If you’re a new Florida resident, or are thinking of moving to Florida, you may have questions about your car insurance and what steps you need to take to get your vehicle registered. We get a lot of calls from people moving to Florida who have questions about this process, and we’re happy to answer them, and to welcome them to the state.
Once you move to Florida, you have 30 days to get a Florida driver’s license, but only 10 days to buy insurance and title/register your vehicles. Where should you start? Before registering an out-of-state car, you’ll need to buy insurance valid in Florida. And coverage requirements here are a little different than in other parts of the U.S.
Currently, to register a car in Florida, you must have an insurance policy with a minimum of $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP), and $10,000 Property Damage liability (PD). PIP covers injuries you or certain others receive in a crash, regardless of who is at fault. (It also covers your injuries if you’re hit while you’re a pedestrian.) PD protects your liability if you’re at fault in an accident and you damage someone else’s property, such as a vehicle, building, or telephone pole. Please note that this is the minimum coverage required to drive legally in Florida, but such low coverage is not recommended for most people because it is most likely inadequate to protect you financially if you’re in an accident.
In addition, Florida has something called the Financial Responsibility law, which “requires that any person at fault in a crash resulting in bodily injury and property damage to others must have in effect at the time of the crash full liability insurance coverage.” This means that if you are at fault in an accident and you injure someone, you must be carrying at least $10,000 per person Bodily Injury (BI) coverage in addition to PIP and PD coverage at the time of the accident.
Click here if you’d like to get a car insurance quote—you’ll need the driver’s licenses of all drivers in the household, as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN) for each vehicle. Have your current car insurance policy handy so you can tell your new insurance agent what coverage you currently have as well as what you would like to have on your new policy.
For additional information on insurance coverage in Florida, please see “New to Florida? Here’s What You Need to Know About Car Insurance.”
Remember: before you can transfer the title or registration for your vehicle to Florida, you have to have proof of insurance.
In addition to proof of insurance, you’ll also need proof of identity, your out-of-state title/registration, and you’ll have to have your vehicle’s VIN verified by inspection. (Please click the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department link below for printable application forms and complete details on what you’ll need to do to register your vehicle and get a Florida driver’s license.)
Your local independent insurance agent
When moving to Florida, you’ll want to find a local independent insurance agent to handle your insurance needs—an agent familiar with Florida’s insurance laws. An independent agent will also be able to check rates with multiple insurance companies, so he or she can shop for the best rates for you rather than being exclusively tied to one company.
Lakewood Financial is a locally-owned, independent insurance agency in business since 2003 serving Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota and surrounding areas. We have more than 25 years experience in the insurance business and we represent more than 40 financially sound car insurance companies. We want to be your Florida insurance agents—so please call us at 941-747-4600, or email us so we can help you begin your new life in the Sunshine State!
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