Insurance For Drivers With International Licenses – With so many people from all over the world living in the US, it’s natural to ask, “Can I get car insurance with a foreign license?” The short answer is that you can, but it might not be possible with all insurers. Let us walk you through what you need to do to get US auto insurance without a US driver’s license.
Our team of experts reviewed all major insurers to identify the best car insurance options in the country. Just enter your zip code above to get free car insurance quotes from local providers.
Insurance For Drivers With International Licenses
The short answer to the question, “Can I get auto insurance with a foreign license in the US?” and yes.
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The longer answer is that you can, but it might take a little more effort than getting a US license. It totally depends on the carrier you choose, but all insurance companies require a valid driver’s license.
Some insurers will gladly sell you coverage with just your foreign driver’s license. However, others may also require you to obtain an international driver’s license or international driver’s permit (IDP). This entirely depends on the company you choose. You can get insurance without an IDP, although it might not be easy.
When looking for car insurers, be careful as there are some fraudulent companies and insurance agents. These companies prey on foreigners unfamiliar with the US insurance system and try to sell you insurance that is illegal or fraudulent. You can avoid this by always looking for insurers with good reputations, excellent ratings and high ratings.
It’s also worth mentioning that many insurers offer short-term auto insurance for short-term visitors with foreign licenses. This can be a great option if you are only in the US temporarily or plan on driving in the country for a very short time. “Can I get auto insurance in the US with a Canadian license?” is a similar question that we answer separately.
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To start shopping for insurance, find out what type of coverage you need and make sure you have your basic information ready. Then you can start comparing companies and policies to see which best suits your needs.
Keep in mind that you will normally have to enter some basic information to get an accurate quote. Expect questions about your age, driving history, and car at the very least.
Assuming you want the lowest insurance rates, your best bet will be to compare quotes from multiple companies. There can be significant variations in rates between companies, so don’t assume you’re getting a competitive rate without researching.
In the US, each state is free to set its own car insurance standards. This means that each state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) has slightly different requirements. In other words, the amount of auto insurance you need may be different in California and Massachusetts, for example.
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Most states require you to have at least liability insurance. As a reminder, liability coverage pays for injuries or damage to other people’s property if you are responsible for the collision. This means that if you cause an accident, liability insurance will pay the injured person’s costs.
Depending on the state you live in, you may also need to purchase additional car insurance coverage. Some examples include personal injury protection and coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) can cover your medical expenses and any loss of income resulting from an accident, within limits. Coverage is usually up to 80% of expenses. Uninsured and uninsured motorist coverage applies if you are not at fault in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The insurance would cover any remaining costs after the other person’s insurance pays its share, or it may provide normal coverage if the other driver is completely uninsured.
Whether you choose to finance a vehicle or lease one, some lenders also require comprehensive and collision insurance. Collision insurance can cover damage to your vehicle after an accident. It can repair or replace your car. Comprehensive insurance provides coverage for animal-related accidents, certain weather events, vandalism and other events beyond your control.
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Some coverage plans will also pay for a rental car if you need one during repairs. You usually don’t need full coverage auto insurance, although it can be helpful.
Based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the overall average cost of insurance in the US was $1,056.55 in 2018.
The same report also outlines which US states are the most expensive and least expensive for auto insurance, which we’ve organized in the following table.
Remember that these numbers are averages for each state. Numerous factors will affect your insurance rates. Some of them include:
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It is also important to note that when taking out auto insurance, you will have a premium and a deductible. The premium is what you pay each month, while the deductible is what you have to pay out of pocket before the insurance company pays its share.
If you have a higher insurance premium, you will typically have a lower deductible. This means you can get a lower premium if you opt for a higher deductible. You will have to decide which method makes the most sense for your finances and claims history.
How likely you are to get car insurance discounts with a license from your home country depends on your situation. If you need short-term insurance, there are usually no discounts.
However, suppose your question is, “Can I get auto insurance with a foreign license and take advantage of discounts on longer coverage?” So the answer is usually yes. Most traditional insurance policies offer a variety of discounts that lead to cheap car insurance. The specifics that are available will depend on the company you get your car insurance from.
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To save you trouble, we’ve found providers who answer yes if you ask, “Can I get auto insurance with a foreign license?” We are sharing our recommendations for non-US citizens.
We suggest you consider GEICO, Progressive, or State Farm insurance. Each of these companies offers insurance in all 50 states.
One of the best ways to get multiple car insurance quotes quickly is to use a comparison tool. Enter your zip code below to start receiving free quotes.
GEICO is our overall best choice for auto insurance for those with a foreign or US license. The company scored an overall rating of 9.1 out of 10.0. Our team scores a 9.8 for Industry Reputation, 8.5 for Coverage, 9.4 for Cost, and 9.0 for Customer Experience.
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Progressive offers some of the best auto insurance plans in the US, especially for those with poor driving history or credit history. We gave Progressive a score of 9.1 out of 10.0 for its extensive plans and relatively lenient after-accident policy. This includes a score of 9.1 for Industry Reputation, 9.0 for Coverage, 9.3 for Cost, and 8.9 for Customer Experience. Find out more in our complete review of Progressive car insurance.
State Farm is another excellent pick, with an overall rating of 9.1. This includes its 9.9 rating from our team for industry reputation. State Farm earns a 9.0 on cost and coverage, as well as an 8.8 on customer experience.
Many providers offer auto insurance for foreign drivers. After careful review, our team recommends GEICO, Progressive and State Farm.
Not all insurance companies require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) to purchase car insurance, but some do. This will depend on the company you choose to get coverage from. Andrew Hurst Andrew Hurst Senior Editor and Licensed Auto Insurance Specialist Andrew Hurst is Senior Editor and Licensed Auto Insurance Specialist at . His work has also been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin and Property Casualty 360.
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Anna Swartz Anna Swartz Senior Managing Editor and Auto Insurance Specialist Anna Swartz is Senior Managing Editor and Auto Insurance Specialist at, where she oversees our auto insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior writer for Mic.com, as well as an associate writer for The Dodo.
Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS Licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Specialist Fabio Faschi is a Licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Agent. Her home and auto insurance experience has been featured in Forbes, Consumer Affairs, Realtor.com, Apartment Therapy, SFGATE, Bankrate and Lifehacker.
Expert Review Expert Review This article has been reviewed by a member of our Financial Review Board to ensure that all sources, statistics and claims meet the highest standard of accurate and unbiased advice. Learn more about our editorial review process.
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Cheapest car insurance for new drivers depends on whether they are being added to an existing policy or buying their own coverage. On average, GEICO is the best low-cost company for new