Can a tourist purchase a car in the U S and insure it himself?

  • AIG International Services offers short term auto insurance for tourists in the U.S. The car would have to be licensed and registered in their name in the U.S. You can call them at 877-708-6995 or visit their website at
  • Yes. Most large insurance firms won't do this, however, especially if it is a short term stay (below 6 months). I would suggest you look for an insurance broker (search for insurance broker online or in the yellow pages). An insurance for a non-citizen tourist will cost 100-200 dollars per month, depending on the car.You will need to bring your driver's license (and maybe a translation of it, if your driver's license is not in English. The translation of a foreign driver's license is called an international driver's license, which you can get in your own country).Also make sure to get a "Motor Vehicle Driving Record" in your own country, to prove that you have never had any accidents. If you prove this, it will usually lower the price of the insurance a little.
  • You need to insure your car just after you have bought it. Insuring it is an easy step and you get some temporary insurance paper's on the same day that you want to insure your car (you need to have the car first before you can purchase insurance: the price of the car insurance depends on the year/model of the car). Some days later they (the insurance company/broker) send you the permanent insurance certification over postal mail to the address you have provided them with.
  • After you have insured the car you need to register it, and here comes THE PROBLEM: You need a permanent address to be able to register it in the USA, and you can't use a friend's address (since that is slightly illegal). Read more here, about buying a car in US as a tourist:
  • The LAST STEP is the DIFFICULT One. And the last step can't be skipped, because when you buy a car (new or used) you get it without TAGS on the license plate or without any license plate at all. These you only get when you register it.
  • Most likely, though heightened "security measures" in the U.S. will likely add a few steps to the process. If the tourist has insurance in his own country, it might transfer to the U.S., but that's unlikely. Most U.S. policies don't transfer outside of a certain perimeter in Mexico, for instance. You'd need a valid driver's license, too.

Yes a tourist can rent a car if he or she want's to.