If your driver’s license has been suspended you may need to apply for a conditional or restricted license before you can get a new policy. A conditional license, sometimes called a hardship license, limits when you can drive, but allows you to get car insurance.
You may also need your insurance company to submit an SR-22 or FR-44 for you before your license is reinstated. An SR-22 or FR-44 is a form, filed with your state DMV, that serves as proof of insurance.
What does having a suspended license mean?
Having a suspended license means that you can’t legally drive until your license is reinstated. A suspended license isn’t the same thing as a revoked license, which can be permanent. The state may suspend your license if you:
Drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Commit more than one traffic violation
Have multiple accidents on your record
Get caught driving without car insurance
Your state may notify you by mail if your license has been suspended.
How to get car insurance with a suspended license
The process for getting car insurance with a suspended license may depend on the rules in your state. But you may need to:
File an SR-22 or SR-44: If you already have car insurance, you can ask your provider to file an SR-22 or FR-44 for you, and if you’re getting a new policy you’ll need to request one. These are just forms that act as proof of insurance, and they usually require a small filing fee.
Apply for a license with driving restrictions: Some states require you to get a restricted, conditional, hardship, or provisional license before fully reinstating your license. Your state’s DMV or BMV can walk you through the requirements for this limited kind of license.
Compare quotes to find affordable coverage: If you need to find a company that will file an SR-22 for you, or your rates are too high after your license suspension, you can find cheaper insurance by getting quotes from more than one company and comparing your options.
Double-check with your state that you’re good to drive: Before you assume it’s okay to drive again, speak with an agent or a person from your state’s BMV or DMV to make sure you’ve fulfilled any necessary requirements.
Do you still need car insurance with a suspended license?
Yes, if you have a current car insurance policy, you should definitely keep it even after your license is suspended. There are a few reasons why it’s a bad idea to drop your car insurance when your license is suspended:
Your insurance still covers you: Your car can still be stolen or damaged while your license is suspended, and if you keep your policy you can still file a claim for repairs (assuming you have comprehensive coverage).
You may need insurance to reinstate your license: Dropping your car insurance when your license is suspended may make it harder to get your driving privileges back, especially if you need to show proof of insurance..
You want to avoid gaps in your insurance coverage: If you drop your insurance while your license is suspended, it creates a gap or lapse on your record, which means your rates will be higher when you get coverage again.
There may be other drivers on your policy: You still need car insurance if there are other drivers on your policy, like your spouse or child. Dropping your coverage because you have a suspended license means none of them would be able to drive either.
Your lender or lessor may require it: Dropping your insurance while your license is suspended can violate the terms of your car loan or lease. Usually you have to have full-coverage insurance unless you own your car outright, even if your license has been suspended.
Can you lower your car insurance when your license is suspended?
While it’s a bad idea not to have any car insurance while your license is suspended, lowering the amount of coverage in your policy can help you save money while you’re not driving.
You probably can’t drop your full coverage even if you wanted to, unless your car is fully paid off. But you can still downgrade your liability insurance to the state minimums (as long as no one else is driving your car) and get rid of any extra endorsements or add-ons if you’re not driving.
Will my insurance cover me if my license is suspended?
Your car insurance covers you even if your license is suspended. You can still make an insurance claim if your car is damaged or stolen during your suspension. Your policy may also cover other drivers in your household who use your car, in which case it will work the same for them as it did before your suspension.
That said, your car insurance may not cover you if you drive illegally while your license is suspended and get into an accident. In this case, you may be fully responsible for any damage and medical bills.
It’s also possible your car insurance company will decide not to renew your policy after your license has been suspended, this is sometimes called nonrenewal. You’re covered until the end of your policy’s term, but you will have to get another car insurance policy once yours is up.
Can insurance companies see if your license is suspended?
Yes, insurance companies can see whether your license is suspended. You have to enter your driver’s license number when shopping for car insurance, so insurance companies can see your driving license status right away.
Insurance companies use this information to check your driving history and determine your premiums, meaning how much you’ll pay for car insurance.
Who has the best car insurance if you have a suspended license?
The best car insurance company for you if you have a suspended license on your record may be a non-standard insurance company. Non-standard car insurance companies specialize in covering high-risk drivers, and include:
Big car insurance companies sometimes offer non-standard coverage too. You may be able to find car insurance with a suspended license from State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, and other major insurance companies.
Your car insurance rates may be high with a suspended license, especially if you have other violations on your record. You should always shop around to find the company that offers the cheapest car insurance for drivers with a suspended license.
How to get cheap car insurance with a suspended license
Finding cheap car insurance with a suspended license is hard. Insurance companies set rates based on how likely they think you are to make a future claim, so drivers with a suspended license see higher-than-average rates.
But you can save on car insurance with a suspended license on your driving record if you:
Bundle more than one insurance policy: Bundle your homeowners, renters, motorcycle, or other policy with your auto insurance for cheaper car insurance, even with a suspended license.
Compare quotes: Don’t settle for the first insurance company you see. The best way to save money with a suspended license is by comparing quotes from more than one company so you can choose the cheapest option.
Keep a clean driving record: Avoid any new accidents or moving violations and see cheaper rates over time.
Switch insurance companies: You don’t have to renew your car insurance if your rates are too high. When your policy is up for renewal, shop around for a more affordable option.
Take a defensive driving class: Most insurance companies offer a discount if you complete a safe driving class. After a suspended license, this could be one of the easiest ways to offset a bump in your rates.
What happens if I drive with a suspended license?
Driving while your license is suspended is against the law and can mean high fines and even jail time. You can also be dropped by your current insurance company if you drive with a suspended license.
Your insurance rates will go up in the future, too. On average, we found that the cost of car insurance after being caught driving with a suspended license is $3,081 per year, which is nearly double the average cost for drivers with a clean record.
After driving with a suspended license
Average costs of full-coverage car insurance.