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

Leonardo Castro
November 3, 2020

In the United States you are required to have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. Not only is having a driver license mandatory to operate a motor vehicle but also car insurance is mandatory in 49 out of the 50 states. The main reason why car insurance is mandatory is because it serves as your liability coverage for any damage you may cause. Liability insurance will cover damages and injuries to the other vehicle and passengers in an at-fault accident.

Let’s look at whether or not you can insure a car without a license.

Can I Get Car Insurance Without a License?

Almost all states require that every vehicle have car insurance, but do you need a driver’s license to obtain car insurance? The answer is that you are still able to get car insurance but there is a more complicated process than the usual one for getting it.

There is no law that prevents an individual from buying a vehicle without a driver’s license. However, after purchasing the vehicle one must register it with the state. Most states require photo identification and auto insurance.

Many car insurance agencies do not make it easy for someone who does not have a driver's insurance because they view them as a threat since they are not legally authorized to drive a motor vehicle. Many times when completing a car insurance application insurers will ask for a valid driver’s license number. In most cases they will reject the application if there is no valid driver’s license.

What Are My Options if I Need to Insure the Car but Don’t Have a Driver’s License?

If you own a car but don’t have a driver’s license and can’t insure the car then the best option would be to get it insured by someone with a valid license as the primary driver. This primary driver would need a valid driver license and be over the age of 21. However, the car must be registered in that person’s name for them to get car insurance.

When you get a valid driver’s license you can then transfer everything to your name: the registration, the auto insurance. You can also be the primary driver on the new policy. It is important to note that since you are probably a new driver, you will most likely have a higher rate than your previous primary driver.

Most insurers are not comfortable with insuring people who aren’t the registered driver. However, you may have some luck getting insured with smaller regional insurance companies.

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Some of these smaller insurers may not ask for a driver license but this means that you may not get the best price or coverage. Since many insurance companies base premiums on driving records, some of these prices may be high. It’s best to stay away from carriers that do not ask for any information.

Can I Get Insurance with a Suspended License?

When you get your driver’s license suspended then you are not legally allowed to drive. Many car insurances will cancel or decide to not renew your insurance policy if your license gets suspended. When you try to reinstate your license, your best option would be to work with an insurance company that does SR-22 compliance form filing.

An SR-22 compliance form is proof of insurance for a high risk driver. This is sometimes called the “certificate of financial responsibility” because it confirms to the DMV that you have the required insurance. This is not a special kind of policy but just a regular car insurance policy with an SR-22 form attached. There’s a small fee for an SR22 filing, but a dramatic raise in rates after a license suspension.

How Long Does a License Stay Suspended?

The length of the suspension varies according to state and the severity of the violation. For example, the first time you get a DUI in the state of California there is a minimum license suspension of six months.

If you get your license suspended because of a moving violation then it would have a negative impact on your insurance rate. Moving violations often lead to higher insurance premiums because the insurance company views reckless driving as a major risk.

Auto insurance companies often look back at driving records for three to five years to determine the insurance premium.

Can I Get Car Insurance with a Learner’s Permit?

It is possible to get car insurance with just a learner’s permit but many companies require that you get your driver's license between 30 to 45 days before you start a car insurance policy. You would also need to add a primary driver because you need someone to drive the motor vehicle. When you drive with your permit then the licensed person riding with you would be responsible for the vehicle until you get your license.

But you can, in some areas, get car insurance with just a driver’s permit. You can even buy a car and register it with a learner’s permit. However, don’t ever practice driving an uninsured car. If you are learning to drive, and the car that is being operated is insured by someone over the age of 21, then that person’s coverage usually covers you too.

Young people with a learner’s permit who are living at home with their parents are typically covered by their parents insurance but it is advised that you check with your insurance company to confirm this information before practicing behind-the-wheel.

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