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Yuma, Arizona Car Insurance

Yuma residents can be stuck in a difficult situation when it comes to registering their cars. Because the city is right on the California border, many Arizona residents work in California. There are also Californians working in Arizona. The problem: both states have laws requiring you to register your car in the state where you work or reside. But you can only register a car in one state at a time.

By the letter of the law, you would have to register your car upon entry into California, then re-register it when you go back home to Yuma. This is because the Arizona law says that residents must register their vehicle immediately in Arizona. Even a weekend Arizona resident is likely to vote in Arizona if he owns a home there. And his kids probably go to Arizona schools. Those two things establish a person as an Arizona resident. In California, you are a resident if you have a job there, among several other similar qualifications.

The typical Yuma resident/California worker will come home just on the weekends. This means they do not meet the definition of resident based on the length of time they spend in the state. Those who are in Arizona a cumulative seven months or more are considered residents. A weekend warrior who is not registered to vote and has no kids in Arizona schools may not meet the definition of an Arizona resident. In that case, the person would legally need a California license.

But here’s where it gets uncomfortable. Arizona residents are very resentful of people who fail to register their cars in Arizona. They don’t know that you spend most of your time in California, and are not technically an Arizona resident. They just see you every weekend with your California plates and it makes many of them angry.

Arizonians pay high vehicle taxes instead of paying high property taxes. For every person that does not register a car, other residents are footing that person’s share of the cost of road maintenance and highway infrastructure. One resident wrote, “Don't treat the [Arizona government] like a cheap date, please pay your taxes.”

This story from another Arizona newcomer may make a Yuma commuter squirm: “It was not worth it having an out of state license for any amount of time. People flipped me off, cut me off, drove erratically, etc. Once I got my plate, I have never seen so many polite people in my life and life was normal.”

The best thing to do is probably to get an Arizona license and keep records in your car at all times that show your situation. Proof that you vote in Arizona or have a child enrolled in a school there should help convince any California officer that you are driving legally in California with your Arizona plates.

If you need to switch your registration from one state to the other, make sure you enter the appropriate zip code in the box at the top of this page. Get three insurance quotes so you can compare policies and get the best rate available.

Yuma, Arizona, has a population of just over 90,000 making it the tenth largest city and one of two most populous cities in the state (the other being Tucson) that are not part of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Yuma serves as the anchor of its own metropolitan area of some 194,000 people, though an additional 85,000 reside full time in the city during the winter months. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Yuma is the sunniest city on Earth, with the sun shining some ninety percent of the time. This has made Yuma a popular destination for people wanting to winter somewhere warm, as well as for the training of military pilots.

Despite being the largest population center in the region, since the city has been built in the desert there has always been plenty of room for an excellent road system. Away from the city center, driving in Yuma offers no real disadvantages and it is possible that new residents may be able to get insurance without having to pay additional amounts based on their address. However, with unemployment being a major issue in Yuma, the only people regularly moving there are retirees, who are likely to have to pay larger insurance premiums due to other factors.

In that Yuma is not far from the Mexican border and close to the Mexican cities of San Luis Rio Colorado and Mexicali, drivers from Yuma should understand that their basic Arizona car insurance does not meet Mexican requirements. Yuma residents want to drive in Mexico should buy Mexican insurance from a Mexican provider in order to ensure proper coverage. Americans that find themselves involved in a traffic accident in Mexico without legal Mexican coverage usually find themselves spending days in Mexican jails and heavily fined. You Arizona coverage can under certain circumstances provide some partial protection if you are within twenty-five miles of the border, but this should not be counted upon.

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