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What Every Unlicensed Driver Should Know Before Getting Car Insurance

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Updated January 24th, 2021

Checked by
Shaun Fyffe
Insurance Author
Reviewed by
Maurice Draine
Former P&C Agent

A common misconception about insurance coverage is that only licensed drivers need protection.

However, there are situations when unlicensed individuals also need to buy car insurance.

Key Considerations and Takeaways
It's not required to possess a driver's license to purchase auto insurance.
Most large insurers are hesitant to provide car coverage to unlicensed drivers. Buying from a local insurance agency is best.
The easiest way to get unlicensed driver insurance is to list yourself as an excluded driver on the policy.
The most common situations people need insurance coverage without a license are to avoid a lapse in coverage, collectible car owners, revoked driving privileges, and teen drivers with a learner's permit.
At times, drivers under the age of 18 may require an unlicensed adult on the insurance policy.

Why Would You Need Car Insurance Without a License?

Below are some circumstances in which drivers without a valid license may need auto insurance.

Coverage For Collectable Vehicles

Protect vintage collectible vehicles that are no longer on the road but still require financial protection in case of vandalism or theft.

Teen Drivers Under 18

Teenage drivers under 18 can benefit from having an adult on their policy, even if they don’t have a valid driver’s license.

Learning to Drive With a Permit

If you’re learning to drive with a permit, you’ll need auto coverage to practice.

Revoked Driving Privileges

When driving privileges are revoked, but someone else can still drive you around as a personal driver, you’ll need to maintain coverage.

Avoid a Lapse in Coverage

To avoid a coverage lapse if you lost your license but plan to retrieve your driving privileges in the future.

Because everyone’s situation is unique, it’s essential to speak with your insurance agent about possible solutions.

Your insurer can help you determine which coverage options could meet your needs for the most affordable insurance rate.

Getting Car Insurance with No License

Unlicensed drivers cannot operate a vehicle legally, but you can get insurance for a licensed primary driver.

The primary driver on your auto insurance policy typically must reside at your address, have a valid license with a driver’s license number, and be a relative.

Sometimes, insurers will allow you to name a family member at a separate address or an unrelated roommate at the same residence.

However, most insurance companies won’t permit you to add someone unrelated and at a different location.

Designate a Primary Licensed Driver

The car’s primary licensed driver is the person whose driving history and risk profile will determine the rates.

Simultaneously, this individual typically assumes responsibility for claims, and the insurance rate increases because the auto insurance policy is written under their name.

For example, a teen with a permit could have coverage under a parent’s insurance while learning to drive.

However, you can also get auto insurance if you have a learner’s permit and intend to get a driver’s license within 30 days.

In some cases, insurers will require you to list yourself as an excluded driver to get auto insurance without a license.

If you have a suspended license, but a family member, spouse, or roommate still plans to drive your motor vehicle, you may need to change the primary driver on the policy.

It is usually not a problem if the car owner and primary driver of a car are two different people.

In California, Michigan, and New York, you can insure a car for someone else to drive without having one yourself and many other states.

Get Listed as an Excluded Driver

The easiest way to buy car insurance without a license is to list yourself as an excluded driver.

Adding yourself as an excluded driver decreases risk for the auto insurance company since the excluded driver and the vehicle have no coverage in an accident.

Since unlicensed drivers are considered high risk, car insurance providers’ premiums can be expensive.

If you add yourself as an excluded driver to the insurance policy, you will significantly decrease insurance rates, as illustrated below. 

StateInsurance PremiumAs Excluded Driver*
Arizona$4,379$1,519
California$6,943$1,979
Florida$4,987$2,590
Illinois $5,987$1,415
Michigan$9,349$2,105
Nevada$6,398$1,903
New Mexico$5,983$1,374
New York$7,098$2,498
Texas$5,723$1,974

*Excluded individuals are not covered if they drive the insured automobile. Your auto insurance rates will vary by zip code when you get insurance quotes.

Getting Auto Insurance with a Suspended License

If you have a license suspension after a DUI or DWI, your local DMV might require you to obtain SR-22 Insurance.

This certificate of financial responsibility serves as proof of insurance coverage.

Following an accident, your local DMV may require you to carry this car insurance, even if you don’t own a car.

Parked Car Insurance

Vehicles in storage that you aren’t driving may not need collision or liability coverage but can still benefit from protection.

For example, theft, fire, and other damages can still occur when a car is off the road.

Many insurers offer Comprehensive-Only Coverage.

If your car is only temporarily in storage and you plan to drive it again, Comprehensive-Only Coverage can ensure that you don’t have any coverage gaps.

Insurance CompanyComprehensive Insurance Cost
GEICO$187
Allstate$198
State Farm$211
Liberty Mutual$234
Progressive Insurance$229

Your rates will vary by zip code when you get insurance quotes—rate analysis from Quadrant Information Services.

When you cancel a policy, reinstating it later can result in higher rates.

Buying a Car Without a Driver’s License

Having a state-issued driver’s license when purchasing a car is usually not a requirement.

In this case, buying and driving the vehicle are two different things.

An unlicensed driver might want to buy cars for many various reasons, such as for:

Businesses

Cars can belong to business entities, but all drivers must have valid licenses and insurance.

Caregivers

Buy a car for a caretaker who can drive and has car insurance.

Collectors

Acquire vehicles as collector’s items. If you don’t plan to drive the car, you may not have to register it.

Gifts

As long as the title will be in the recipient’s name, people without a driver’s license can purchase vehicles at car dealerships as gifts for loved ones.

Underage Drivers

Finance a car for a licensed minor.

Although you can buy a car, you’ll need a valid driver’s license to register the vehicle at DMV and transfer the title.

You can purchase a vehicle and put the title in someone else’s name as a co-owner, but this person needs a license.

Which Drivers to List on Your Car Insurance Policy

Most car insurance companies will require policyholders to list other drivers on their auto insurance policies.

Other drivers typically include the following people:

Licensed family members at the same address.

— Licensed drivers in your household who are unrelated and don’t have coverage.

— Individuals outside your home who drive your car regularly.

Note: If an unlisted driver on your car insurance has an accident, your insurance carrier could deny your claim.

Similarly, if a high-risk driver resides in your home, you may want to list them as an excluded driver on your policy to avoid paying higher premiums.

Cheap Car Insurance Companies That Cover Car Owners with No License

Many car insurance companies categorize motorists without a valid driver’s license as higher-risk.

National auto insurers like GEICO, Allstate, Progressive, and State Farm may not offer unlicensed automobile owners coverage in all states or have expensive premiums.

We found the following companies are the easiest to get car insurance for drivers without a license through our research.

Auto Insurance CompanyCar Insurance without a license?
Bristol West
Freeway Insurance
The General Insurance
Good2go Insurance
Progressive
Unitrin Insurance

Instead, local car insurance agents are often the better choice.

Independent local insurance agents are equipped to help people without driver’s licenses get affordable insurance rates from regional insurers in their area.

Getting the Cheapest Car Insurance Without a License

Insurers combine many factors to determine a policyholder’s car insurance rates and policy limits. 

One significant factor is your location, which is why local independent insurance agents typically find the best rates for no licensed drivers.

Waiting for and comparing auto insurance quotes from dozens of different local websites can be tedious and time-consuming.

At AutoInsureSavings, you can conveniently compare car insurance quotes in one place.

Our online auto insurance directory can instantly direct you to licensed insurance agents in your zip code.

Frequently Asked Questions

Obtaining car insurance for drivers without a license can be complicated, resulting in many adverse consequences.

Consider the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about car insurance.

What happens if you get into a car accident with no license?

Driving without a license is typically considered a misdemeanor or non-criminal offense. However, if you’re at-fault for causing a traffic accident without a license, you could face substantial fines and difficulty obtaining car insurance in the future.

Can you sue someone without a driver’s license?

Yes. The legal process is similar for both unlicensed and licensed drivers. If the driver is responsible for the resulting bodily injury or personal property damages, they can be held liable for the expenses.

What happens if a driver with no license wrecks my car?

Typically, unlicensed individuals are also uninsured, making liability payments difficult. In some states, the driver is responsible for making payments. In other areas, the vehicle owner is responsible for paying the bills.

Should I keep my car insurance if I own a car but no longer have a license?

If you plan to reinstate your license at some point then, you should keep your car insurance. Keeping coverage on your vehicle ensures that you won’t face any premium rate increases down the line. Switching to parked vehicle insurance can help you save money until you’re back on the road.

Is my car covered if someone else drives it?

Usually, most insurers will extend coverage to anyone you permit to drive your vehicle. However, verifying this information with your insurance agent is the best way to confirm who is and isn’t covered under your policy.

Bottom Line

Auto insurance for unlicensed drivers is more common than you might think in the insurance industry. 

Simultaneously, finding the right policy can be tricky due to all of the various factors involved.

You need to know who to name as your primary driver and make your selection carefully.

This individual’s driving record, credit score, and financial situation will determine how much you pay every month for an auto insurance premium.

Parents often list teens with provisional licenses on their car insurance policies.

Once the teenager has a license, the insurer can issue an individual auto policy.

If you have high-risk drivers in your household, you should consider excluding them from your car insurance specifically.

When in doubt, ask your agent about ways to save on car insurance.

Find out how to get personalized assistance getting the best auto insurance for individuals without a driver’s license.

Contact AutoInsureSavings LLC at 1-(855) 233-7818 with your inquiries today.

Or enter your zip code at the top of the page.

References

Insurify.com

TheZebra.com

https://dor.mo.gov/forms/Driver%20Guide.pdf

https://www.iii.org/article/8-auto-insurance-myths

injuryfacts.nsc.org/all-injuries/costs/guide-to-calculating-costs/data-details/

https://www.progressive.com/answers/insurance-with-roommates/

Maurice Draine

Maurice Draine

Maurice, a former licensed P&C insurance agent with a 4-year degree in journalism. He resides in Minneapolis and has worked as a technical writer for UnitedHealthcare and Wells Fargo, where he created Medicare-related policies and procedures for three years. He is also an editor for AutoInsureSavings.org.

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