New York minimum car insurance requirements are:

VAT§ 333

  • Liability coverage
    • $25,000 for bodily injury to another person
    • $50,000 for bodily injuries to two or more other persons in any one accident
    • $50,000 for the death of another person
    • $100,000 for the deaths of two or more other persons in any one accident
    • $10,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
  • Personal Injury Protection
    • $50,000 for bodily injury to the driver and all passengers in any one accident
  • Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist
    • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in your vehicle
    • $50,000 for bodily injuries to two or more people in your vehicle in any one accident

Although coverage such as collision, comprehensive, and accidental death and dismemberment are not required by the state of New York, many drivers choose to purchase them in order to cover any additional expenses they may accrue from an accident.

Alternative Options to Insurance:

Certificates of Self-Insurance are available in New York if the following requirements are met:

VAT § 316

  • You must have at least 26 vehicles registered in your name
  • You must qualify by application through the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles

Office of the Commissioner
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY, 12228

Phone Numbers according to location

In New York, you have the option to use a financial security bond or deposit as proof of financial responsibility instead of purchasing an insurance policy, if the following requirements are met:

VAT§ 314

  • Security bond in an amount that will cover the minimum liability insurance requirements for the state, made with a surety company licensed to do business in New York, and filed with the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Security deposit in an amount that will cover the minimum liability insurance requirements for the state that is filed with the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles

Required Proof of Insurance in New York

Insurance Card provided by Insurance company including all of the following:

  • Name of the insurance company
  • Insurance policy number
  • Effective date and expiration date of the policy
  • Accurate description of year, make, model and vehicle identification number of registered vehicle
  • Name of insured driver

Certificate of Self-Insurance are issued by the state and must include the following:

  • Certificate number issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Effective date of certificate
  • A statement that all vehicles owned are covered by insurance
  • Name of driver covered by certificate

Certificate of Deposit

  • Certificate number issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Effective date of the certificate
  • Name of driver covered by certificate of deposit

Surety Bond

  • Name of company issuing bond
  • Bond number
  • Effective date of the bond
  • Name of driver covered by bond

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY, 12228
Phone Numbers according to location

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Here are the requirements to obtain your Learner Permit:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Complete an MV-44 form and have your parent or legal sign it for consent
  • The MV-44 form is not needed if you are at least 17 years old and have an MV-285 Driver Education Certificate
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the written test
  • Pay the application fee
  • Pay the driver license fee

Here are the requirements to obtain your Driver License for residents under the age of 18:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have your Learner Permit for at least 6 months
  • This is not necessary if you are at least 17 years old and have an MV-285 Driver Education Certificate
  • Complete a driver education course or a pre-licensing course that has been approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Complete at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice, 15 of which must be at night, while supervised by a parent or legal guardian
  • Complete an MV Certificate of Supervised Driving
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the written test
  • Pass the road test OR present your MV-285 Driver Education certificate or MV-278 Pre-Licensing Course Certificate
  • Make an appointment to take the road test online or by phone at 1-518-402-2100
  • Pay the application fee
  • Pay the driver license fee

Here are the requirements to obtain your first Driver License for residents over the age of 18:

  • Obtain a learner permit
  • Complete a state-approved pre-licensing course
  • A learner permit is required for enrollment into a pre-licensing course
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the written test
  • Pass the road test OR present your MV-285 Driver Education certificate or MV-278 Pre-Licensing Course Certificate
  • Make an appointment to take the road test online or by phone at 1-518-402-2100
  • Pay the application fee
  • Pay the driver license fee

The following documents are required for application:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Social Security Number
  • MV 44 form with a signature from your parent or legal for consent
    • The MV-44 form is not needed if you are at least 17 and have an MV-285 Driver Education Certificate
  • MV-285 Driver Education certificate or MV-278 Pre-Licensing Course Certificate
  • MV Certificate of Supervised Driving

Completing Driver Education or Pre-Licensing Course

Anyone under the age of 18 who is applying for a driver’s license must complete a driver education course that has been approved by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and the Commissioner of Education. Driver education courses are provided at New York high schools and colleges and available for students.

If you are over 18 years old and are applying for a New York Driver License for the first time, you are required to complete a pre-licensing course. You must have a learner permit in order to enroll. An approved pre-licensing course must meet the following requirements:

  • The course must be taken at a driving school that has been licensed by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles or an accredited secondary school or college that has been approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Education.
  • The instructors of the course must be certified by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Course content must abide by the syllabus developed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • A single class must have a total enrollment of no more than 36 students
  • The course must consist of at least 4 hours and no more than 5 hours of classroom instruction.

Before you enroll in a pre-licensing course, contact the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and confirm the certification status of the instructors, confirm the approval of the driving school, and see if any disciplinary actions have been taken against an instructor or school.

Knowing the Rules of the Road

New York provides an overview of their rules of the road in the New York Driver’s Manual. You can also read about all of New York’s traffic laws in VehicleandTrafficLaws, Title 7. In order to qualify for the lowest possible car insurance rates, abide by all of the state’s traffic laws, which include:

Residents of New York generally fall into one of three insurance coverage markets, either the preferred, the standard, or the non-standard market. The preferred market is reserved for drivers with clean driving records and offers the lowest auto insurance rates in New York. The standard market is reserved for drivers with fair driving records and still offers some of the best car insurance rates in New York. The non-standard market is reserved for drivers with less experience and those with multiple infractions, including traffic tickets, accidents, and drunken driving offenses. Unfortunately, the non-standard market offers premiums that are significantly higher than the average cost of car insurance in New York.

Know Your Rates

Auto insurance companies consider all of the licensed drivers who are residing in your household when they are deciding what your insurance rate will be. In New York, you or your insurance company can choose to remove someone from this list, and, therefore, from your policy. If someone living in your home is a high risk to insure, keeping them off your policy can be beneficial in terms of keeping your rates low. Several factors are used to evaluate drivers and adjust their rates, including:

  • Vehicle use. Where you park your vehicle can affect you insurance rate. Parking in a safe location, such as a garage or guarded parking lot, will lessen the risk of theft and damage to your vehicle, which can lower your insurance rate. The amount that you drive your vehicle can also affect how much you pay for insurance. Driving often and driving long distances increase your chances of having an accident. Therefore, people with long daily commutes may have to pay higher insurance rates.
  • Vehicle make, model, and year. There are certain vehicles that tend to get stolen more than others. The New York Insurance Department provides information about this and a list of difficult to insure vehicles. If you choose to drive a vehicle that has a high risk of theft, you will have to pay more to insure it.
  • Geographical area. Drivers living in areas which have a lot of crime have to pay higher insurance rates due to the increased chances of their vehicles being vandalized or stolen. In addition, people living in areas that have a high frequency of traffic accidents have to pay higher insurance rates in order to compensate for the increased likelihood of having a collision.
  • Age. Statistical evidence proves that drivers under the age of 25 are involved in more accidents than older drivers. As a result, drivers younger than 25 are considered a higher risk by insurance companies and have to pay higher insurance rates.
  • Gender. Statistics show that women are involved in fewer accidents than men of the same age. Therefore, men have to pay higher insurance rates than women, who in turn typically enjoy low cost car insurance in New York.
  • Marital status. Recent studies have shown that drivers who are married tend to make fewer insurance claims than drivers who are not married. Thus, drivers who are married may have lower insurance rates.
  • Driving record and claims history.  If your record is full of multiple accidents, tickets, and insurance claims, you are considered a higher risk to insure and will have a higher rate than drivers with clean driving records. A good driving record can keep your insurance rate low.
  • Credit history. Insurance companies use people’s credit history to determine the likelihood that they are going to make their payments. If someone has a history of not making payments on time or at all, they will most likely have a higher insurance rate.

Lower Your Rates

You want to find the best insurance coverage for the best price, so compare auto insurance rates in New York by shopping around for insurance, rather than picking the first company you see or even the cheapest policy you find. Just because a policy is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. Speak with several insurance agents and brokers and find out the type of coverage and prices each one will offer you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you understand the coverage before you pay for it. The Department of Insurance provides an onlineautomobileinsurancepricecomparison that you can use to get an idea of what you might have to pay for insurance.

When shopping around, ask about any discounts that a company may offer, such as discounts for having anti-theft devices on your vehicle, for drivers who have completed an accident prevention course, and drivers who are accident free. The Department of Insurance provides an onlinechart that lists insurance companies and the discounts each one offers, which can help ensure that you get the best car insurance in New York for your specific coverage needs.

Before you choose to work with an agent or broker, make sure they are licensed by the Insurance Superintendent by looking for them on the online listofautoinsurancecompanies, using the online insurancecompanysearch, or calling the Department of Insurance at 1-800-342-3736. In addition, if an agent, broker, or company attempts to sell ERISA or union plans, contact the Insurance Superintendent to report the activity.

Also, be mindful of the possibility that some plans, such as medical insurance, can overlap in coverage areas with your auto insurance policy.

Picking an Insurance Agent or Broker

The two types of professionals you will most likely be working with when shopping for insurance are agents and brokers. Insurance agents are employed by insurance companies and work to sell policies for commission. Insurance brokers do not work for an insurance company, instead, they are hired by individual clients to assess their needs and find the right insurance policy from the right insurance company to fit each client’s needs, earning commission from the insurance companies whose policies they sell. Either type can help you find affordable auto insurance in New York, but keep one thing in mind while you are discussing your rates with an agent or broker; their commission is based on your premium. When you pay more money, they make more money.

Before you purchase a policy from an insurance company, agent, or broker, make sure they are permitted to do business in New York and licensed by the Superintendent of the Department of Insurance. The Superintendent provides an online listofautoinsurancecompanies and an online insurancecompanysearch that you can use find a licensed insurance company or to see if the company you are planning to work with is licensed. You can also use the 2010 AnnualRankingofAutomobileInsuranceComplaints to evaluate and compare companies. If you would rather speak to someone over the phone, you can call the Department of Insurance at 1-800-342-3736 to verify the license status of a company, agent, or broker, or to see if any disciplinary actions have been taken against that person or company.

If you have a problem with an insurance company, agent, or broker, you can fileacomplaintonline with the Insurance Superintendent. The Superintendent will investigate the issue and notify you if any additional information is needed or if any formal disciplinary actions will take place.

After an Accident

According to VAT§ 600, there are certain obligations that must be carried out by a driver involved in an accident. If you are involved in a collision with another driver, you are required to stop and remain at the scene of the accident. You are required to immediately notify the New York Highway Patrol, local police, or county sheriff. If anyone is injured or has been killed, law enforcement should be made aware so they can make sure emergency medical services are called to the scene.

If you are involved in a collision, you and the other driver(s) involved are required to exchange information, including name, address, vehicle registration number, insurance information, and driver’s license information, even if the other driver has no car insurance in New York. Be prepared to give a thorough account of the events leading up to the collision to responding law enforcement members. All who are involved in the accident should stay at the scene until released by a law enforcement officer. Take down information, such as the names and contact information of the law enforcement officers and witnesses you spoke with, for your own accident report. If you are able, you should take pictures of the damage caused to all of the vehicles and property involved in the accident. If law enforcement does not respond to the scene, you must go to a nearby police station or sheriff’s office and file a report. All drivers involved in an accident, regardless of fault, are required to fill out and turn in an MV-104 form within 10 days of the accident. Failure to report an accident, stop at the scene of the accident, or exchange the required information with the other driver(s) involved can result in misdemeanor charges, felony charges, fines, imprisonment, and the suspension or loss of your license.

If you caused damage to an unattended vehicle, you are required to make an attempt to locate the owner and provide them with your name, address, vehicle registration number, insurance information, and driver’s license information. If the owner of the vehicle cannot be located, you must leave a written note on or in the vehicle that includes your name, address, and a description of what happened. You must then notify the New York Highway Patrol, local police, or county sheriff and report the accident.

You are also required to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurance company should have procedures that you can follow to file a claim. If you prefer, you can call your company and speak to a representative about filing a claim. Provide the information you attained from the other driver(s) involved in the accident, including name, address, vehicle registration number, driver’s license information, and insurance information. Explain how the accident happened and report the extent of the damage that was caused to any vehicles and/or property. Provide pictures if you have any. Also, provide the names and contact information of any officers and witnesses at the scene. Any police report filed must also be copied and sent to your insurance company. You can request the accident report from the agency that filed it, or, if it has already been processed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, you can searchforthereportonline.

Once they have received all of the necessary information, your insurance company will investigate your claim and notify you of their decision within 30 days. Your insurance company must notify you if your claim is delayed. Your insurance company will notify you in writing if your claim is denied. Contact your insurance company if there is an unreasonable delay without notification. If the issue is still not resolved, contact the Department of Insurance at 1-800-342-3736.

Your insurance company may seek subrogation in the event that the other party involved in the accident is at fault and you had to use your insurance to cover your medical bills, repair bills, and any other expenses resulting from the accident. Your insurance company will contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to be compensated for the costs. During this process, your cooperation with your insurance company will help the everything to go smoothly. Notify your insurance company if you intend to settle with the at-fault driver or their insurance company.

Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

A driving record full of infractions, such as accidents, tickets, or drunken driving offenses, may cause insurance companies to deny you of coverage. However, drivers in New York are required to have insurance, so, in accordance with Article 53 ofNewYorkInsuranceLaw, the state offers the NewYorkAutomobileInsurancePlan to cover drivers in New York who have tried and failed to find insurance coverage due to their driving records.

Additional Help

The New York Department of Insurance offers assistance to anyone who has a question or concern about insurance.  If you would like, you can writetheSuperintendentofInsurance personally. You can contact the Department at 1-800-342-3736 or write them online with a general question. They will answer questions related to insurance, inform you of ways for you to lower your rates and keep them low, investigate complaints about specific companies, agents, or brokers, help you understand insurance laws and procedures, and enforce insurance law on the consumer’s behalf if needed.

Online resources include: