How do I get car insurance on a vehicle without a valid driver’s license?

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022Fact Checked

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The Rundown

  • It is very difficult to get car insurance without a driver’s license
  • Most traditional auto insurance companies won’t offer you coverage
  • Shop around to find a car insurance company that can meet your needs

  • It’s very difficult to get car insurance on a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Most auto insurance companies use your driving record to determine your rates and not having a license makes them unable to determine how risky a driver you are.

    More importantly, you may not be insurable if you are not licensed. An insurance company could collect premiums, and sometimes they do for unlicensed drivers whose licensed have lapsed or been suspended without them knowing. When there’s an accident, though, the claims are often not paid out. 

    Depending on the situation, you may be able to get insurance on your car. So if you had a licensed driver driving it for you, they would be covered. This still puts insurance companies in a difficult spot, though, because they don’t have a driver whose risk profile they can evaluate.

    Generally speaking, you will need to contact smaller, local companies to see if you can find coverage.

    Shop around to find the best price for the coverage you need. Enter your ZIP code to compare car insurance quotes, whether you have a driver’s license or not.

    What Kind of Coverage Can You Get without a Drivers License?

    It is possible to get auto insurance even if you don’t have a valid license, but companies generally don’t want to give it to you. It presents a risk that’s harder to measure.

    If you’re just looking to protect your car from outside hazards like a falling tree or irresponsible driver sideswiping your parked car, insurers can look at your neighborhood, the car itself, and other similar factors.

    If you want to buy collision and liability insurance, you’ll need a primary driver. 

    The largest and best insurance companies won’t offer you a policy, but you may have luck with local auto insurance companies.

    Why Should Unlicensed Drivers Buy Car Insurance?

    If you don’t have a license or a car, there’s no reason to buy insurance. Although it’s rare, there are reasons you might want to purchase auto insurance if you don’t have a car but not a driver’s license.

    Here are just a few reasons you might need a policy:

    • You have a personal driver – You may not be able to drive due to medical conditions or age but have someone who will drive you where you need to go. If this is the case, you can list yourself as an excluded driver. This means that even though you carry the policy, you can’t drive the vehicle. Whether this is a business or family relationship, it can uncomplicate many other things in your life.
    • You only have your driver’s permit – If you have your driver’s permit, you need car insurance to practice and take your driver’s test. If you live at home or with a significant other, you can be added to their car insurance policy. If you are living on your own, you will need to find a company willing to insure you. If you have a provisional license, some insurance companies may also charge you higher rates or enforce other restrictions. 
    • You have a show car that isn’t driven – You may have a collectible or vintage car that doesn’t get driven. That doesn’t mean you don’t need car insurance. You would still want to carry comprehensive coverage in case of fire, flood, vandalism, or theft. A broker can help you find an insurance carrier who will provide the coverage you need.

    There are many reasons you might need auto insurance if you don’t have a driver’s license. Everyone’s situation is unique. The key is to find an auto insurance company that is willing to work with you.

    How can you buy car insurance without a license?

    An option would be for you to add a licensed driver as co-owner of your vehicle. That way your car could be added to their auto insurance policy. You could get the coverage you need even without a driver’s license.

    If that doesn’t work for you, you will have to shop around until you find a company that will insure you.

    Can you get car insurance with a suspended license?

    Surprisingly, it might be easier to get auto insurance with a suspended license than with no license at all.

    Your driver’s license can be suspended for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons for suspension are driving without insurance, DUIs, or excessive traffic tickets. The bottom line is the insurer has a record to refer to. They know what kind of driving offenses you have on your license. So they can assess your risk.

    This is not to say coverage will be cheaper. You’ll most likely get a much higher rate. If your license has been suspended, your car insurance company will probably have to submit an SR-22 form, stating that you carry at least the state minimum car insurance. If you want more coverage than an SR-22 insurance plan provides, you’ll just need to pay more.

    It’s important to note that no matter how difficult to find car insurance without a driver’s license, you don’t want to drive uninsured.

    According to the Insurance Information Institute, one in eight drivers don’t have car insurance. These drivers face the possibility of fines, driver’s license suspension or revocation, and even jail time. Driving without insurance could also make it harder to get an affordable auto insurance policy in the future.

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    Can you buy a car without a license?

    Depending on where you are purchasing the car, you can buy it without having a driver’s license. You may not be able to test drive it before you buy as dealers typically ask for proof of licensing. At the very least, you will probably need some form of ID such as a passport or state ID. Your dealer will submit this ID with the other necessary paperwork to register your car. 

    Whether or not you can register a car without a driver’s license does depend on the state you live in. Most states will have you fill out paperwork, pay a fee, and show proof of insurance to register a car. If you can do all of that, they usually are not concerned with if you have a license. They’re tracking the car, not necessarily the driver.

    What’s the bottom line about buying car insurance with a driver’s license?

    It is possible to get car insurance with a driver’s license, but are going to have to search for it. Although smaller companies may offer you a policy, larger, traditional companies won’t. Cheap car insurance may mean SR-22 insurance depending on who you designate as your primary driver.

    Enter your ZIP code now to compare quotes on car insurance even if you don’t have a driver’s license.

    Asked May 17, 2016 by Tonya Sisler

    1 Answer

    The best way to secure car insurance without a driver's license is to follow a few simple steps.

    First, you can use a search engine to find major insurance companies licensed to do business in North Carolina. Once you find a few companies, use the quick insurance quote form to fill out the information on the vehicle as well as all the drivers. In the section that asks for the number of years as a licensed driver, simply put in zero. Many companies offer some form of car insurance for car owners who are not licensed to drive. Rates will probably be higher due to the license situation, but the vehicle can be protected with valid insurance coverage, which can be liability or full coverage depending upon the car owner's needs.

    The main difference between a policy for a licensed driver and a policy for a person without a valid license is that without a license, the policy owner would be excluded from vehicle operation because he or she is unlicensed. In most states, including North Carolina, a vehicle cannot be registered and tagged at the DMV without maintaining valid insurance coverage. Because of this law, insurance companies can offer this service to unlicensed customers.

    Answered May 18, 2016 by jamesjones

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