While it is difficult to get insurance when you are unlicensed, it is not impossible.


Unlicensed driver's insurance may not make any sense to you at first. It is illegal to drive without a license, so why would someone need car insurance without a driver's license?

A driver’s license number is one of the first things most insurance providers request before they’ll provide a quote. This is because insurance providers see it as a risk to insuring an unlicensed driver, regardless of your reason for being unlicensed. Some insurance companies will cover you if you have a state-issued ID card.

But there actually are valid reasons to purchase car insurance if you don’t have a license. This article details those reasons and explains how to go about getting insurance in each scenario.

Once you’re ready to purchase insurance, it’s time to compare quotes. You can get a few quotes by using our comparison tool below or by calling (844) 246-8209, and don’t forget to check out our review of the best car insurance companies in the nation.


In this article:

What Is Unlicensed Driver's Insurance?

Unlicensed driver's insurance is a special type of car insurance that providers coverage for car owners who do not have a license and do not plan to drive their cars.

Unlicensed driver's insurance does not cover unlicensed drivers. If you let an unlicensed driver use your car and they get into an auto accident, your insurance claim will most likely be denied.

Penalties For Driving Without A License

If you are planning to drive a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, don’t. Driving without a license is a terrible idea and can result in major penalties.

Specific fines vary by state, but in many cases, your vehicle will be impounded and you’ll spend six months in prison. Most states issue fines for a first offense ranging from $100 to $1,000. In Indiana, fines can be as high as $10,000.

Having unlicensed driver's insurance will not shield you from the penalties of driving without a license.



When Do You Need Unlicensed Driver's Insurance?

If you want unlicensed driver's insurance, call up your top choices for car insurance providers and explain your situation. Under no circumstances should you lie to the insurance company. If your lie is found out, your policy will be canceled and insurance coverage denied.

General strategies for how to buy car insurance as an unlicensed driver will vary depending on your reason for getting insurance.

You own a vehicle that others will drive

You may be unable to drive, but have a close friend or family member who will drive your car. If this is the case, you’ll need unlicensed driver's insurance. Even though this is a valid reason to purchase car insurance, you may still have trouble finding it. Most providers will not give you an auto insurance quote unless you provide your driver’s license number first.

What you can do is list another licensed driver as the primary driver. It is this person’s license number you then use to request a quote. If you know who will be driving the vehicle for you, see about having that person named the primary driver.

You can also specifically exclude yourself from coverage. Excluded drivers are people you name on your car insurance policy as being specifically prohibited from driving your vehicle.

Listing someone else as the primary driver is easier if that person lives with you. If the primary driver does not live with you, car insurance companies may be more hesitant to let you name them on your policy. In this case, consider co-titling your vehicle with the person who will be driving it. This person can then more easily be listed as the primary driver.

You have a vintage vehicle you want to insure against theft or calamity

Perhaps you have a collector’s car you keep for display purposes. You have no interest in driving the car, but want to insure it because it’s an expensive item that you care about. What you need is unlicensed drivers insurance.

Some insurance providers offer special options for antique auto insurance. You might also ask about parked car insurance or comprehensive-only coverage.

You need to prevent lapses in your coverage during a license suspension

Lapses in car coverage are not good. Failing to insure a motor vehicle you own can result in big premium bumps the next time you try to buy insurance. If your license is suspended and it’s time to buy or renew a policy, what do you do?

A common reason for having one’s license suspended in the first place is not having insurance. After your license is suspended, a requirement for having it reinstated is to provide proof of insurance. But how do you buy insurance without a license? A catch-22.

This is a fairly common circumstance, and most auto insurers will let you buy insurance while your license is suspended. To have your license reinstated, you may also need a form called an SR-22. This is a document from your insurer guaranteeing that you possess the state minimum required amount of insurance.

You have a learner’s permit

Perhaps you have a learner’s permit and are thinking of buying a car. If you want to drive your new car off the lot, you’ll need proof of insurance first to buy the car. Speak with providers, and they may be able to insure you using your provisional license from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or a government ID.

If you are a teenager or live with an insured driver, consider getting insured under their policy instead of buying your own. This is almost certain to be a cheaper option.

Whatever your reason for needing unlicensed driver's insurance, consider working with an insurance agency. Agencies deal with multiple providers and may be able to find the perfect fit for your specific needs. Insurance agents are knowledgeable about which providers offer what services and may even have encountered your situation before.



Our Recommendations For Car Insurance

Not every provider will underwrite an unlicensed driver's insurance policies. Most national providers will not. If you plan to buy insurance in your own name, you may need to check with regional insurance companies. If you decide to co-title your vehicle, your insurance options will broaden.

To find cheap car insurance, enter your zip code and start comparing auto insurance quotes. If you want to speak to a representative or need help getting car insurance quotes, call (844) 246-8209. 


Geico Insurance logo

Geico: Best Overall

In our Geico review, we consider it to be the best option for most drivers because it has affordable insurance rates, an easy claims process, and nationwide availability. We give Geico 4.5 stars out of 5.0, and AM Best rates Geico’s financial strength at A++ (Superior).

Geico offers many valuable discounts, including a safe driver discount, military discount, and good student discount. The insurer has some of the lowest premiums of any major provider and offers quality service.

Progressive Insurance logo

Progressive: Best For High-Risk Drivers

We also score Progressive car insurance at 4.5 stars out of 5.0 in our Progressive insurance review. Progressive is one of the largest insurance providers in the United States and has been selling policies since 1937. AM Best gives Progressive an A+ rating, and the Better Business Bureau gives it an A-.

This insurance provider is a great choice for motorists who are considered high-risk based on their driving record, which could include an infraction such as a DUI or simply lack of experience.

Progressive’s options for saving money include policy bundling, the Snapshot®mobile app for safe drivers, and a deductible savings bank. If you know you are a good driver who rarely causes accidents, it’s easy to find low premiums with Progressive.

Read more in our Progressive insurance review.



FAQ About Car Insurance With No License

Are unlicensed drivers covered by insurance?

Unlicensed drivers are not covered by auto insurance. If you let an unlicensed driver use your car and they get into a car accident, it is highly probable that your claim will be denied. If you are an unlicensed driver looking for an insurance policy for your vehicle you don’t plan to drive, one option is to purchase unlicensed driver's insurance.

What car insurance can I get without a license?

You may be able to get comprehensive coverage without a license, provided that you list someone who does have a license as the primary driver. You may also need to list yourself as an excluded driver on the auto insurance policy.

Can you register and insure a car with no license?

You cannot usually register a car without both a license and proof of insurance. Some insurance companies will cover your car even if you don’t have a license, provided someone else is listed as the primary driver. To do this, you may need to co-title this person to your car and list yourself as an excluded driver.

Do all licensed drivers need insurance?

Insurance is tied to cars and not individuals. Every car needs to be insured. If you are licensed but do not own a car, you do not necessarily need insurance. However, you will need to be declared on the insurance policy of any family members with whom you live.

There are non-owner auto insurance policies you can purchase that provide liability coverage for any time you borrow someone else’s car or when you rent a car.

Virginia and New Hampshire are states where car insurance is not mandatory.

Can I buy a car and insure it under someone else’s policy?

It is possible to insure a car you do not own if the person who owns the car is added as an additional interest on the policy. Not all auto insurance carriers offer this option. If you plan to have someone else insure your car, you may want to co-title the car in their name.

If you do insure your car under someone else’s policy, you should absolutely make clear to the auto insurance company the specifics of your situation. While someone else may be the primary policyholder, you will need to be listed on the policy either as another driver or a specifically excluded driver (if you don’t plan to drive the car). Keep in mind that not all providers will offer to underwrite an unlicensed driver's insurance policy.

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