If you're coming to the U.S. for work or to make a new home, you will need help covering the basics of living in America. The differences in billing, healthcare, and car insurance for non-U.S. residents can be overwhelming to deal with as you transition to a new country.

It can be challenging to find what you need and how to get it, but having insurance for pretty much everything is crucial to living well in the U.S. So whether you're just applying or are a new American citizen, these tips will help you make a seamless transition.

Can undocumented or new American immigrants register a car?

By going through the proper channels, any American immigrant can register their car and legally drive within the U.S. However, specific states are easier to become a legal driver in than others.

A list of what you need to provide to register a new vehicle with the Department of Motor Services (DMV) or the Department of Driver Services (DDS) includes:

●       Showing that you filed an entry with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) if you are bringing a vehicle from overseas

●       Filling out an HS-7 form with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for any imported vehicles

●       Providing proof of American car insurance coverage

●       Providing proof of ownership in the form of a title or lease

●       Ensuring that your vehicle has passed an emissions test

●       Completing the EPA Form 3520-1 for any imported vehicle

●       Get a U.S or international driver's license (within most states)

For the most part, these are the general basics for anyone looking to register a new or imported car in the U.S. However, it is a standard requirement that the vehicle is free of all personal belongings and thoroughly cleaned before entry to the states, which could result in additional fees.

You need to have your vehicle empty and sanitized for transportation to prevent the spread of foreign pests and to follow border protection procedures that prevent the trafficking of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. These rules may seem excessive but are also in place to protect you from theft, vandalism, or mishandlings of personal belongings as well.

The failure to comply or to complete any of these requirements could result in the seizure or impoundment of your vehicle at any time. It is also illegal for anyone to drive without a U.S.-licensed registration; however, you are given some time to meet all the requirements but must keep track of announcements as they are made. Policies on immigrant licenses may change and require many to apply for a new status.

Bonus insurance tip: Although most importing and exporting cargo companies have liability insurance, there is never too much coverage when shipping a vehicle. You may acquire personal liability insurance for your car with a green card, which is easily applied for online.

How long can you drive in the US with a foreign license?

For most insurance policies, you must provide proof of a valid driver's license to be approved for auto coverage, but you will have three months to obtain an accepted license. With most work visas exceeding the terms for foreign licenses and plates, it is wise to start applying right away to get an American or international driving permit (IDP).

An IDP requires two photo proof forms of ID and that the applicant be 18 years or older. The application is $20 and lasts for one year. This type of driving permit is valid for operating a car in the U.S. and is best to get if you plan on driving in more than one country.

Requirements for each state will vary, and much of what you will need to get a license and insurance depends on where in the U.S. you need it. The best way to ensure that all your bases are covered is to contact local offices and insurance providers of where you plan to move or visit.

A list of states that grant a driver's license without requiring a social security number (SSN) or proof of legal citizenship as of January 2021 is:

●       California

●       Colorado

●       Connecticut

●       Hawaii

●       Illinois

●       Maryland

●       New Mexico

●       Nevada

●       Utah

●       Vermont

●       Virginia

●       Washington

Once you receive all the necessary documents and licenses, you shouldn't allow them to lapse.

In general renewing, each of these registrations and documentation can be an easy task to forget, but setting reminders to handle before the expiration dates will save you from starting over each year. Fortunately, insurance policy non-renewal does not harm your future insurance applications the way cancellation by the provider would.

How much does car insurance cost in the US?

Everything comes down to cost, and if you are late to realize how much is required, certain expenses could double to expedite the application processes. While in the U.S., you can expect to pay a monthly premium, twice a year, or annually for auto insurance coverage.

On average, Americans pay roughly $1,600 a year for individual auto insurance coverage. This gets spread over 12 payments anywhere between $130-$150 for a fair rate with the monthly payment option.

The national average of how much people pay for coverage is a great start to determining your rate, but know that the number can change once your application is approved. Your insurance quote may be higher or lower than the average based on your driving history, profession, type of vehicle, and state insurance requirements.

Your family dynamic will also affect the premium quotes you receive because more drivers mean more liability for the company. For example, if you have a young driver on your policy, it is common for their insurance to be more costly than adults.

Even if you believe a company is providing an unreasonable quote, don't shy away from asking about all coverage options and removing parts not required by your state. You can even ask for ways to save, like taking safe driving courses or combining payments.

Bonus insurance tip: If you know the address to where you're moving or will be staying, you could save money based on the ZIP code of your American address. Insurance companies will run a background check for your driving record for points like DUIs or speeding tickets, but the demographics of your location can add or reduce the cost of your premium.

Dealing with auto insurance is necessary if you legally want to drive in the U.S. and most other countries worldwide. It can be tedious and bothersome to try to make sense of, but online quotes and easy ways to compare quotes from multiple companies can ensure the best deal for you.

About The Author : Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She enjoys providing insurance information to help make financial freedom a reality for everyday people.