If you own a car, you need car insurance, even if you don’t have a license. Although it can make the process easier, you do not need a driver’s license to get car insurance. Understanding when and how to get car insurance with no license will help you avoid potential issues, like getting fined for not having car insurance when you should or having your registration suspended.

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Key takeaways
  • If you don’t have a license, but need car insurance, most insurers will require you to list at least one licensed driver on the policy.
  • If you own a car but have no license, you still need to have car insurance to cover the vehicle, as required by regulations in most states.
  • There are several reasons to buy car insurance with no license, like another licensed driver driving your car, having a student driver or having a temporarily suspended license.

How to buy car insurance without a license

It is possible to buy auto insurance as an unlicensed driver. However, note that many insurance companies do not offer insurance for unlicensed drivers or require extra steps if they do. While working with an insurance agent can help you buy car insurance without a license, here are a few ways you can get car insurance without a license.

1. Ask about an SR-22 certificate

If your license is suspended, you may need to file an SR-22 form or the equivalent in your state. An SR-22 certificate is proof of liability insurance that is required for drivers labeled “high-risk.” Although not every auto insurer offers it, you may want to research which carriers accept SR-22s if you are required to get one. This could be valuable if you are trying to buy car insurance when you do not have a license because you would be labeled a high-risk driver under this category.

2. Buy a policy with someone else as a listed driver

A primary driver is the person who is the owner of the vehicle or a joint owner of a vehicle who drives the car the most.

If you own a car, but don’t drive it, such as in a chauffeur situation, you may be able to list someone else as the primary driver. Some insurance companies might require that the driver is part of your household, but speak with a licensed agent that represents your insurer to determine its requirements. You’ll need the driver’s identifying information and driver’s license number, but the car owner must also be listed on the policy.

3. List yourself as an excluded driver on the policy

An excluded driver is someone that your auto insurance will not cover. For example, if you have been listed on the insurance policy before, but no longer wish to be listed, you can be excluded from the policy by asking the insurer to exclude yourself, although not all insurance providers allow excluded drivers.

If you do not have a valid driver’s license, it can be difficult to purchase auto insurance. However, you may be able to get coverage if you include someone else as the primary driver and list yourself as an excluded driver on the policy.

You can add yourself as an excluded driver on the policy by informing your auto insurer that you would like to exclude yourself from the policy and add someone else as the primary driver.

4. Add a co-owner

Getting car insurance without a license can be more difficult than if you have a valid driver’s license. One way to make it easier is to add a co-owner or household driver to the car insurance policy. This person will be the primary listed driver on the policy and rates will depend on their driving and claims history.

If the driver is also the co-owner of the car, they should be listed as a driver, even if you have a license. Without holding a valid license, the insurance company will probably want to list you as an excluded driver. If you get your license after obtaining the policy, you can speak with the insurance company or your agent to have the exclusion removed so you can drive the car and have valid insurance when you’re behind the wheel.

5. Parked car coverage

If you plan to garage your vehicle for an extended period of time, you may want to add parked car coverage. You may also see it commonly offered as “storage coverage.”  Leaving your vehicle for an extended period without supervision can be risky, especially if there isn’t a valet or security guard on-site to watch your car.

By adding storage coverage or obtaining optional comprehensive coverage, you will be protected if your vehicle is stolen, catches on fire, flooded or damaged by a covered incident.

Reasons to buy car insurance without a license

It may sound odd to suggest that someone who will not be driving would need auto insurance, but outside of auto insurance being a legal requirement in most states, there are scenarios where having a policy without a license may be in your best interests. You may want to consider buying a no license auto insurance policy if the following situations apply to you:

Health reasons prevent you from driving

If you have a health condition that prevents you from driving, you may still want to consider protection, even if you will not be driving your vehicle for the time being. If you are putting your car in storage for a while and your license expires while you recover, you may still want car insurance to protect you and your vehicle in case anything happens to your car while in storage.

You may also want to keep an auto insurance policy if you think you may drive again in the future to avoid a lapse in coverage, which could make your rate higher when you need insurance again. Keeping cheap car insurance rates may be much more difficult if your car insurance lapses.

You are being driven to and from appointments, work or anywhere else

If you are a senior citizen who no longer has a valid driver’s license or is not comfortable driving, you might have a younger relative or caregiver take over as your chauffeur.

Even if you are not the main driver for your car, you still need auto insurance to cover your vehicle. Because the average car insurance cost generally increases with age, it may be cheaper to let someone else be the primary driver on a vehicle in your name. However, listing another person as the vehicle’s primary driver will not always be an option if the person who drives you does not live in your household.

You are a student driver or only hold a provisional license

Teen drivers with a learner’s permit need to have auto insurance, even though they are not technically licensed. Student drivers usually learn to drive on their parent’s vehicle, which are typically already insured. The insurance company may require the student driver to be listed on the policy, although a teen with only a permit will usually be included free of charge until they receive their license.

You do not drive, but your student driver does

Say you purchase a car for your teen’s 16th birthday before they get a driver’s license. Even if no one is driving the vehicle yet, the car will still need to be insured. In almost every state, you will not be able to register the car with the department of motor vehicles unless you can show proof of insurance first. And if your teenager is not old enough to be on their own policy, they would need to be listed as a driver on the policy of someone age 18 or older. Adding a teen to your policy can increase your rates significantly, so you may want to shop around and compare car insurance quotes to see which company offers you the lowest rate.

You own a vintage vehicle that you do not drive

If you purchase a vintage car that sits in your garage, you still need to have insurance on it if you want to be financially protected against damage or theft. Even if you have no intention of getting behind the wheel, you may want to purchase a policy that covers comprehensive claims only (in addition to standard liability). This will protect your vintage car against damage caused by animals, weather events, theft, fire and vandalism.

Your license is suspended

If you get charged with a DUI, or have an imperfect driving record, it is possible that your license could get suspended. If that is the case, you might not be able to get your license reinstated until you have shown proof of financial responsibility with an SR-22 certificate. An SR-22 is not a type of insurance, but is a certificate issued by your insurer that proves to the DMV that you have the minimum amount of liability insurance required by your state.

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