States that Don’t Require Car Insurance

New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t require car insurance, but other states have workarounds, too.
Written by Liz Jenson
Edited by Sarah Gray
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Almost every state in the US requires drivers to carry
car insurance
in some amount, with New Hampshire being the only exception. However, some states do offer alternatives to car insurance, like self-insurance or certificates of deposit.

Which states don’t require car insurance?

Currently,
New Hampshire
is the only US state that doesn’t require drivers to carry car insurance in one form or another. 

New Hampshire’s car insurance laws

New Hampshire requires drivers to carry at least $25,000 of
bodily injury liability
(BI) per person, $50,000 of BI per accident, and $25,000 of
property damage liability
(PD). 
If you decide not to purchase the state minimum 25/50/25
liability insurance coverage
, you can simply prove that you have the required funds to meet these requirements out-of-pocket1
To prove you meet
New Hampshire’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements
, you can deposit money or securities into a banking account and send the receipt to the state treasurer. This cash and/or securities must equal at least the state minimum coverage limits—that is, at least $75,000. If you don’t have 75k or more to deposit, you’ll need to purchase insurance instead.

What about Virginia?

For many years,
Virginia
was the only state besides New Hampshire to forgo a mandatory auto insurance requirement for its residents. Instead, drivers could pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In 2023, however, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed
Senate Bill 951
, which eliminated this option2.
Thanks to this new legislation, drivers in Virginia are required to carry $30,000 of BI per person, $60,000 of BI per accident, and $20,000 of PD (30/60/20 liability coverage). Those minimum coverage limits will be increased to $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 in January 20253.

Some states offer alternatives to car insurance

If you don’t live in New Hampshire but would prefer not to carry car insurance for one reason or another, there are a few alternatives available in certain states.
Self-insurance
Several US states allow drivers to provide self-insurance. This means you act as your own insurer by opening an insurance account with enough money to cover potential losses.
If you’re an excellent driver, opting for self-insurance can save you lots of money on your insurance premiums. However, if you do get into an accident, and you're at fault, all of the damages come directly out of your pocket. This means self-insurance is a high-risk, high-reward option.
To obtain a self-insurance certificate from the state, drivers must submit an application to the DMV and demonstrate that they have the money needed to cover a loss, usually via a security bond or cash deposit written over to the state.
Which states allow self-insurance?
Surety bonds
In several states, you can choose to purchase a surety bond rather than a standard car insurance policy. 
To purchase a surety bond, you’ll contact a car insurance company that offers this service and pay a set amount of money. This money will be used to cover any accidents up to the value of the surety bond. However, if you do use your surety bond to pay for an accident, you’ll need to pay the entire amount back with interest.
Which states allow surety bonds?

Cash or securities

In a few states, you may be able to deposit cash and securities with your local DMV. This works similarly to the proof of financial responsibility option in New Hampshire, but in other states, you do actually have to make a deposit rather than proving your funds via a band receipt. Check with your state’s DMV to learn more about this option and the limitations in your state.

You should carry car insurance even if it’s not legally required

While there may be ways to get around the car insurance requirements in your state, it’s almost always a good idea to carry at least the minimum car insurance requirement in your state. 
If you get into an at-fault accident without insurance, you’ll still be legally required to pay any resulting medical expenses or property damages. This could result in tens of thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket expenses, particularly if there are expensive medical bills associated with the bodily injury you cause in the car accident.

How much car insurance should you carry?

It’s a good idea to carry significantly higher liability limits than your state minimum amount. In the event of an accident, your property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverage could be maxed out very quickly if you stick to the state minimum.
At Jerry, our car insurance experts recommend carrying at least 100/300/100 liability insurance and
full coverage
car insurance, including
comprehensive coverage
and
collision coverage
.
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FAQ

Is a surety bond cheaper than state minimum car insurance?

If you never get into an accident, a surety bond will be cheaper than the insurance costs associated with state minimum required coverage. If you do get into an accident, however, your out-of-pocket costs will be much higher than your insurance rates would have been.

What is your proof of insurance if you have self-insurance?

If you choose to insure yourself, you’ll be issued a certificate of self-insurance that will qualify as your proof of insurance.

What types of coverage can be replaced with a surety bond?

You can replace all types of insurance coverage with a surety bond in 31 states, but this could result in very high out-of-pocket costs in the event of a car accident.

Meet our experts

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Liz Jenson
Liz Jenson is an insurance writer who specializes in general automotive and insurance topics. Liz’s mission is to produce informative and useful content to help car owners make smart choices when buying cars and car insurance. Since joining Jerry in 2021, Liz has written nearly 4,000 long- and short-form articles on topics including state-specific insurance recommendations, common car insurance questions, and deep dives into vehicle model details.
Before they came to Jerry, Liz was a full-time student at Indiana University, Bloomington working on a double major in English and French.
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Sarah Gray
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Sarah Gray is an insurance writer with nearly a decade of experience in publishing and writing. Sarah specializes in writing articles that educate car owners and buyers on the full scope of car ownership—from shopping for and buying a new car to scrapping one that’s breathed its last and everything in between. Sarah has authored over 1,500 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from first-time buyer programs to how to get a salvage title for a totaled car.
Prior to joining Jerry, Sarah was a full-time professor of English literature and composition with multiple academic writing publications.

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