Yes, in most states if not all states you do need insurance before registering a vehicle... For instance, in NY State, insurance is required at the time of registration. Your state may vary, so be sure to check with your local DMV office to find out what is required when registering a car.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in New York for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
1. New York requires you to show proof of insurance when you register your vehicle. Your insurance must be taken out in New York - insurance from another state is not valid in New York.
2. Collect the necessary paperwork. If you bought your vehicle from a dealer, then the dealer will have sent the necessary paperwork to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. In all other circumstances you will need to collect the following additional papers:
3. Proof of Ownership. In New York this consists of a Bill of Sale and the vehicle title.
4. If your vehicle title certificate was printed after December 1994, it will show your odometer and damage disclosures on the back. Otherwise, you will need the previous owner to fill out Form MV-103.
5. An Application for Registration form.
6. Proof of Sales Tax paid ( Form DTF-804), purchase price or Sales Tax Exemption ( Form DTF-803). If you have bought your vehicle privately, you will need to complete form DTF-802.
7. You must provide proof that your vehicle meets the "California" emission standard, or provide proof of exemption.
8. Proof of your identity.
9. Visit your local DMV Office with your completed forms.
10. You can claim a tax deduction for that portion of your registration fees that are based on the vehicle's value. It is best to consult a tax attorney to determine exactly how much you may claim.