Can You Get Car Insurance With a Suspended License?
Finding car insurance with a suspended license can be challenging because some insurers may deny coverage or charge significantly higher rates. Driver’s licenses are suspended for various reasons, such as driving while intoxicated, driving without insurance or committing excessive traffic violations. Insurers may be hesitant to insure drivers with this type of driving history.
Finding car insurance with a suspended license is possible but you’ll likely need to spend more time shopping around to find an affordable rate.
What Does It Mean To Have a Suspended License?
A suspended driver’s license means that you are legally prohibited from driving during the suspension period.
A license suspension period can be definite or indefinite:
- Definite suspension: There is a date specified for when the suspension period ends. After this date, you can apply for your driver’s license to be reinstated, assuming you’ve met all other requirements, such as paying fines and penalties.
- Indefinite suspension: There is no end date specified. Instead, you can apply for reinstatement immediately after you meet the requirements ordered by the court, such as paying overdue fines and filing form SR-22.
Warning: Getting caught driving with a suspended license could result in your license being permanently revoked. If this happens, your driving privileges will be suspended for life.
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Do I Need Car Insurance if I Have a Suspended License?
Even with a suspended license, you should maintain auto insurance coverage to avoid a lapse in coverage and protect your car against auto theft, among other reasons.
- You can avoid a coverage gap: A coverage lapse is another red flag on top of your suspended licenses that could further increase your car insurance premiums if you deactivate your policy and purchase another in the future.
- You may qualify for a hardship or restricted license: This type of license allows you to drive to approved locations, like school, your work or medical appointments. Most states require all drivers to carry auto insurance.
- Your lender will require full coverage: If your car is being financed, you are contractually obligated to maintain full coverage until you fully repay the loan.
- Your car is vulnerable to comprehensive claims: Even if you’re not driving your car, it is still vulnerable to damages from vandalism, hail and theft. Without comprehensive insurance, you will be responsible for paying for these damages out of pocket.
Is It Difficult To Get Car Insurance With a Suspended License?
Getting car insurance with a suspended license can be challenging because insurers will flag you as a high-risk driver. High-risk drivers are those with accidents and moving violations in their driving history. If your license was suspended, as a result, it’s usually because you committed a serious violation.
If an insurer agrees to insure you, they may charge significantly higher premiums to reflect your higher risk. Not all drivers can afford these rate hikes.
How To Get Car Insurance With a Suspended License
Here are a few ways to get car insurance with a suspended license:
- File form SR-22: Depending on the moving violation, you may be required to file form SR-22, which proves you are maintaining auto insurance coverage.
- Shop around for the cheapest insurance through different carriers: You may be facing higher-than-average premiums as a high-risk driver and not all insurers will cover you. Comparing quotes from multiple companies can help you find the cheapest rate available.
- Apply for a hardship or restricted license: Insurance companies may be more open to insuring a driver with a restricted license than with a suspended license. This type of license will typically restrict your driving privileges to commute to and from work, school or the store.
- Drive safely: It’s crucial that you obey traffic laws and do your best to avoid accidents while driving with a hardship or restricted license — even a minor traffic violation can result in permanent license revocation.
Form SR-22 Explained
Also called proof of financial responsibility, SR-22 is a form that your insurer files with your bureau of motor vehicles or state department that confirms you meet your state’s minimum car insurance requirements. Some states, like Virginia, may require drivers to file form FR-44, which requires twice the state’s minimum liability requirements.
If you drop coverage because you cancel your policy or fail to pay your premiums, your insurance company must notify the state. As a result, the state may re-suspend your license or revoke it permanently.
Which Car Insurance Companies Serve Drivers With a Suspended License?
Drivers with suspended licenses may still find coverage from the below national insurance carriers (usually at the cost of higher premiums):
- State Farm
However, insurance companies may still refuse to insure you if they determine that your driving history carries too much risk. If this is the case, drivers with suspended licenses may need to spend more time shopping around for an insurance company that will insure them at an affordable rate.
Does Car Insurance Increase if My License Is Suspended?
Your car insurance will likely increase if you have a license suspension because your driving history is a significant indicator of your risk. A suspended license is a high-risk indicator. Therefore, insurance companies will raise premiums to reflect your higher risk — as a reckless driver with a suspended license, you are more likely to get into a car accident in the future.
How much your rates will increase and for how long will depend on where you live and the reason your license was suspended. A driver who caused a fatal car crash because they were driving under the influence will likely receive a higher rate than a driver with speeding violations that did not involve any injuries.
Fortunately, drivers may still qualify for car insurance discounts that could help offset their rate hikes. Ask your insurance company if you can receive a discount for completing any of the following:
- Completing a defensive driving course:
- Bundling your auto insurance policy with a homeowners, renters, condo or some other insurance policy.
- Maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Holding a certain occupation or membership (e.g., military, school, clubs)
How To Reinstate Your Driver’s License
To get your driver’s license reinstated, you must fulfill the requirements as stated by your state’s bureau of motor vehicles, which may include:
- Submit an application with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles
- Provide proof of financial responsibility (form SR-22).
- Pay a license reinstatement fee
- Complete an alcohol education program
- Take a driving exam
The requirements for reinstatement can vary by state and the reason your license was suspended. For example, you may need to file form SR-22 if you were caught driving without car insurance or complete a DUI treatment program if you were driving while intoxicated.
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SmartFinancial can help you find an affordable car insurance policy despite your suspended license. Just enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to receive your free car insurance quotes.
- Superior Court of California, Alameda County. “General Information on Suspended Drivers License.” Accessed Oct. 28, 2022.