Who Needs New York State Car Insurance?

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If you’ve recently moved into or out of New York State, you may be confused about car insurance in NYS. Luckily, the requirements are rather simple; if your vehicle is registered in New York State, you need New York State Liability coverage from a NY car insurance company. There aren’t any exceptions to the rule. You might be tempted to pick up insurance from an out-of-state carrier either due to lower costs or preferable coverage. That won’t work though, and the consequences can be severe.

If you decide to buy out-of-state insurance, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles basically considers you to not have insurance at all. That results in a lapse of insurance, at which point the NYSDMV will suspend your registration, and possibly even suspend your driver’s license. That’s frustrating enough, but it’s even worse for those moving out of New York State. In that circumstance, suspending your license can prevent you from registering for a new driver’s license in whichever state you move.

If you happen to be moving out of New York State, you need to register your vehicle in that state before changing insurance. That in itself is a complex process. First, you’ll have to surrender your New York State license plates to the NYSDMV (before you change your insurance). You can either take them to a physical DMV office, so long as it isn’t the DMV Central Office or the Customer Service Counter, or mail them to the following address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
2799 Route 112
Medford, NY 11763

If you decide to mail in your plates, make sure to include your current mailing address, as the DMV will send an FS-6T receipt to you so you have proof of the return. Additionally, make sure you remove any frames or fasteners from the plates before you ship them off. The postmark date on the package will be considered the date you transfer your plates.

To recap, every car registered in New York State must have NYS car insurance, without exception. If you’re debating switching to an out-of-state insurance provider, don’t do it, or the DMV might suspend your registration and your license.

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