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?
- When Do You Need Unlicensed Driver's Insurance?
- Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
- FAQ About Car Insurance With No License
What Is Unlicensed Driver's Insurance?
Unlicensed driver's insurance is a special type of car insurance that provides coverage for car owners who do not have a license and do not plan to drive their cars. If you own a car, you need insurance, even if you don't drive. If someone else ever drives your car and gets in an accident, you'll be considered an uninsured driver as your coverage is responsible for covering accidents.
Unlicensed driver's insurance does not cover people who actually drive a car without a license. 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 auto 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 collectible car you keep for display purposes. You have no interest in driving the car, but you want to insure it because it’s an expensive item that you care about. What you need is unlicensed driver's insurance.
You need to prevent lapses in your coverage during a license suspension
Lapses in car coverage are not good, and they become part of your driving history. Failing to insure a motor vehicle you own can result in big premium bumps the next time you try to shop for car insurance. If you have a suspended license 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. You're much more likely to find cheap auto insurance this way.
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 they 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: 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: 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.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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