Car insurance with a suspended license

You should still have car insurance, even if your license is suspended — here’s why.

Anna SwartzStephanie Nieves author photo

By 

Anna Swartz

Anna Swartz

Managing Editor & Auto Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a managing editor and auto insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our car insurance coverage. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic.com, as well as an associate writer at The Dodo.

 & Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is a former editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale, and The Muse.

Updated November 30, 2021 | 5 min read

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If your driver’s license has been suspended, you may be wondering if you still need your car insurance. After all, with some rare exceptions, you’re probably not driving. The answer, though, is yes. Car insurance is still a good idea, even if your license has been suspended.

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In fact, depending on where you live, you may need to prove you’re maintaining your insurance in order for your license to become valid again. Here’s what you need to know about getting, and keeping, car insurance while your driver’s license is suspended.

Key Takeaways

  • Even if your license is suspended, it’s still a good idea to have car insurance

  • Depending on where you live, you may need to provide proof of insurance in order to validate your license, like an SR-22 form

  • If you’re shopping for a new policy while your license is suspended, you may need to get a policy designed for high-risk drivers

What does a license suspension mean?

Having a suspended license means that you can’t legally drive until your license is reinstated. A suspension is a temporary state (unlike a revoked license, which is permanent). 

There are a number of violations that can lead to your license being suspended. Those include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)

  • Repeat traffic violations or tickets

  • Getting into an at-fault accident without car insurance

Why do you still need insurance while your license is suspended?

If you’re eligible for a hardship or restricted license, you might still be able to legally drive even with a suspended license. You can apply for a hardship license with your state, and if you qualify, it allows you to do some limited driving, like to and from work, school or regularly scheduled medical appointments. And if you’re still driving, you’ll definitely need to maintain your car insurance.

You also need to maintain car insurance in order to avoid a lapse in coverage. A gap in your coverage raises a red flag to future car insurance companies. Any coverage lapse now means you’ll likely be charged higher rates next time you apply for car insurance.

If your license has been suspended, you may have to complete some additional steps in addition to waiting out the length of the suspension in order to get your license reinstated. You may also be required to pay a fee or complete an educational course, and you may need to prove that you have a minimum amount of auto insurance.

If you’re required to provide proof of insurance, that might involve having your auto insurance provider submit an SR-22 form to your local DMV. If you live in Florida or Virginia, your state may require form FR-44 instead, which has somewhat stricter requirements. If your state doesn’t require forms SR-22 or FR-44, you might still be required to provide a different kind of proof of insurance, like an insurance ID card.

What is an SR-22?

Form SR-22, sometimes called a “certificate of financial responsibility” or a “certificate of liability insurance,” is a document issued by your insurance provider that proves to your state that you have car insurance. It’s not a type of insurance policy, it’s your normal policy with the SR-22 form attached to it. It’s basically just an extra measure of proof that you have valid car insurance.

You can’t submit an SR-22 yourself, your carrier has to submit it to the state on your behalf. Most major insurance providers will do this, usually for a small fee, but not all of them will, so if you need to submit an SR-22 in order to get your license reinstated, and your carrier won’t do it for you, you may need to switch insurance providers.

→ Learn more about car insurance with an SR-22

Buying new car insurance with a suspended license

Getting new car insurance or switching providers with a suspended license is still possible, it just might be more of a hassle. But it may be necessary for you — if your license is suspended, your provider will likely want to know why, and they may give you a certain amount of time to get your license reinstated, after which they might cancel your policy.

Depending on your situation, if you’re shopping for a new policy while your license is suspended, you may need to get auto insurance designed for high-risk drivers. Not all insurance providers offer this kind of coverage, but many major carriers do, including:

  • State Farm

  • GEICO

  • The General

  • Progressive

You can also get a list of companies that insure high-risk drivers by contacting your state insurance department. 

Car insurance for high-risk drivers is typically more expensive than a standard car insurance policy. Rates can also vary based on the kind of driving violation on your record, but you can always shop around for car insurance to find a cheaper policy. You can also avoid any new accidents or moving violations and improve your credit score in order to see cheaper rates.

A possible workaround to getting new insurance while your license is suspended is to apply for a policy and name a spouse, another family member, or a friend as the primary driver on the policy, which means using their license information instead of your own. But you might not be able to include yourself as a covered driver on the policy until your license is reinstated.  

→ Learn more about car insurance for high-risk drivers

How to get cheap car insurance with a suspended license 

Finding car insurance with a suspended license can be difficult. Some insurers may refuse to offer you coverage altogether, and the ones that do will typically charge much more than for a standard policy. But there are still ways you can save if you’re shopping for insurance while you wait for your license to be reinstated:

  • Shop around and compare quotes: The best way to get the cheapest rates is to compare quotes from multiple car insurance companies. A number of individual factors determine your premium, and insurance companies may prioritize those factors differently, so you can save by choosing the company that offers you the cheapest rates.

  • Look for discounts: Ask about discounts to see which ones you’re eligible for. You could get a discount for being affiliated with certain groups like a fraternity or sorority, and there are even discounts for going paperless or taking a driving defense course.

  • Join an existing policy: You may be able to save on car insurance by adding yourself to someone else’s policy, like your spouse or a parent if you live in the same household.

What happens if I drive with a suspended license? 

Unless you have a hardship or restricted license that specifically allows it, driving while your license is suspended is against the law and can mean serious consequences, like pricey fines or even jail time. 

Driving with a suspended license is a violation that may stay on your record for years, and your car insurance rates will be higher as a result. Here is the average cost of car insurance for drivers caught driving with a suspended license at 10 major car insurance companies:

Car insurance companyAverage cost after driving with a suspended license
State Farm$1,607
Erie$1,901
USAA$1,965
GEICO$2,184
American Family$2,390
Travelers$2,405
Progressive$2,692
Farmers$2,701
Allstate$2,964
Nationwide$3,228

Frequently Asked Questions

Can someone drive my car if my license is suspended?

Yes, someone else can drive your car even if your license is suspended. You can also be a passenger in your own car, as long as you don’t get behind the wheel.

Can I register a vehicle with a suspended license?

It’s possible to register a car with a suspended license because it doesn’t require you to drive. You’ll need your proof of ownership and your receipt of purchase in order to register your car. But you also need car insurance, so make sure you have a policy in place before you head to the DMV.

Will my insurance rate increase with a suspended license?

A suspended license can cause your car insurance rates to rise. If your rates rise as a result of a suspension, you should shop around and get quotes from other car insurance companies to find a cheaper policy.