Can you get car insurance without a license?

You can sometimes get car insurance if you don’t have a license, but it may be tricky to find the right policy.

Andrew Hurst

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Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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Angele Doakes

Angele Doakes

Licensed Property & Casualty Expert

Angele Doakes is a licensed home, auto, life, and health insurance expert and a operations manager at Policygenius. Previously, she was a field sales leader at Allstate.

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You can technically get car insurance without a driver’s license, but it may be difficult. If you own a car but don’t drive, you can still buy coverage by naming someone else as the primary driver and listing yourself as an excluded driver.

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If you need to get car insurance after your license is suspended following a DUI, crash, or other driving violation, an insurance company would have to file an SR-22 for you before you’d be licensed to drive again.

Key takeaways

  • You may be able to get car insurance without a license, but it’s not as easy as it is for licensed drivers.

  • Typically, car insurance companies ask for your driver’s license number when you buy a policy.

  • To get insurance with no license, you’ll need to include someone else as the main driver of the insured vehicle, or get very limited insurance.

  • If you need insurance but don’t have a license because it was suspended, your insurance company can file an SR-22 for you when you buy coverage.

How to buy car insurance without a license

When you shop for auto insurance, insurance companies will ask you for a valid driver’s license number. But if you don’t have a license and can’t provide a number, you’ll have a hard time finding car insurance.

Insurance companies hesitate to insure drivers who aren’t licensed because they can’t technically get behind the wheel. That’s why you may have to prove that you won’t drive the car and that someone else will in order to get car insurance without a license.

If you don’t have a driver’s license, you won’t be able to get car insurance quotes online. Buying car insurance without a license is a unique situation, so start by talking to a broker or insurance expert who can walk you through the special steps you might have to take, or steer you towards smaller, local insurance companies that might be more willing to insure you.

Generally, if you need to get car insurance without a driver’s license, there are a few ways you might be able to do it:

List yourself as an excluded driver

If you don’t have a license but need to buy car insurance for a car you own, you may be able to buy a policy and list yourself as an excluded driver. An excluded driver is someone who isn’t allowed to drive the insured vehicle and is not covered by the policy. 

If an excluded driver on a policy drives the car and gets in an accident, the damage wouldn’t be covered by insurance. So if you exclude yourself from coverage, it means you can’t drive your car (but if you don’t have a license, you can’t drive your car anyway).

In order to get a policy and list yourself as an excluded driver, you’ll need to list someone else as the primary driver, and that person does need to have a valid driver’s license

You can also update your car’s registration to include the vehicle’s primary driver as its co-owner. Both of these steps make it clear to your insurance company that someone else will be using the vehicle instead of you.

Who this is best for: People who own a car and won’t be driving it, but need it to be insured so that other people, like a relative or a hired driver, can get behind the wheel.

Get bare-bones insurance for storing your car

You may not need a license to get car insurance for a vehicle that neither you (nor anyone else) drives. If your car is living in a garage or storage facility for the foreseeable future, you can get a policy that only comes with comprehensive coverage, sometimes called car storage or parked car insurance. 

Having comprehensive coverage means your vehicle is covered for damage caused by animals, the weather, collapsing buildings, thefts, and more. But without liability coverage, it can’t be driven — you’ll have to restore it to normal coverage if you want to take it out on the roads again.

Who this is best for: People who need a limited car insurance policy for a car that’s kept in storage or in a garage. If the car you want to insure is an antique or collectible, you may need classic car insurance.

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Can you insure a car if your license is suspended?

If your license was suspended after a serious driving violation, like a DUI or DWI, repeat traffic violations, or a serious accident, you can still get car insurance.

You’ll just need to let the insurance company know that they need to file an SR-22 or FR-44 form for you. Having an SR-22 is sometimes called SR-22 insurance, even though it’s not actually a type of car insurance.

An SR-22 or FR-44 just proves to your state that you have car insurance, which is usually a condition for having your license reinstated.

One catch is that it’s typically harder to buy car insurance if you have a suspended license. Even though you need to get insured to drive again, companies can be hesitant to insure high-risk drivers because of the increased chance that they’ll file a claim. Shopping around can help you find your best option.

Reasons to buy car insurance without a license

It’s rare that you need to get car insurance when you don’t have a license. But there are a few situations — aside from after your license is suspended — when it’s smart to get insured even though you don’t drive. These include:

  • You own a car but don’t drive: If you own a car you need insurance for it, even if you don’t have a license — especially if your car will be driven regularly by a caregiver, hired driver, or relative.

  • You need insurance for an underage driver: Since minors usually can’t buy their own car insurance, you may need to buy a policy for your teen and list them as the primary driver, even if you don’t have a license.

  • Someone in your household can’t afford insurance: If someone in your home can’t afford their own insurance, you may be able to buy a policy yourself and add them as the primary driver.

  • You’re not yet fully licensed: If you have your learners permit and own a car, you’ll need to get car insurance even before you’re fully licensed. Keep in mind that if you are underage, a parent may have to sign off on your policy.

Frequently asked questions

Can you get car insurance if you’re not licensed?

You can get car insurance without a license, but it will take more work than if you were fully licensed. In order to get car insurance as an unlicensed driver, you’d have to exclude yourself from coverage and name someone else as the primary driver of your car, or get a reduced policy for vehicles nobody drives.

Can you get insurance after your license is suspended?

Yes, you can still get insurance with a suspended license. You may have to let the insurance company know that you need them to file an SR-22 for you. Your license will be reinstated once you have coverage. But not every insurance company will offer you coverage after a license suspension.

Why would you get car insurance if you didn’t have a license?

There are a few situations where it might be a good idea to get car insurance even though you’re not licensed, like if you own a car that someone else drives, when your child needs insurance but can’t afford it or is too young to get their own policy, or when you’re not fully licensed but you plan to be soon.

How can I find car insurance near me without a license?

The easiest way to get car insurance without a license from a company near you is by speaking with a licensed broker or insurance expert. A broker can help you navigate complicated insurance questions and find you insurance that fits your needs from a company near you. Since getting insured without a license is unconventional, a broker is a good resource.

Author

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Expert reviewer

Licensed Property & Casualty Expert

Angele Doakes

Licensed Property & Casualty Expert

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Angele Doakes is a licensed home, auto, life, and health insurance expert and a operations manager at Policygenius. Previously, she was a field sales leader at Allstate.

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