New York State Insurance Requirements


Do I need insurance? 

Yes. To register a vehicle in New York State you must have New York State issued automobile liability insurance coverage.  If you do not maintain the coverage, the DMV can suspend your vehicle registration and your driver license. 

What kind of insurance do I need? 

New York law requires that you have auto liability insurance coverage. The minimum amount of liability coverage is

  • $10,000 for property damage for a single accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for two or more people in an accident

Your liability insurance coverage must

  • remain in effect while the registration is valid, even if you don’t use the vehicle (there are exceptions for motorcycles 1)
  • be New York State insurance coverage, issued by a company licensed by the NY State Department of Financial Services and certified by NY State DMV - out-of-state insurance is never acceptable
  • be issued in the name of the vehicle registrant, and remain in the name of the registrant at all times 2 

The New York State Department of Financial Services website has more information about liability insurance and insurance companies licensed in New York:

More than 2 names on a vehicle registration

There can only be 1 or 2 names on a registration (registrants). Both the primary registrant (first name listed on the registration) and the co-registrant must sign the Vehicle Registration/Title Application (PDF) (MV-82) and provide their proofs of identity and date of birth. Both names must appear on the Insurance ID Card. 

Do I need insurance to register my vehicle?  

Yes. The DMV requires auto liability insurance to register a vehicle in New York. When you get insurance, your insurance company will issue proof of insurance in two ways. It will

  • give you two original NY State Insurance ID Cards (see a sample) or provide you with access to your digital electronic NY State Insurance ID Card 3
  • send an electronic notice of insurance coverage to the DMV (your insurance agent or broker cannot file this notice)  

Your NY State Insurance Identification Cards and the electronic notice of insurance together verify your insurance coverage. We need both

You must register your vehicle at the DMV within 180 days of the effective date on your insurance ID card. Bring one copy or form of your Insurance Identification Cards with you. The DMV office will keep the paper card. Keep the other paper card with the vehicle as your proof of insurance. Anyone operating your vehicle must be able to provide proof of insurance while they are operating the vehicle.

Does the name on my vehicle registration application and Insurance Identification Card need to be the same? 

Yes. Your insurance cards must have the same name as the name on your vehicle registration application.    

Will the DMV accept copies or faxes of my Insurance Identification Card? 

Yes. However, the DMV will not accept a card if the DMV barcode reader cannot read (scan) the barcode.    

Out-of-state insurance documents

We will never accept out-of-state vehicle insurance coverage of any type. If your vehicle is registered in New York, it must have New York State auto liability insurance coverage. 

  1. 1. Your motorcycle must have insurance coverage any time it is operated on a public road or highway. Unlike most other motor vehicles, motorcycles are registered for one year rather than two, and all motorcycle registrations expire on April 30. Also, you can terminate your motorcycle liability insurance without surrendering the plate. This makes it easier to put the motorcycle back on the road after winter storage. However, under no circumstances may your motorcycle operate on public highways without liability coverage in effect.
  2. 2. A change on the insurance policy to a name different from the name on your registration may cause a lapse in insurance coverage, and DMV may suspend your driver license and your vehicle registration. Your vehicle's insurance and registration must always be in exactly the same name. You should always carry the paper or access to your digital electronic NY State Insurance ID Card in your vehicle.
  3. 3. Electronic NY State Insurance ID Cards may not be used for the following:
    • All Owned Vehicles (AOV)
    • All Owned & Non-Owned – Comprehensive Auto Liability Policy (AON)
    • Dealer – Garage Auto Liability Policy (DGP)
    • Auto Liability Policy (ALP)
    • Self Insured Vehicles