When it comes to financial responsibility laws for vehicle liability, my current understanding is that the state where the vehicle is registered in is the deciding factor for legal compliance with other states being driven through due to some sort of reciprocity or the insurer having agreements with networks of underwriters where coverage limits expand as needed to at least the required minimums.

However, there are alternatives to conventional insurance that I am very interested in, such as surety bonds, security deposits held by the state, or even self-funded insurance as a small business fleet. Surety bonds require a third-party which I would assume acts like a traditional insurance policy insurer to have elastic compliance on an interstate level.

But what about the security deposits at the state where the vehicle is registered? Is a receipt / certificate of satisfactorily meeting financial responsibility in the home state sufficient for interstate travel?

  • 3
    Serious question: why not just get auto insurance like everyone else?
    – RonJohn
    Nov 28, 2019 at 4:47
  • @RonJohn You are right. Nov 28, 2019 at 5:27
  • I have rented Enterprise rental cars with Delaware plates and a certificate of self insurance, in states other than Delaware, so this must work out - but I don't have categorical details to make into an answer
    – user662852
    Aug 4, 2020 at 22:45
  • I had to go in the glove box for some reason and saw it, and that it was Delaware's certificate serial #2, which was weird detail I have kept with me for years
    – user662852
    Aug 4, 2020 at 22:50
  • @user662852 Enterprise probably calculated that it could self-insure much cheaper than going through a traditional insurance company, and convince Delaware to pass a law letting them do it. That's why the certificate number was so low.
    – RonJohn
    Jan 2, 2021 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


It seems that there are insurance alternatives such as surety bonds, self-insurance, cash, or security deposits as you mentioned. It is also possible to pay an uninsured motorist fee to drive legally without auto insurance in some states. It is however much harder to get and the motorist still must meet the state's minimum policies. Some states allow security deposits for at least $60,000. I therefore would not really recommend the alternatives

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