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How to Get Car Insurance for an Unlicensed Driver without Jumping Through Hoops!

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Updated June 24th, 2020

Contrary to what you might believe, it is possible to get car insurance without a license.

Granted, many insurers may try to deny you coverage without even hearing you out as in the case with a suspended license.

However, there are plenty of options available to you if you know what you’re looking for.

In general, there are two instances in which a person without insurance can obtain a policy.

The bottom line is you don’t need a license to get an auto policy in some states.

Some states may allow an unlicensed driver to get a policy for additional reasons, but universally across the United States, there are only two possibilities.

Instances to Get Auto Insurance without a License

  1. You own a car, but can’t drive it due to a disability or age

  2. Your licensed was suspended temporarily for one of a variety of reasons

In both cases, there is a bit of paperwork that you’ll have to fill out. Your insurer will need as much information as possible to offer you a policy that best fits your needs. 

In fact, the first step towards getting car insurance for an unlicensed driver is to show the company and/or agent you have done your research and you know that there are options available to you.

If you reside in Arizona, California, or Texas it is going to be a lot easier to get a policy for an unlicensed driver than in New York.

Correlation of insurers offering coverage w/o a license and undocumented workers.

Note: In the illustration above the amount of undocumented workers appears to have a correlation with the increase in insurers offering coverage without a license. And the states which it is easier to get coverage is California and Texas. From the statistics and data gathered it appears this trend will continue and likely spread into other states.

States it is Easier to Get Coverage w/o  a License

I did a little research trying to found out if it’s easy to get a policy without a license on a state by state basis.

Some of the information offered is co-mingled with the DACA Dream Act for undocumented drivers. I have included the resource for each state. 

In this instance a driver with a license from Mexico can get coverage depending on the state. As of 2018 only 10 states offer this plan.

Even then, you would have to find the company which would offer the coverage.

Getting coverage for a driver who has a suspended license is co-mingled with some of the information for those trying to find coverage for a driver with no license.

Again, in most states you will have to find a company offering the coverage.

In the list below I have listed states which is easy for a person to get coverage without license.

The states which are “maybe” it wasn’t easy to confirm if it was easy or not.

Here is the deal, the following states it is pretty easy to get coverage with no license.

Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas it is fairly easy to get coverage from a smaller more local company.  

However, there are plenty of instances where a driver who doesn’t have a license and would need to have someone drive them to and from work.

And there are times when someone has to be taken off the policy for cost savings purposes.

If you live in any of the 5 states mentioned you should be able to get a policy.

If you reside in any of the other states it is going to take a little work to get it done if at all possible.

StateEasy to Get Coverage?Companies offering Coverage w/o a License?Undocumented Driver’s Licenses ResourcesAnnual Cost
AlabamaNoThe General, Good2go$4,298
ArizonaYesAccess Auto$4,379
CaliforniaYesSunset Plaza, Unitrin, Western Unitedhttps://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/dmv/dl$6,943
Illinois YesNewins Agencywww.cyberdriveillinois.com$5,987
KentuckyMaybeThe General, Good2go$5,498
Massachusetts NoN/A$5,782
New HampshireNoN/A$4,763
New JerseyNoN/A$8,653
New MexicoMaybeNational, Freewayhttp://www.mvd.newmexico.gov/Drivers/Licensing/pages/How-to-get-a-New-Mexico-Driver-License.aspx$5,983
New YorkNoN/A$7,098
North Carolina NoN/A$2,973
North DakotaNoN/A$4,872
Ohio NoN/A$3,987
OregonYesVern Fonkhttp://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/Pages/index.aspx$5,298
PennsylvaniaYesCheck any top company.$8,763
Rhode IslandNoN/A$7,398
South CarolinaMaybeAssociated Auto Insurers Plan of South Carolina (AAIPSC)$4,983
South Dakota NoN/A$4,982
TexasYesA-Abana, Amax, La Familia$5,723
West VirginiaNoN/A$6,129

*Progressive and Bristol West accept a Mexican Driver License, but with a higher cost.

Can’t Drive Due to Disability or Age

This situation is most common among the elderly or those of driving age with a disability.

In each case, the person looking for a policy has a car and has recently lost the ability to drive. 

In such cases insurers will grant a special exception to those individuals provided the right paperwork is in order.

There are two main steps to get car insurance without a license if you have a disability or simply choose not to drive anymore due to your deteriorating condition. The two steps are:

  1. Provide proof that you will never been driving the car to be insured.

  2. Provide the name of a licensed individual that will be the primary driver of the car. Normally a spouse or family member. 

If you know that you are going to need the assistance of an individual to take you to appointments and help you run other errands, then it might be worth it to go through this process.

In most cases, though, it would make more sense and be far cheaper to give that individual your car so that they can add it to their own policy.

Amount of licensed drivers in 5 most populated states.

Note: As illustrated, the amount of licensed drivers compared to the state population. There is a large market of drivers who do not have a license but may need coverage for a vehicle. The trend is expected to rise. Source

Your License is Suspended & Need Your Vehicle Insured

This is the most common reason for an individual to apply for car insurance without a license.

If your license was recently suspended, there’s a good chance that your provider revoked your policy.

Whether you’re attempting to get your license reinstated or you need your car on the road for reasons such as getting to work, then it may be necessary for you to get a policy.

So with that being said, what do you have to do to get a policy?

Shop Around & Request Quotes

Getting coverage without a license may not be as complicated as you think it is.

At first, you might be denied or brushed off by some carriers. Don’t worry this happens a lot.  

Without going through all the extra hassle, the easiest thing to do is request a quote.

There’s no better way to do that than to use the quote comparison tool here at AutoInsureSavings.

Just fill in your zip code in the quote comparison tool at the top of the page.

After you answer a few questions, we’ll provide you with quotes from insurance providers willing to offer you insurance despite your current situation.

When You Call an Insurer

If you’re unable to get a quote from our comparison tool, or if any of the providers request that you call in, you should follow these steps to give yourself the best chance at getting the policy you need.

Identify the Primary Driver of your Vehicle

The insurance company is going to want some kind of proof that you do not intend to drive your vehicle if your license is suspended.

For that reason, they’ll need to know exactly who will be driving it so they can clarify that on your policy.

It is important to be completely honest with the company, as providing false information could come back to bite you in the future.

When your license is finally reinstated, you’ll be able to contact your carrier to have your name added as the primary driver of your vehicle.

For the time being, though, you’ll want to exclude your name as a driver on the policy. This is called a “Named Driver Exclusion”. 

Named Driver Exclusion

It appears the Named Driver Exclusion is popular in states where there are a lot of undocumented workers.

Mercury Group has stated in California the exclusion is very popular. 

What is Named Driver Exclusion?

It is where you are opting a certain driver will not drive the vehicle.

In your instance of owning a vehicle while having a suspended license you will need to put a primary policyholder for the vehicle in place then get a yourself excluded, Named Driver Exclusion, from the policy.

Why some insurers avoid this?

The short answer is lawsuits.

If you drive the vehicle while you are not insured and if, perhaps you are in an accident, then a serious problem will arise as you can expect.

If an excluded driver uses the vehicle and an accident occurs the insurer will not pay for the damages. This is different from a permissive user. Which is loaning your vehicle to a driver which is not excluded from the policy. 

It is important to note that some states will not allow Named Driver Exclusions. I will get to that in a moment.

Here is the deal. If you turn in your driver license then you will be able to get an Named Driver Exclusion much easier.

Why? The insurer knows you cannot drive.

Remember this important point. When you have the policy with a Named Driver Exclusion you have to update the policy.

During every renewal the insurer will included the exclusion. So, remember to update when you can drive and buy a policy for yourself.

Also, the current insurer may not add you back to the policy.

This is where you have to shop another provider and get a regular policy.

States with Loopholes and those which Exclude Named Driver Exclusion

 – California has a law offering discounts for drivers with a clean driving history for 3 years.

If a driver in the household is high risk this would spike the rates and you could lose the discount. 

With this law you could exclude them from the policy.

 – Texas allows drivers to get a policy for an unlicensed vehicle operator to keep their current policy.

This helps drivers to avoid a lapse in their premium and get back to driving once their license is current.

 – Drivers can buy an auto policy without a license for health reasons.

They have to be the primary driver on the policy and the title in their name.

 – For senior drivers, New York and New Hampshire will allow a driver to maintain a policy even if they failed a driver’s test. 

 – Kansas, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin do not allow a Named Driver Exclusion.

 – South Carolina allows drivers to be excluded if the excluded driver has another liability policy or does NOT have a valid drivers license.

 – In Louisiana the spouse cannot be excluded from the policy.

 – In Kentucky the spouse or any dependent child of the Named Insured cannot be excluded.

In some states it appears to be a mixed bag and hard to tell what an insurer can or cannot do.

The best thing to do is call the state insurance department to find out what or what cannot be done. 

Ask about High Risk Insurance if Available

Most auto insurance providers offer high risk insurance to those with a poor or limited driving history.

If your license was recently suspended, you may still be able to get a high risk policy for your vehicle.

When you call a provider, it might be worth it to first inquire about their high risk insurance options so you’re directed to the right department for your needs.

It is Important You Don’t Hold Back Information

Insurance companies don’t like to be surprised. If they find out you are holding back information, they may null and void any policy you might get.

That will leave you, once again, insurance-less, and you will have burned your bridge with that provider.

The best way to get a policy for an unlicensed driver is to be upfront about your license suspension.

Let the provider know how long your license will be suspended for, and if there are any stipulations, such as being able to drive to work.

By following the advised provided you should be able to get a policy while your unlicensed.

It may be a pain in the rear, so to speak, but it can be done. 

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg has been in the insurance industry for 12 years and enjoys rebuilding vehicles. His goal is to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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