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The Virginia Car Registration Hustle

E. Gregory Watson, Esq. Dec. 20, 2017

For economic reasons many Maryland residents register their cars in Virginia. As shocking as it is, Virginia doesn't require insurance on vehicles registered in their state. Uninsured vehicle owners in Virginia can instead opt to pay a fee to the VA Department of Motor Vehicles which will prevent them from being penalized for having an uninsured vehicle. Maryland, on the other hand, requires all vehicles registered in-state to have the bare minimum insurance coverage. We all know that it's common for people here to have cousins or grandparents who live in Virginia. Many take advantage of that state's cheaper insurance regulations and use a family member's Virginia address for registration purposes.

While this is all understandable from a financial perspective it certainly comes with absolutely huge risks. Specifically, if you don't have auto insurance that means you don't have uninsured motorist insurance (UM). Uninsured motorist insurance covers you in the event that you have an accident with another driver who is uninsured –which in this region happens all too often. If the person who hit you doesn't have insurance and you don't have insurance you'll probably be SOL (totally out of luck). If you're a Maryland resident you should think twice before you register your car in Virginia.