New York State Insurance Requirements

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We’ve all felt the sting of waiting on hold with insurance companies. To spare yourself a potentially wasted call (and having hold music stuck in your head for the rest of the day), here’s a quick run-down of all the requirements for car insurance in New York State.

First off, every car registered in New York must have insurance, even if it’s not used. Though motorcycles are an exception, you will need proof of insurance before you can register your car in NY. Furthermore, the insurance you get must also be from a New York insurance company (one authorized by the NYS Insurance Department). This means that you can’t bring proof of insurance issued in a surrounding state to New York use it to register your vehicle.

Once you find a NY Car insurance company, all you need at that point is your name (and the money to pay the insurance premium). Bear in mind that the same name must be used for the insurance application and the registration application, and the name has to stay the same from that point on. Switching will cause the car insurance to lapse and the registrant’s license to be suspended.

After you successfully apply for car insurance, the insurance company should do two things. First, they’ll file an electronic notice of your insurance with the DMV. Second, they’ll issue you two original New York State Insurance Identification Cards within 45 days of the start of your insurance. You get two cards because the DMV will keep one when you register your car. The other you’ll need to keep with your car to prove insurance. Bear in mind that you need the card and the electronic registration to be insured — if your insurance company didn’t file with the DMV, you’re still uninsured.

And that’s it! To recap: you must get insurance from an NYS insurer, it must be under your name, and your company must both file electronically with the DMV and provide you two insurance cards. Not too bad, now if only registration were that easy.

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