What you need to know before you drive in the Silver State
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When you think of Nevada, you probably picture casinos, bright lights, and (beyond its cities) empty deserts. When you’re driving to get around Nevada, you’ll need car insurance. Nevada requires liability coverage only, with costs 19 percent higher in Nevada than in the rest of the U.S. If you’re one of the 2 million licensed drivers in the state, keep reading to learn what you need to know about car insurance in Nevada.
Despite its relatively high costs, Nevada’s auto insurance requirements are pretty minimal. It only requires drivers to have liability insurance coverage, which breaks down into bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. These are the liability limits:
If you only purchased the minimum coverage that Nevada requires, you’d be completely responsible for your bodily injuries and property damages if you caused an accident.
How much car insurance do you need? The answer is, as much as you can afford, up to $500,000 for medical payments coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and your car’s actual market value for collision and comprehensive coverage. With full-coverage car insurance, you can get compensation for your injuries and damages, whether or not you caused the accident.
Car insurance costs in Nevada are 19 percent higher than the national average. The average driver in Nevada pays $1,247 a year for car insurance:
That being said, you can expect to pay anywhere from $640 all the way up to $8,947.28 a year for car insurance.
Here are the car insurance companies available in the Silver State:
Since car insurance in Nevada is expensive, you’re probably looking for ways to save. From discounts to bundling, we’ve got you covered.
You can drop any coverages you don’t legally need, which, in Nevada, is any coverage aside from liability. The cheapest car insurance in Nevada would be the minimum coverage.
You can also raise your deductible to lower your premiums, but remember you’ll owe that amount if you have a covered collision or comprehensive claim.
The way a deductible works is that you’ll have to pay it before your provider compensates you up to your limit. If you can’t pay your deductible, the coverage becomes null.
Lowering your limits means that your provider will contribute less in a covered claim, leaving you responsible out of pocket. However, it could have a good short-term effect on your wallet.
Ask your agent how you can save on car insurance. From taking a defensive driving class to installing a steering wheel lock, there are options from every insurance company.
Finally, bundle your insurance policies together, whether that means putting multiple cars on one policy or getting your home, auto, and life insurance all from a single provider.
Driving without proof of insurance in Nevada is illegal, and it’ll cost you both financially and legally.
|Penalties for driving without insurance||First offense||Second offense||Third offense|
|Suspension of registration||Until payment of reinstatement fee and/or SR-22||Until payment of reinstatement fee and/or SR-22||Until payment of reinstatement fee and/or SR-22|
|SR-22||If the lapse is over 90 days||If the lapse is over 90 days||If the lapse is over 90 days|
|Suspension of license||None||None||30-day minimum|
Now that you know about the importance of insurance, read up on Nevada’s other laws surrounding car insurance and driving.
Nevada is an at-fault state, meaning that the person at fault in an accident pays for the other party’s injuries and property damage. The state also has a modified comparative negligence system, which says that accident victims can recover money in an accident even if they were partially negligible. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault, so if you were found to be 15 percent at fault, your compensation would reduce by 15 percent.
In Nevada, insurance companies aren’t required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, nor does the state require customers to have it. Maybe that’s partially due to the fact that only 1 in 10 drivers in Nevada lack car insurance, 20 percent less than the national average.3
However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage on multiple cars, you can multiply the limit by your number of cars and reach a new, “stacked” limit.
Nevada takes drunk driving very seriously: DUIs will stay on your record for seven years. For the first offense, you’ll face a 90-day license suspension, although you could get some driving privileges back, like commuting to work, after 45 days. DUI interlocks are mandatory for all convictions. For first and second offenses, you’ll need to install an interlock for three to six months, which turns into 12 to 36 months for the third and subsequent offenses.
Penalties are even worse if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.18 percent or above. If that’s the case, even for a first offense, you’ll face 12 to 36 months with an interlock plus mandatory alcohol treatment.
Nevada requires people ages 6 and older in all seats to wear seat belts. However, the law is under secondary enforcement, so police officers can’t pull you over for this offense alone; it needs to be accompanied by another traffic violation.
Unlike its seat belt laws, Nevada’s distracted driving laws are under primary enforcement, including a handheld ban for all drivers. You’ll face these penalties for distracted driving, which includes the ever-popular texting and driving:
It’s no surprise that new drivers are more likely to get into accidents and have covered claims, which is why car insurance for teens costs more. In the same vein, Nevada places more restrictions on teen drivers.
|Area||Curfew for drivers under 18|
|Nevada||10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless driving to a scheduled event or work|
|Las Vegas Strip and Downtown||9 p.m. unless accompanied by an adult|
|Other areas in Vegas||10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday|
|Reno Downtown Gaming District||9 p.m. unless accompanied by an adult|
|Other areas in Reno||12 a.m. on weekdays|
In Nevada, you have three years from the date of the accident to file property damage claims and two years for personal injury claims. Beyond these statutes of limitations, you might not get your losses covered.
If a company wants to cancel your insurance policy midterm, it has 30 days to alert you before the expiration date, or 10 if the cancellation is due to nonpayment. If a company doesn’t want to renew your policy at the end of its term, it has 30 days to alert you so you can find a new policy and avoid a gap in coverage.
Nevada allows its residents to self-insure their cars — if they have over 10 cars and the required collateral, that is. You can pay either 130 percent of your average annual claims in the previous three years or an amount based on the number of vehicles you’re insuring.
|Number of cars||Minimum required collateral|
|751 or more||$355,000|
If you buy a car from a dealer, whether that dealer is in Nevada or in another state, you’ll need to pass an emissions test. Emissions tests are also necessary for private-party sales, family sales, new residents to the state, and cars received as gifts. Basically, if you have a gas or diesel truck or car from 1968 or later, in most areas of Las Vegas and Reno, you’ll need an emissions test. These are some possible exceptions:
You’ll need to get an emissions test every 90 days for cars you bought out of state, or 180 days for cars from Nevada dealerships. You can find a testing site here: https://dmvapp.nv.gov/DMV/OBL/Business_Reports/Pages/BusinessLicenses.aspx?LT=EPES.
Make sure to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) handy when you go to your local DMV (contact information below).
Say you were caught driving without insurance, and you haven’t purchased minimum coverage within one day for a first offense. You would then need to carry an SR-22, a form that proves minimum insurance, for three years. For the second offense, if you were found driving without insurance for more than 90 days, a three-year SR-22 would also apply.
Nevada doesn’t have overarching rules about defensive driving courses, their lengths, or the number of points they remove from your driving record. Defensive driving courses are handled at the city level, so check your city’s website to find one.
There’s no monetary or serious injury threshold you need to reach to file a civil suit against someone you got into a car accident with in Nevada. That means you can sue for both economic (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) and noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, anxiety, etc.), no matter the amount you lost or how severe your injuries were.
If you get into a car crash in Nevada, you’ll need to report it immediately or face a one-year maximum suspension of driving privileges, according to the state’s legislation.
Nevada doesn’t have laws preventing car insurance providers from determining prices based on credit scores or gender. That’s bad news for people with poor credit and men, who pay more for insurance than people with good credit and women if all else is equal.
Let’s say someone hits your car. You bring it to the repair shop, where the mechanic tells you that the car’s repairs will cost 70 percent of its actual market value (AMV). In Nevada, your car would be considered a total loss, so if you had collision coverage, you’d be reimbursed for your car’s AMV, as the total loss threshold is 65 percent. In other words, if repairs cost at least 65 percent more than your car’s AMV, it’s a total loss.
Here we’ve compiled the information for the Nevada DMV offices and Department of Insurance.
You can register your car or renew your registration online, or visit a DMV office in person.
|DMV office||Address||Phone number|
|Aliante (Las Vegas AAA)||6905 Aliante Parkway, Suite 101
North Las Vegas, NV 89084
|Carson City||555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711-0400
|East Sahara (Las Vegas)||2621 E. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104-4136
|Elko||3920 E. Idaho St.
Elko, NV 89801-4970
|Ely||480 Campton St.
Ely, NV 89301
|Fallon||2147 W. Williams Ave.
Fallon, NV 89406
|Hawthorne||1085 Highway 95, Suite B
Hawthorne, NV 89415
|Henderson||1399 American Pacific Drive
Henderson, NV 89074
|Laughlin||3030 S. Needles Highway, Suite 100
Laughlin, NV 89029
|Mesquite||550 W. Pioneer Blvd., Suite 120
Mesquite, NV 89027-1403
|North Decatur (Las Vegas)||7170 N. Decatur Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89131-2798
|Pahrump||1780 E. Basin Ave., Suite 1
Pahrump, NV 89060-4605
|Rainbow (Las Vegas AAA)||937 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 1-B
Las Vegas, NV 89145
|Reno||9155 Double Diamond Parkway
Reno, NV 89521
|Reno (AAA)||6795 S. Virginia St., Suite D
Reno, NV 89511
|Sparks (AAA)||1360 Scheels Drive, Suite 120
Sparks, NV 89434
|Tonopah||1137 S. Main St., Suite C-8
Tonopah, NV 89049
|West Flamingo (Las Vegas)||8250 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89147-4111
|Winnemucca||3505 Construction Way
Winnemucca, NV 89445-3155
|Yerington||215 W. Bridge St., Suite 9
Yerington, NV 89447-2570
To get a duplicate car title, you’ll need to fill out a physical form and get it to a DMV office, as there’s no online option.
There are three ways to contact Nevada’s DOI.
According to CarMD, car repairs in Nevada cost 3 percent more than the national average at $395.85. That’s $251.99 for parts and $143.85 for labor, in case you’re wondering.
Auto theft exists everywhere, but Nevada has high rates compared to the rest of the country. The opposite is true for traffic fatality rates, however.
In Nevada, there are 336 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 inhabitants in a year, which is 27 percent higher than the rest of the country. However, Las Vegas seems to have an outsize influence on the theft rate, as it’s the only Nevada city with a motor vehicle theft rate over the state average. Rates are lower in Reno and Carson City, for example.
|City in Nevada||Motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020|
On the brighter side, Nevada has 133 percent fewer traffic fatalities than the rest of the country: 304 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
To learn more about car insurance in Nevada, read our car insurance FAQs below, or learn about car insurance in other states in our state car insurance guide.
Whether you’re a new Nevada resident or a new driver, check out the questions we get the most about car insurance in Nevada.
To insure a car in Nevada, you’ll need at least the minimum coverage limits.
Full-coverage car insurance in Nevada ranges from around $2,246 a year to $2,900 a year. However, many factors affect the cost of car insurance other than the amount of coverage, such as your age, credit score, gender, and marital status. For example, someone with a clean driving record will get a lower car insurance quote than someone with a bad driving record.
It is illegal to not have car insurance in Nevada. All drivers need at least $95,000 worth of liability coverage, according to the Nevada Department of Insurance. If you are caught driving without insurance, you will face legal and financial consequences.
|SR-22||For lapses over 90 days||For lapses over 90 days||For lapses over 90 days|
|Registration suspension||Until you pay the reinstatement fee and/or get an SR-22||Until you pay the reinstatement fee and/or get an SR-22||Until you pay the reinstatement fee and/or get an SR-22|
|License suspension||None||None||Minimum of 30 days|
Insurance rates are so high in Las Vegas — 19 percent higher than the national average — because of factors such as these:
Understanding Auto Insurance. Nevada Division of Insurance. (2013). https://doi.nv.gov/Consumers/Automobile-Insurance/
2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. NAIC. (2023, Jan).
One in Eight Drivers Uninsured. Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar). https://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/UM%20NR%20032221.pdf
CHAPTER 484B – RULES OF THE ROAD. Nevada Legislature. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-484b.html