your state’s requirements for international drivers by going to the USA.gov DMV Guide and selecting your state.
Once you’ve established a US driving history, ask your agent to get quotes again or buy coverage yourself online.
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Sign up and we’ll send you nerdy articles on the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more out of your money. Going to school abroad, on vacation, considering a move? Or like so many people today, are you planning to travel and work remotely from exotic locations? In this new world without borders, you can pursue the life you want, but there are still basic issues, like insurance vehicle, which you must locate.
These may be questions you are asking yourself. Can non-US citizens drive with a foreign license in the US? Need temporary car insurance for foreign drivers? If you are a US citizen visiting Mexico or Canada, do you need different car insurance?
We’ll look at these issues for foreign drivers driving in the US and also look at getting insurance as an American traveling to a foreign country.
Get An International Driving Permit
Americans love their cars and the infrastructure of most major metropolitan cities and rural areas is car-friendly. This means that visiting the US may require driving. So, does your current driver’s license work in the US?
Most states in the US will allow you to operate a vehicle with a foreign driver’s license. However, there are some states where you need an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). IDPs can be obtained in your home country.
An IDP can be a smart choice if you are traveling in multiple countries or plan to be here for an extended period of time. There is no need to take a test – the IDP simply translates your home country driver’s license into English.
If you plan to get car insurance during your stay, an IDP may be required by the insurance company.
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However, if you intend to stay for an extended visit or will be employed and obtain a Social Security Number (SSN), then you will want to obtain a driver’s license in your state of residence.
Now that you understand the driver’s license, you need to decide on car insurance for international drivers.
Remember, it’s illegal to drive without car insurance in most US states – only Virginia and New Hampshire waive the mandatory requirements. However, while Virginia and New Hampshire do not require car insurance, they do require a large cash bond or cash deposit to cover A possible accident.
If you intend to stay in the US for a short time, you may want to add to someone’s existing policy (if it is allowed). This saves the hassle of finding car insurance for a short visit.
Car Insurance For Foreign Drivers In The U.s.
All US car rental companies offer rental car insurance. It’s usually quite affordable to get full coverage for a short stay and will pay off big if you’re in an unfortunate accident. Also, many credit card companies will offer car insurance if you use their card to pay for your rental .
If you plan to stay in the US for an extended period of time, it may make sense to get car insurance for international drivers through a reputable insurance company.
The best way to find reasonable rates is to contact an insurance marketplace, such as . Here you can get answers to your questions and find out pricing for an international insurance policy from the companies that lead products of this type.
Before you talk to an insurance agent, it is recommended to understand the existing types of insurance. You can get full coverage insurance or opt for liability insurance. Remember, if the car you drive is not owned outright or leased, you will be required to purchase comprehensive coverage with full coverage to protect their property.
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Full coverage insurance policies include liability coverage (described below) as well as comprehensive coverage that covers your medical costs and any damage to your vehicle, including vandalism, weather and theft.
While liability coverage meets state minimum coverage requirements, it’s not recommended unless you’re driving a car that has little or no replacement value.
The liability coverage will have bodily injury coverage for any injuries caused by the other people in the accident as well as property damage coverage to help pay for any damage to other people’s property or vehicle.
Some states will also require liability coverage that includes personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to cover your medical costs in the event you are injured.
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Car insurance can be expensive in the US. Most insurance companies set their rates based on your driving record and credit history (among other things) and since you have none of these in the US, you are treated as a ‘high risk driver’.
Canadian drivers are not required to have an international driver’s license or special insurance when driving in the US. They are fine with their regular Canadian driver’s license and insurance anywhere in the states.
Mexican drivers can use their Mexican driver’s license for up to three months before they need to get an international driver’s license. However, their insurance from Mexico is valid as long as it meets each country’s coverage requirements.
Many states require you to carry local compulsory liability coverage. However, you may want to consider purchasing international car insurance from a US car insurance company to supplement your local foreign policy.
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No (except in Canada, but more on that later). Domestic insurance policies do not cover you outside the US due to area limitations.
If you’re traveling abroad and plan to rent a car, it’s highly recommended that you get the best coverage offered by the rental company (or your credit card company if you’re paying by card). And while they should be aware of the legal requirements of the specific country, it’s always a good idea to double check with Visit that country’s embassy to ensure you get the right coverage.
Whether you’re moving temporarily to a new country and taking your own car or you’re borrowing someone else’s car, you’ll need to purchase an international car insurance policy that offers unlimited worldwide coverage.
You can get insurance once you’re in the country, but it may be easier to contact your local US insurance agent for help getting the right coverage for your needs. Most major insurance companies offer international insurance policies or can refer you to an insurance company that does.
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The US Department of State recommends that you obtain an IDP as an official translation of your current driver’s license. This way, no matter which country you visit, you have an official document that allows you to drive.
The IDP is easy to obtain and no test is required – just contact the American Automobile Association (AAA). They accept applications online, by mail and at their local branch offices.
The State Department also recommends checking the state’s driving laws before arriving. Different countries have driving laws