Can you get car insurance without a license?

Although you will have to go through some hoops, you can get car insurance without a license. The easiest way to get coverage for your car is to have someone else with a license be the primary driver on your policy.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to Know

  • It’s technically possible to get car insurance without a license, though many companies may refuse to provide coverage to unlicensed drivers
  • You can get insurance coverage if you name another licensed driver as the primary driver on your policy
  • A parked car insurance policy provides coverage for cars that won’t be driven, such as a classic or vintage car

Car insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense if you don’t have a driver’s license. After all, what is the point of an insurance policy if you’re not going to drive the car?

Well, we can think of a few exceptions.

Even without a license, you might need car insurance sometimes for various reasons. For example, you might not be able to drive anymore because of age or health problems but still need someone to drive you to appointments in your car. Or your license might be suspended/revoked, and you might need car insurance to get back on the road. In any case, for such situations, the question always comes up: “Can I get car insurance without a license?”

You’ll be glad to hear that the answer is yes, you can still get car insurance without a driver’s license — you’ll just have to put in a little extra effort. This article will look at a few different ways to do just that.

Why You Might Need Car Insurance Without a License

You should always have insurance. It’s good practice in general to insure any registered vehicle.

You might not have a valid driver’s license right now, but that could change, so maintaining state-mandated liability coverage on your vehicle is in your best interest, even if you are no longer driving. A lapse in coverage can result in higher rates — something you certainly want to avoid.

Aside from that, if someone else drives your car and gets into an accident, you may still be liable for damages and repairs.

Here are a few situations where having car insurance would come in handy.

You’re a New Driver

People learning to drive are often given provisional licenses for practicing, commonly known as learner’s permits. Despite not having regular licenses, learners will still need car insurance before getting behind the wheel of a personal vehicle — whether it’s their parents’ or their own. 

People under the age of 18 cannot buy insurance in most states simply because insurance policies are considered to be legally binding contracts (and almost all states set the legal base age at 18). They are usually covered under the policy of a parent or guardian.

Getting Car Insurance for Another Driver

Suppose you don’t drive. In which case, you wouldn’t need a driver’s license, right? If you answered yes, then you’d be correct.

However, that being said, you still need to get car insurance if you own a vehicle — even if you’re not behind the wheel. Unless you have liability insurance, you will be liable for any property damage or injuries caused by someone else while driving your car. If someone else is regularly driving you around in your car, that person needs to be licensed and insured.

For their own safety, anyone who regularly drives your car will need to be covered under your policy. If there is one person driving you around the majority of the time, you can make them the primary driver on your policy. 

Getting Car Insurance for a Classic Car

Classic car collectors who store their cars may still need car insurance to protect their investment from damage, just like they would with other valuables. While you may not need collision insurance or medical payments coverage, you may want to insure it against theft or vandalism.

You can usually find specific classic car insurance policies sold by niche insurance companies.

Your License Gets Suspended

A suspended license might keep you from driving for some time.

Continued coverage, however, can help you save money when you get behind the wheel again. A gap in your coverage raises a red flag to future car insurance companies and may likely result in higher rates next time you apply for car insurance.

Your state will typically allow you to resume driving only if you can show proof of coverage. A state or a court order might require you to acquire SR-22 insurance if your license has been suspended or revoked for driving violations, such as a DUI conviction or too many traffic violations.

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Why Having a Driver’s License Matters to Insurance Companies

Insurers can assess your driving record by looking at your license, which tells it how big of a risk you are. For instance, an insurance company might consider you a high-risk driver if you have a history of at-fault accidents or tickets and might increase your rates as a result.

Without this information, insurance companies will have a much harder time balancing the costs and potential profits when taking on a new policyholder. Consequently, insurance companies usually prefer to reject applications that lack this documentation. In the company’s view, it’s not a risk worth taking.

How to Get Car Insurance Without a License

The process of getting your vehicle covered without a license may not be as straightforward. People seeking car insurance without having a driver’s license will have to make more effort than the average policyholder. As we mentioned, most insurance companies are reluctant to provide coverage to an unlicensed driver. So, you’ll have to be more diligent in your shopping for a suitable insurance company.

Assuming you’ve looked around and still can’t find any suitable insurers, don’t give up just yet. Here are a few more alternatives to try if you’re purchasing insurance without a driver’s license (the effectiveness of these methods will depend on each individual insurance company):

Purchase a Policy as a Secondary Driver

You can designate someone else to be the primary or principal driver of the policy. This is by far the easiest and most practical way to go about it.

The only prerequisite is that this person has to be over 18 and must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit.

The primary driver can be anyone. It could be your wife, for example. Or a close friend who’s willing to help. Or perhaps you have a personal driver who chauffeurs you around (we’re envious). If age or disability prevents you from driving, you could also set your caregiver as your primary driver on a policy.

Using someone else as the primary or principal driver tells the insurance company that you will not be driving. It can provide some reassurance if the insurer is concerned that you may get into an accident without a license. In this way, it may be easier to get approved for coverage, and you may not have to pay steep rates.

Get a Policy for Your Parked Car

If you store your car, another option for getting car insurance with no license is to obtain a “parked car” policy. This special policy only covers damage to a car while it’s being stored and not in use. Note that this doesn’t provide collision coverage.

With this type of coverage, a car insurance company may not be as concerned about your lack of a driver’s license since you won’t be driving anyway. And since it only applies when a vehicle is parked, a parked car insurance policy will also be more affordable than a traditional policy with liability and collision coverage.

Can I get car insurance after a license suspension?

Yes, you can still get car insurance after a license suspension. In fact, if your license was suspended due to a DUI, DWI, or a serious accident, some states even require you to obtain car insurance first before reinstating your license.

This usually comes in the form of an SR-22 form from your insurance company. Those living in Virginia or Florida will need an FR-44 form instead. These forms are also known as “certificates of financial responsibility.”

Your current car insurance company can provide one of these forms and attach it to your policy. But keep in mind that if your license has been suspended, you might be labeled a high-risk driver. Not all insurance companies may be willing to provide coverage for high-risk individuals, and some may cancel your policy altogether.

Should your insurance carrier cancel your policy, you will need to find a new insurance company that will provide you with the SR-22 form. Major carriers like GEICO or State Farm have special high-risk driver policies for this purpose. When you do find coverage, expect to pay much higher rates than you would normally.

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