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Getting a car insured even if you don’t have a driver’s license can make sense in many situations. Whether you’re learning to drive, on a temporary break from driving, have never driven in your life, or never plan to drive again, a vehicle is not only a valuable asset, it’s also heavy machinery whose operation can lead to expensive incidents.

Here’s what you need to know about getting car insurance without a license:

Can you get car insurance without a license?

Yes, you can insure a car you own even if you don’t have a driver’s license. In lieu of a driver’s license, you can use another form of photo identification, such as a state ID, passport, or matrícula consular to prove your identity for insurance purposes.

If you’re looking for a car insurance policy that fits your needs, be sure to shop around and compare rates from multiple providers. This’ll help you secure the best coverage for the right price.

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What level of car insurance coverage can you get when you don’t have a license?

You can purchase one or more of these types of coverage when you don’t have a valid driver’s license:

  • Bare-bones liability coverage to meet state requirements
  • Additional liability coverage to better protect yourself against lawsuits
  • Comprehensive coverage to protect against damage and theft
  • Collision coverage for car repair or replacement after an accident
Tip: If you’re having trouble getting coverage, an option available in some states is to name a friend or family member as the primary driver on your policy and name yourself as an excluded driver. The policy will be priced according to the primary driver’s record, and you must not drive the car at all.

How to get car insurance without a license

To purchase an auto insurance policy without a license, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. Find auto insurance carriers that offer it. You may need to seek out a nonstandard insurance provider, one that insures drivers other carriers won’t. A local insurance broker who sells policies from multiple insurance carriers may be able to help you identify your options. And some major insurers do offer this coverage, including The Hartford.
  2. Speak with an insurance agent. Without a valid driver’s license, you may not be able to apply for a policy online, but an insurance agent may be able to accept your application in person or over the phone.
  3. Choose the types and amounts of coverage you need. If no one will be driving your car, you may only need comprehensive coverage. If someone else will be driving your car, then you need at least the minimum amount of liability insurance your state requires. You’ll probably want collision coverage, too.
  4. Pay the premium. Opting for automatic monthly payments instead of paying for six months’ or one year’s worth of coverage up front may help make premiums manageable. Another option is to increase your deductible.

Is it more expensive to insure a car without a license?

Yes, it can be more expensive to insure a car if you don’t have a valid driver’s license. If you lack driving experience, your insurer will consider you a higher-risk customer and likely charge you a higher rate.

Similarly, if you don’t have a license as a result of a bad driving record, you may also see your auto insurance costs increase. Major infractions that can lead to your license being revoked include:

  • Driving an unsafe vehicle
  • Speeding
  • Causing an accident
  • Committing a hit-and-run
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Check Out: How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Claim?

Why you might need car insurance without a license

Even if you don’t have a license, you might still need auto insurance for a number of reasons, such as:

  • You need to register your car. Your state may not allow you to drive or park on public roads if your car isn’t registered, and your state may not allow you to register your car without insuring it.
  • You have a learner’s permit. If you’re learning how to drive, the vehicle you’re driving needs to be insured. You might also need proof of insurance to take a driving exam — though the insurance doesn’t have to be in your name unless you own the vehicle.
  • You don’t drive, but your child does. Your child might not be able to sign an insurance contract before they turn 18. If you don’t have an active car insurance policy, you may want to purchase a policy in your name with your child listed as the vehicle’s driver.
  • You collect cars, but you don’t drive. Maybe you enjoy fixing up cars and admiring them in your garage. You might want to protect your collection (and your hard work) with insurance.
  • You have a revoked, suspended, or canceled license. This might be the case if you’ve developed a medical condition or disability that no longer allows you to drive safely, or if you were caught driving while intoxicated.
Keep in mind: The terms of an auto lease or loan typically require you to insure the vehicle against theft and damage, regardless of if you plan to drive it or not.

When should you insure a car you can’t drive?

It might seem like an unnecessary expense to pay insurance premiums on a vehicle you won’t be operating, but here’s when you might still want a policy:

  • You want protection against physical damage and theft. Maybe you’re storing your car while living overseas or you own a classic car. Comprehensive coverage can protect you from the risk of paying out of pocket to repair or replace your vehicle.
  • Someone else drives your car. Perhaps you can’t drive because of a health condition, but you want a caretaker to be able to drive you to doctor’s appointments and pick up your groceries.
  • You have a suspended license. A DUI conviction will prevent you from driving for several months. Someone else may still need to drive your vehicle, however, and you may still want comprehensive coverage. Maintaining continuous insurance coverage can also help you with price and availability at your next policy renewal. Your state might even require you to carry SR-22 insurance.
  • You want to park your car on a public road. You need proof of insurance to register your vehicle, and you must register your vehicle if you want a licensed driver to be able to park your car on the street.
  • You want to avoid any lapse in coverage on your vehicle. You may face higher premiums later if you don’t maintain continuous coverage. Your state may also penalize you.

Keep Reading: Medical Payments Coverage: What It Is and How It Works

Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about insuring a car without a driver’s license.

Can you get a license plate without a license?

You don’t need a driver’s license to get a license plate. However, you’ll need proof of insurance or financial responsibility to register your vehicle with the state. Registering your vehicle is necessary to have a valid license plate.

How do you register a car with no license?

Check with your state department of motor vehicles for instructions. You’ll likely need a valid form of photo ID, proof of liability insurance, and other documentation (like a smog inspection certificate) that meets or exceeds the state’s minimum requirements.

Why do insurance carriers prefer drivers with licenses?

A licensed driver has a documented driving history. This history helps the insurer evaluate the driver’s risk profile and price its policy accordingly.

Can you get car insurance with a suspended license?

Not only can you get insurance with a suspended license, but you may be required to under your state’s SR-22 laws.

After a serious incident like a DUI, reckless driving, or driving without insurance, your state may require you to prove your financial responsibility. Your insurer will file this form on your behalf.

Copyright (c) 2023, Credible Insurance, Inc. d/b/a Credible Insurance Agency (CA Lic. # 0M90597). Insurance Services provided through Credible Insurance, Inc., VA: Credible Insurance Agency, Inc., MN SOS: Credible Cover, Inc. Credible Insurance is a subsidiary of Credible Labs Inc. 1700 Market St. Ste. 1005, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
About the author
Amy Fontinelle
Amy Fontinelle

Amy Fontinelle has been a personal finance writer since 2006. Her work has been published by Forbes Advisor, Capital One, MassMutual, Prudential, Reader’s Digest, The Motley Fool, Investopedia, International Business Times, Business Insider, Bankrate, and other outlets.

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