Buying a car insurance policy when you don’t have a valid driver’s license may seem pointless. After all, the only reason a driver needs car insurance is if they have a valid license, right? Wrong.
You can, and perhaps should have car insurance if you don’t have a valid driver’s license, although in many cases, finding an insurance carrier to cover you with no license insurance won’t be an easy task. One of the first things an insurance company will want when you’re inquiring about a policy is your driver’s license number, and if you don’t have one, it can be pretty confusing for both them and you.
Luckily we have some pointers on how to get car insurance without a license, and why you may want to consider it.
Reasons to buy car insurance without a license
We know it sounds odd to suggest someone who isn’t getting behind the wheel of a car would need auto insurance, but there are a few scenarios where having a policy without a license may be in your best interest. It won’t be easy to do, and it will probably cost an arm and a leg, but you may want to consider buying a no license insurance policy if the following situations apply to you.
You’re being driven to and from appointments, work or anywhere else.
If you’re a senior who has lost their license or isn’t comfortable driving, you might have a younger relative or caregiver take over as your chauffeur.
But even though you aren’t the main driver, you still need car insurance to cover the vehicle. Because car insurance premiums skyrocket once drivers are past the age of retirement, it might be cheaper to let someone else be the main policyholder on a car in your name.
You are a student driver or only hold a provisional license
Teenagers who have a learner’s permit need to have car insurance, even though they aren’t technically licensed. Student drivers usually learn to drive on their parent’s vehicle, which hopefully is already insured. However, parents should consider adding their student driver to their insurance policy as a provisional driver.
You don’t drive, but your student driver does
Say you purchase a car for your teen’s 16th birthday before they technically have a driver’s license. Even if you won’t be driving the car, it still needs to have insurance. In almost every state, you won’t be able to register the car with the department of motor vehicles unless you can show proof of insurance first.
You own a vintage vehicle that you don’t drive
If you purchase a vintage car that just sits in your garage, you still need to have insurance on it. You’ll want to cover potential losses on the vehicle, like a tree falling on the garage and smashing the windshield, rather than getting collision insurance for accidents. Even if you have no intention of getting behind the wheel, you’ll need to purchase a policy.
Your license is suspended
If you get charged with a DUI, or have a messy driving record, it’s possible that your license could get suspended. If that’s the case, you won’t be able to get it back until you have shown proof of financial responsibility with SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance is essentially a document that proves to the court that you have the minimum amount of insurance required by your state.
How to buy car insurance without a license
It is possible to buy car insurance without having a driver’s license. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t make it easy. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Call around on SR-22 insurance
If your license is suspended, you’ll need to purchase SR-22 insurance. Not every insurance company offers it, so call around and find out which insurers in your area sell SR-22s.
Buy a policy with someone else as the primary driver
If you own a car but don’t drive it, you might want to buy a policy and list someone else as the main driver. Any licensed driver–licensed being the key word here–can be named as the primary driver, and that’s the case whether they live at the address the car is registered at or not. You simply need their identifying information and driver’s license number to secure a policy in their name with that person listed as the primary driver.
List yourself as an excluded driver on the policy
If you don’t have a valid driver’s license, it can be difficult to purchase insurance. However, you will be able to get coverage if you include someone else as the primary driver, and list yourself as an excluded driver on the policy. Just remember that if you do end up driving, you won’t be covered if something happens.
How to buy a car without a license
Technically, you can buy a car without a driver’s license, but it won’t be easy. It’s a whole lot less strenuous of a process to buy a car if you do have a license, but you don’t have to have one to do it. The parameters in which this can happen will depend on the car dealership’s rules. You may need to show immediate proof of insurance for the deal to be closed. And you may not even be allowed to test drive the car without proof of a license and insurance. There are ways to buy cars without a license, though, and you’ll have to ask around to find out what they are in your area.
Be aware, though, that the moment you’re off the lot, the dealership carries no responsibility for what happens with that car, so if you cause an accident without a license, you’re probably going to find yourself in trouble.
OK, so we’ve determined that you can buy a car without a license. But maybe you aren’t going to be driving it. Do you still need to buy car insurance? Yes, you do. And here’s why.
Frequently asked questions
Can you buy car insurance with a suspended license?
Yes, you can buy certain types of car insurance with a suspended license. In fact, you’ll probably need to purchase SR-22 insurance in order to get your license reinstated. SR-22 insurance is a type of insurance for high-risk drivers that proves they carry the minimum required amount of insurance in their state.
Should I have insurance if I have a car but not a license?
Yes, any vehicle you own must be insured, even if you don’t have a valid driver’s license, or intend to drive it. That’s a legal requirement in almost every state. Even if your car sits in your driveway 364 day per year, you still need to have car insurance.
How much car insurance do I need?
Every state has a minimum amount of car insurance coverage that all drivers are required to carry. Most states require drivers to carry bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. Some states also require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and/or personal injury protection (PIP). Before you purchase insurance, make sure you know what your state requires.