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Can I Buy Car Insurance Without a Driver's License?

You can get car insurance without a license depending on the insurer, although many providers are hesitant to give auto coverage to people who don’t hold a valid driver’s license. Companies that will provide coverage will likely require that you list someone else listed as the primary driver. This person should be someone who is a member of your household and who will be driving your car on a regular basis. Even if you don’t plan to drive yet, remember that it’s necessary to have auto insurance coverage for people who will drive your vehicle, such as your spouse, children, parents or caregiver. You may also want car insurance if you have a classic car that isn’t driven frequently or at all or parked car insurance if you plan to garage your car until you have a license. If you don’t have a license, you should buy car insurance to avoid a lapse in coverage, which raises rates. Keep reading and see why else you should buy auto insurance.

How To Get Car Insurance Without a License

Although most insurers will be uncomfortable insuring a car whose owner has no license, there is no law against it. There are insurance companies that allow the individual who is purchasing the auto insurance policy to designate someone other than themselves as the primary driver. You can get auto insurance by listing someone else as the primary driver on your policy and excluding yourself. The primary driver is someone who will be driving the car the majority of the time and who is a member of the insured’s household.

As the parent or legal guardian, you would need to sign on with the child in order for the child to be covered.

The insurance company will usually ask for your driver's license number in order to check your driving history when buying an auto policy for the first time. Looking at your driving history helps insurers determine your rates. The insurance company will ask for the license number of the primary driver should you not have a license. This person’s driving history will then be used to calculate your insurance premium. Remember, a driving history that shows accidents and/or claims will likely have higher rates.

The insurance company may list you as an excluded driver. This means your insurer won't provide you with any coverage if you are responsible for an accident. You will likely lose coverage if you are driving the car in an accident that is not your fault.

Note: It is illegal to drive without a license in any state.

Do I Need Car Insurance Without a Driver’s License?

There are several reasons you may want to purchase auto insurance when you don’t have a driver’s license and aren’t driving:

  • You will not always be an unlicensed driver - Those who have learner’s permits will still need auto insurance before they get behind the wheel of a car. Your child will most likely be using your vehicle while they learn how to drive, so make sure you’re sufficiently covered.
  • You have a driver under their state’s legal adult age - Those who are under the legal definition of adulthood as per state law cannot legally purchase an insurance policy on their own. This is due to insurance policies being considered legally binding contracts between the policyholder and the provider. As the parent or legal guardian, you would need to sign on with the child in order for the child to be covered.
  • Your license is suspended - Being charged with a DUI or having a bad driving record, could possibly cause you to get your license suspended. You may not be able to get your license back until you are able to show proof of financial responsibility with an SR-22. An SR-22 is not insurance. It is a certificate that proves that you have your state’s minimum amount of liability insurance.
  • Other people drive your car - You should have car insurance if your family and others drive your car regularly. Anyone who only occasionally borrows your vehicle can be covered through permissive use and do not need to be listed on your policy. Permissive use refers to your vehicle insurance being extended to others who are not named on your policy but who do drive your car with either your explicit permission or implicit permission. There could be exceptions as to what your vehicle can be used for under permissive use depending on your insurance company. 
  • You have a classic car - You may want car insurance, specifically comprehensive coverage, if you own a classic car that isn’t driven often or at all. It can still be damaged, even when garaged and is still susceptible to theft.
  • You are being driven by another person - You will need auto insurance if you are a senior or disabled person and you have a relative or caregiver chauffeuring you in your car. Keep in mind that insurance rates rise as the policyholder gets older. If you’re a senior, consider listing your caregiver or relative as the primary driver on your policy to save money. This is only possible if the person driving you is a member of your household.

Can Unlicensed Drivers Get Full Coverage Insurance?

Insurance companies will be hesitant to provide auto coverage to anyone who does not have a license. However, you can list yourself as an excluded driver and place the person who will be using your vehicle regularly as the primary driver. This will allow you to get all the coverage any other insured motorist may have, including full cover. Here are some coverages to consider:

  • Liability coverage - Covers property and bodily injury of other people from car accidents caused by you. Required in most states except New Hampshire and Virginia.
  • Collision coverage - Helps pay damages to your vehicle caused by an accident regardless of who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive coverage - Helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a car accident. Covered perils include:
    • Fires
    • Falling objects
    • Explosions
    • Earthquakes
    • Windstorms
    • Hail
    • Floods
    • Vandalism
    • Riots
    • Collision with animals
  • Emergency road service - Helps provide coverage for the cost of:
    • Mechanical labor
    • Towing to the nearest mechanic
    • Delivery of gas, oil, battery or change of tire (Emergency road service won’t necessarily cover the cost of the item itself)
    • Locksmith, if the keys are lost, locked inside the vehicle or stolen
  • Medical payments coverage (Med Pay) - Helps pay for the costs associated with medical bills or funeral costs for you or your passengers if there is an injury or death due to an accident regardless of who is at fault.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) - Helps provide financial support towards costs (childcare, grocery delivery fees, lost income or medical expenses) incurred by you or your passengers due to a covered accident. States that require this coverage are:
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Hawaii
    • Kansas
    • Kentucky
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • North Dakota
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Texas
    • Utah
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage - Provides protection to you in the event your vehicle is involved in an accident that is caused by someone who does not have car insurance or by someone whose auto insurance is not adequate enough to cover the damages you incurred.
You can get auto insurance by listing someone else as the primary driver on your policy and excluding yourself.

Get Parked Car Insurance

You can insure a car that is usually parked in storage with parked car coverage. An auto insurer likely won't require that you have a driver's license for parked-car insurance since the covered vehicle won't be driven. This type of policy is also cheaper than typical auto insurance policies that include liability coverage. Parked car insurance also goes by stored car insurance or as a comprehensive-only policy. The policy typically protects your vehicle if it is damaged by something other than a car accident such as:

  • Fire
  • Floods
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Damage caused by wild animals

You will be considered uninsured if you drive your vehicle and you only have parked car insurance.

Need Car Insurance But Don't Have a License?

Listing a Primary Driver When Buying Car Insurance for Unlicensed Drivers

The person listed as the primary driver on your policy should be the one who uses your vehicle the most. This could be your spouse, parent or child. It could also be a caregiver who drives you to appointments and/or helps you run errands should you be unable to drive yourself. Your primary driver will likely need to be someone in your household. Listing a separate primary driver may be the only way an insurance company will provide you with auto coverage.

If you don’t have a license, you should buy auto insurance for your car to avoid a lapse in coverage.

FAQs

Can you buy car insurance with a suspended license?

You can get car insurance with a suspended license, though the process will likely be more difficult. This is because a suspended license tends to indicate that you are a riskier driver, which makes insurance providers hesitant to extend coverage.

Do I need insurance if I own a car without a driver’s license?

Auto insurance is required in most states in order to register and operate a vehicle regardless of whether or not you have a driver’s license. If anyone uses your car you should have car insurance with that person or persons listed on your policy. At the very least, you should have parked car insurance in case the car is vandalized or stolen.

Can you get a license plate without a driver’s license?

You can get a license plate for your vehicle without a driver’s license depending on your state's laws. In order to get a license plate, you will need to have your vehicle registered which can require a driver’s license or state ID, proof of ownership, a completed registration form and proof of insurance. To get your vehicle registered, you will need to provide proof of identification which includes a driver’s license.

Key Takeaways

  • Some insurance companies will provide auto insurance coverage to someone who does not have a driver’s license, as long as there is a different primary driver listed on the policy.
  • You may need auto insurance even if you don’t have a license: if you're getting your license reinstated after a suspension, if you intend to get a license soon, if other people drive your car on a regular basis or if you have a car that does not get driven much (or at all) or if you are chauffeured by someone who uses your car.
  • The primary driver on your policy should be someone who is a member of your household and who will be driving your car the most.

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