New Hampshire is one of the only state that does not require auto insurance. However, drivers in the Granite State must demonstrate that they have the financial resources to cover damages if they’re involved in an accident.

In Virginia, according to the state’s department of motor vehicles, you need to prove a vehicle is insured in order to get license plates. But you can pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee that lets you drive an uninsured vehicle. However, you do so at your own risk.

The bottom line is that every state requires that you meet financial responsibility requirements through insurance, a bond or some other approved means that show you are able to pay if you cause damages to another person or property in an automobile accident.

If you choose to buy insurance, you should know that the states’ minimum insurance requirements differ.

Almost every state requires you to have bodily injury liability insurance to pay for the treatment of anyone you injure; other states operating under no-fault laws will require that you carry personal injury protection to pay for your own injuries. You usually will be required to buy property damage liability insurance to repair the vehicles of anyone you hit.

If traveling out of state, take your proof of insurance or proof of financial responsibility with you. And review your policy for any out-of-state policy limitations (such as only the named insured being covered) before hitting the road. 

Most policies will give you the same liability limits you currently carry while you’re out of state unless these do not meet the other state’s minimum limits. If that is the case, typically your policy will automatically raise the limits to that state’s limits if you are in an accident. 

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Michelle Megna
Contributing Researcher

Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. She's a former editorial director. Prior to joining, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.