Is Duplicate Car Insurance Really Necessary?

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. Or does it?

Oh Canada!

In Canada, it’s simple. All you have to do is present to your Canadian broker the Mexican Insurance policy. He/she will refund your Canadian Auto Insurance for that term! That’s it. No duplicate insurance for Canadians.

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 an “Affidavit of Non-Operation.” If you read the fine print, it does NOT mean that you won’t drive your car. 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.

–California DMV Affidavit for Non-Use

This allows you to keep your registration current, and avoid paying duplicate insurance in the U.S. Please pay attention to the timing of these forms. Some states require 60-75 days to process. With that said, give yourself plenty of time. If the registration expires, you’re going to have to go in person to renew.

California Registration Requires Insurance unless you file an Affidavit of Non-Operation

Arizona Forms

In Arizona, it’s called 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

Oregon – NO DICE

  • Oregon does not offer affidavit of Non-operation

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. Unfortunately, both states require local residency to register your car. In South Dakota a small county in the southern part of the State called Clay County will let you register as a non-resident without smog or insurance requirements. Apparently the State has taken down most of the information related to this process. You can call the Clay County DMV (Treasurer) here:

  • 605-677-7123

Providing high-quality tourist Mexico Insurance since 2003.

3 Responses to Is Duplicate Car Insurance Really Necessary?

  1. […] For as long as you have your U.S. or Canadian citizenship, and maintain your U.S. or Canadian Drivers License you can continue to operate the U.S. or Canadian-registered vehicle in Mexico. And remember, even as a permanent resident or temporary resident you still must show proof of financial responsibility for operating your vehicle. Don’t worry, you don’t need duplicate insurance. You can maintain your U.S/Canadian registration without purchasing U.S. insurance. Simply read this blog post for details and instruction: “Preventing Duplicate Insurance in Mexico“. […]

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