U.S./Canada Registration and Mexican Car Insurance
If you have to have Mexican Insurance when you drive in Mexico, why should you have to keep your domestic insurance? Mexico Insurance “mex-insurance” requires your vehicle to be “legal to operate” which means it has to have current registration. But your state won’t let you register without U.S. insurance! So it seems you’re forced to have duplicate insurance. Not so fast…
In Canada, it’s simple. You show your Canadian broker your Mexican Insurance coverage and you will be refunded your Canadian Auto Insurance for that term! That’s it. No duplicate insurance for Canadians.
If you plan to have your car in Mexico for more than 75 days and your registration is coming up for renewal, try one of these solutions to save big on insurance.
Two Solutions to Avoid Duplicate Insurance for American tourists
Solution 1: Register Your Car in your Home State with Affidavit of Non-Operation
Most states will allow you to file what is called an Affidavit of Non-Operation. If you read the fine print on these, it does NOT mean that you plan to not operate the vehicle, it simply states you will not operate on your state’s roads. As the California affidavit reads:
The above described vehicle is not being operated or parked on any California roadway so as to require evidence of financial responsibility. I understand that if the vehicle is operated or parked on a California roadway prior to complying with all applicable registration and financial responsibility (liability insurance) laws, I will be subject to citation.
This will allow you to keep your registration current, and avoid paying for insurance in the United States. Please pay attention to the timing of these forms. Some states require 60 days’ to process, and you must file 75 days prior to registration expiration. Give yourself plenty of time because if the registration expires, you’re going to have to go in person to renew.
Arizona calls it a “De-Insured Certificate” which notifies the Motor Vehicle Division that the car will no longer be on Arizona roads and no longer requires insurance in Arizona
New Mexico Forms
Solution 2: Find a State that Does Not Require Insurance and is Friendly to Non-Residents, ie: South Dakota
There are only two states that do not require insurance, Virginia and New Hampshire. But both states require residency. South Dakota however, has a small county in the southern part of the State called Clay County. They will let you register as a non-resident without smog or insurance requirements. The State has taken down most of the information related to this process from their website, but you can call the Clay County DMV (Treasurer) here: