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Can a Snowbird Register a Car in Florida?

snowbird register a car in florida

Truthfully, it’s not a question of if a snowbird can register a car in Florida; it’s a question of how. If you or someone you know migrates south to Florida for the winter, then they have some insurance and registration requirements to fulfill. More specifically, the insurance and registration requirements of Florida since that is where they are staying. In short, snowbirds will need to both register their car and buy insurance for it when they go to a state like Florida for the winter.

Why do You Need to Register Your Car in Florida?

Cars are not often registered in two different states at the same time. The same can be said for car insurance. Florida has a law wherein all cars being used within the state for more than 90 days must be registered with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. These days do not have to be consecutive, just within the same year for you to be considered a part-time resident of Florida. Florida will allow you to use your driver’s license from your home state in order to register your car. Even snowbirds from Canada can use their licenses unless directed otherwise.

Why do You Need Florida Auto Insurance?

Since you are considered a part-time resident of Florida, you’ll have to follow their car insurance laws in addition to registration laws. This can apply to the car you drive or have brought to Florida for a certain period of time or one you keep entirely at your Florida residence. But the general rule is if you have a car for your stay in Florida, you will have to get it insured by a local insurance company. You can, however, use your current auto insurer if they are also licensed in Florida.

Florida has the following insurance requirements:

  • Personal injury protection insurance (PIP) - At least $10,000 in coverage.
  • Property damage liability insurance (PDL) - At least $10,000 in coverage.

Is Temporary Car Insurance an Option For Snowbirds?

Car insurance policies come with set renewal dates that will only become void when insurance payments are missed. So, there really is no such thing as temporary car insurance, unfortunately. You can cancel your Florida car insurance when you head home by placing your car in storage and turning in the license plates. Of course, this means that your car will have to remain in Florida, but at least you will not be paying insurance on a car you can’t use. Always inquire about discounts for cars in storage as your auto insurance provider may offer them. Other ways to save include bundling your Florida home and auto insurance with the same provider or buying insurance through your current provider, given they are licensed in Florida.

Are There Penalties For Forgoing The State Vehicle Registration?

In addition to the legal complications from driving unregistered or uninsured, it can also damage your reputation with insurance companies. At the same time, not being truthful about the location and whereabouts of the car you are insuring is insurance fraud which carries even more legal penalties -some of which are financially damaging. The National Insurance Crime Bureau may also get involved. To avoid all this, a snowbird heading to Florida for the winter should absolutely register and get insurance for their car in the Sunshine State.

Insurance Navy provides options for auto insurance policies that make being covered simple and budget-friendly. Call us at 888-949-6289 for your free auto insurance quote today. Quotes are also available online via our website and mobile app.

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