CAN YOU REGISTER A CAR WITHOUT INSURANCE POST-PCS?
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Can I Register a Car Without Insurance?
"It depends" feels like a cop-out answer, but it’s the truth. You can register a car without insurance in some states, but in others, you can't. Many states and insurance companies have grace periods, but it’s best not to push your luck, as a lapse can cost you serious money and add more unwanted stress to your move.
The best route for all military personnel is to ask your auto insurance agent if you can register your car without insurance. Civilians who move into another state are required to change their registration, but some states don’t require active-duty military personnel to deal with such hassles.
A major consideration that can't be forgotten is that even if you don’t have to change your military car registration post-PCS, you’ll still need to maintain an adequate amount of car insurance. For most states, this means meeting the state requirements of a minimum amount of liability coverage.
If you don't have enough liability coverage to meet the requirements of your new state, you can be left paying for any losses regarding property damage or bodily injury that occur after an accident for which you're at fault. This may also include legal expenses and loss of wages to another party.
Furthermore, if you fail to transfer additional coverages in your policy to your new state, such as collision or comprehensive coverage, you may not be covered in the event of an accident post-PCS. Again, the best recommendation is to speak with a licensed auto insurance agent that can provide you with the details of your personal auto insurance policy.
Because each policy and state law is unique, as are the circumstances surrounding the driver, understanding car insurance for active-duty military members can be difficult. Failing to make sure your affairs are in order, however, can land you in hot water and spending more money dealing with legal and logistical hurdles.
Basic Training and Military Car Insurance PoliciesIf you're heading off to basic training, you could be new to the way auto insurance works when you have to move to another state. Active military members have options, however. You can do three things with your auto insurance coverage during basic training: maintain coverage, cancel your policy, or suspend your insurance.
Maintaining your coverage doesn’t change anything, but if you're gonna cancel your policy or suspend coverage, you’ll want to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by filing an affidavit of non-use to avoid paying fees or penalties.
You’ll also need to keep in mind that while you can save some cash by pausing or canceling your auto insurance, you're also leaving your vehicle at risk for a loss and won’t be protected should something happen to it.
Military Training and Car RegistrationIf you're going to basic training or any other type of training, you may also be wondering, “Can I get a car registered without insurance?” Again, it’s going to depend on several factors regarding your status in the military.
Those attending basic training are not considered active-duty military members. Therefore, the rules that apply to civilians and their auto insurance may apply. For other types of training, including military training for reserve units, your status may vary.
The bottom line is that knowing if you can register a car without insurance in the military comes down to many different variables. Failing to communicate with your Commanding Officer, insurance company, and the DMV can result in fines, penalties, a lapse in coverage, and more. When you're in any situation that would cause you to move for military service, be sure to contact these entities to best understand what steps you need to take to remain covered and legal.
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