There are certain types of insurance almost everyone needs, including car insurance if you own a vehicle. It can protect you and other drivers if you get in an accident or your vehicle is damaged or stolen. When applying for car insurance, the company will ask for your driver’s license number. If you don’t have a driver's license, it’s still possible to get the coverage you need.

Key Takeaways

  • Though some insurers may turn you away, it’s still possible to get car insurance without a driver’s license.
  • Reasons for wanting to get car insurance without a license include having a learner’s permit or having a family member who drives your vehicle.
  • You may need to list someone else in your household as the vehicle’s primary driver to get coverage.
  • If your license has been suspended, your insurance company may deem you a high-risk driver, which could mean paying higher premiums.

Why Purchase Car Insurance When You Don’t Have a License?

Car insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection if your vehicle is involved in an accident. Even if you don’t have a driver’s license, there are still several reasons why you may need to buy car insurance. For example, you may need your vehicle to be covered if:

  • You have your learner’s permit and are working toward getting your driver’s license.
  • Your spouse or another household member drives your vehicle on a regular basis.
  • You’re unable to drive because of a health issue, and someone else drives you when you need to go out.
  • You don’t have a health issue that prevents you from driving, but still choose to rely on a personal driver.
  • You don’t drive but own a collectible or vintage vehicle that you’d like to be covered by insurance.

Those are all scenarios in which car insurance would be necessary even if you’re not getting behind the wheel. Without car insurance coverage, you’re at risk of having to pay out of pocket for damages or repairs associated with an accident.

Driving without car insurance and a driver’s license can result in fines and, for repeat offenses, possibly jail time.

Getting Car Insurance Without a Driver’s License

If you don’t have a driver’s license but need car insurance, there are things you can do to get your vehicle covered. The easiest approach is to list someone else as the primary or principal driver on the policy.

A primary or principal driver is the person who will be the one driving the vehicle that’s insured. That can be a:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Caretaker
  • Roommate
  • Parent
  • Or anyone else who plans to drive the vehicle

By listing someone else as the primary or principal driver, you’re telling the insurance company that you won’t be taking the wheel. That can provide some reassurance if the insurer is worried about you possibly getting in an accident while driving without a license. It could make it easier to get approved for a policy and avoid paying steep premiums for coverage.

The person you list as the primary or principal driver must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit in order for you to get coverage.

Excluding Yourself as a Driver on the Policy

If the insurance company is still reluctant to cover you, even when you’ve named someone else as the primary driver, there’s another option for getting car insurance: You can ask to be listed as an excluded driver on the policy.

Being an excluded driver means that if you do happen to drive the car, your car insurance policy wouldn’t cover you. That doesn’t mean it’s legal for you to drive without a license. Rather, it means that if you get in an accident, the car insurance company won’t pay any claims associated with the accident.

If you decide to exclude yourself, that may persuade the car insurance to cover the vehicle based on the primary driver’s driving history. Keep in mind that the premiums and insurance rates you’ll pay will depend on the primary driver’s record. So as you choose a primary driver, try to pick someone who has a clean driving history free of accidents or tickets.

Get a Parked Car Policy Instead

Another possibility for getting car insurance without a driver’s license is to get a “parked car,” or “storage,” policy. This type of coverage protects your vehicle against damages that may occur when the car is parked and assumes that it’s not being driven on a regular basis.

For example, the policy may cover you against things such as:

  • Theft or vandalism
  • Fire
  • Flooding and water damage
  • Falling objects

The upside is that a car insurance company may not be as concerned that you don’t have a driver’s license if you’re getting this type of coverage. And it may be less expensive than a traditional car insurance policy with liability and collision coverage.

Read the fine print on parked car insurance, so you know exactly what events are covered and what type of damages may be excluded from the policy.

Can You Get Car Insurance With a Suspended License?

Getting your driver’s license suspended means that you can’t legally drive, but it doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need for car insurance. If your license has been suspended because of a DUI or serious accident, you may need car insurance to get it reinstated.

Specifically, your car insurance company may need to submit an SR-22 form on your behalf to prove that you have insurance. This document verifies that you have the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required by your state.

You can ask your current car insurance company to provide one of these forms and attach it to your policy. However, if your carrier drops your coverage, you’ll need to shop around to find a new insurer who will write an insurance policy and issue the SR-22 form.

The most important thing to keep in mind here is that if your license has been suspended, you might be labeled a high-risk driver. That can make it more difficult to find a car insurance company that’s willing to work with you. And if you’re able to get covered, you may face much higher premium rates than you would if your license hadn’t been suspended.

Larger insurance companies may be less willing to cover you as a high-risk driver. You may need to look for smaller insurers or companies that specialize in SR-22 issues to get covered after a license suspension.

The Bottom Line

Getting car insurance without a driver’s license may be more difficult than getting coverage with one, but it’s not impossible. When researching car insurance options, be prepared to offer someone else’s name as the primary driver. Also, take time to compare policy rates across insurers, especially if you need an SR-22, to make sure you’re getting the lowest rate possible.