Getting Car Insurance: Which Documents Do You Need?

June 13, 2013

When getting car insurance for a new vehicle, you'll need to provide applicable insurance documents. The insurance requirements to buy car insurance are essentially the same in all states, so this guide is applicable no matter where you live. Before you go to get auto insurance, make sure you have the following documents and other information on hand.

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Document 1: Driver's License

Your driver's license verifies that you can legally drive and therefore have the authority to purchase car insurance. It also allows insurance providers to check your driving history prior to offering you a policy. With a clean driving record, you'll get much better rates than you could expect to get if you have a history of moving violations. If more than one person will be driving the vehicle you are insuring, drivers' licenses must be presented for all parties.

Document 2: Social Security Numbers

The second document you will need to present to get car insurance is your social security number. Again, if more than one person is driving the vehicle to be insured, each driver will need to either present their social security card or have their number memorized.

Document 3: Bank Information

Insurance companies will need to have information concerning either your credit card or checking account. They will most likely be running a credit check before offering you a policy, since studies have shown that people with a history of making late payments tend to file more claims and cost the insurance company more money. Having an impeccable credit history will work in your favor if you're trying to find the lowest possible premiums and rates on car insurance.

Document 4: Vehicle Information

The insurance company will need to know exactly what car they are insuring with your policy. You will need the vehicle's VIN, which is often printed on a sticker located inside the driver's side windshield or inside the driver's door. Your car dealership can help you locate the VIN if you are unable to find it. Your insurance premiums and rates will likely partially depend on the car you are driving. The newest, safest models tend to cost less to insure than older models which lack airbags or other standard safety features.

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Other Information

In addition to providing the documents listed above, you will need to be able to answer various questions. These include providing general information (name, date of birth, address, et cetera) for the people who plan to drive the vehicle to be insured; information about any prior moving violations or incidents; and specifically what type of coverage you intend to purchase. You should have an idea of what kind of coverage you want before going in, but otherwise these questions shouldn't require any preparation.

By being prepared and bringing these important documents with you--your driver's license, social security number, bank information and vehicle information--you'll be able to expedite the insurance process to get your policy as quickly as possible.

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