Vehicle Registration: Can I register my car at a different address?

In most cases, you can't register your car at a different address. To avoid potential headaches, we suggest that you use the same address on your license, registration, and insurance policy.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 11, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • Your address should be the same on your license, registration, and auto insurance paperwork
  • Update your address with the DMV and your insurance carrier whenever you move
  • If you register your car at a different address, you may risk fines, penalities, and losing your coverage

Can I register my car at a different address? Changing your address on your driver’s license, car registration, and insurance paperwork every time you move will make you wonder if it’s really necessary. On the other hand, where you live does affect your insurance rates, so you might be thinking about reducing your expenses by registering your car at a more affordable location. 

In this article, we will explain why it is important to list the same address on all your vehicle-related paperwork, and how the change of address can affect your insurance premium.

Can I register my car at a different address?

Most states will not allow you to insure your vehicle at a different address than the one on your license, which should be your permanent address. A few exceptions include: 

  • College students 
  • Active-duty military 
  • Seasonal residents 

Can I register my car at a different address for another reason? Probably not. Ignoring this advice leads to possible headaches down the road. If you get pulled over by a law enforcement officer, you will need to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Differing addresses on all of these documents can cause further inquiries into your paperwork, as the officer might interpret them as possible red flags.

Incorrect insurance information can also lead to: 

  • Denial of claims 
  • Cancellation of your policy 
  • Refusal to insure when it is time to renew

When you use your permanent address on your driver’s license, car registration, car title, and auto insurance policy, law enforcement and insurance companies can easily verify your information with state laws or check your auto coverage.

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Does my address affect my car insurance rates?

Aside from moving, another reason for registering your car at someone else’s address might be to reduce your auto insurance premium. 

The state you live in has the greatest impact on your insurance rates as each state sets its own laws for minimum insurance coverage. Therefore, states with higher minimum liability requirements also have higher average car insurance costs.

The rates will also differ depending on the ZIP code you’re registered at, so you should always update your address, even if you are not changing states when moving. Factors that affect your rates the most include your neighborhood income levels, the proportion of expensive cars, the rate of traffic incidents or general accidents, and the rate of vandalism or property crime.

If you live in a high-risk location and suffer high premium rates, you might be thinking about insuring your vehicle at a different address on your license. We must warn you that this is considered insurance fraud that can cause you to lose your policy, so we strongly advise against it.

Can I register my car in a state where I don’t live?

You won’t be able to register your car in a state where you don’t have proof of residency. If you move to another state li, you’ll need to obtain a new driver’s license and new registration in your new state. 

Only a handful of states will allow you to keep your license after moving away, and you will always have to re-register your car to the new address. 

When changing the address on your car’s registration, you will need to prove that you are residing at the address provided. In most cases, this requires receiving mail at the residential address, but the requirements vary from state to state.

Which states allow me to register my car at a different address?

Only eight states allow you to register your car at someone else’s address. These states are:

  • Maine
  • New York
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota

If you decide to keep your driver’s license in one of these states while registering your car in a different one, you will be required to provide proof of residency alongside meeting other requirements.

In some states, you can use a different mailing address and residential address. In this case, your residential address is the one being used to determine your insurance premium, this should be the address where your car is parked most of the time.

Can I register my car at a different address? A Final Word

Registering your car at a different address from where you live is never a good idea, and will usually cause issues further down the road. 

Keeping the same address on your driver’s license, car registration, and car insurance policy is the easiest way to comply with state laws and your insurance policy. Plus, it makes keeping on top of paperwork much easier.

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