Updated March 25, 2019: In short, if you’re wondering whether you need car insurance to get a driver’s license, the answer is no. While it may seem a little weird, it’s true. But why would someone want a driver’s license without car insurance?
Well, just as when it comes to getting auto insurance without a driver’s license, there are a few scenarios, listed here, of why someone might just not need a policy of their own — which is essentially why car insurance isn't a license requirement. Let’s take a look at these scenarios.
1. You just want to keep your license current
Let’s say, for example, you have no need to drive and don’t want to own a car, but you know you probably will again someday. Instead of letting your license expire — which may mean you’d have to take the written and driving portions of the test all over again — you renew whenever necessary to keep it current. And you don’t need proof of insurance to do so.
Of course, if you do decide to get a car again, auto insurance is an important part of keeping yourself and your investment safe. While not every state requires it, it’s good to keep in mind that you are responsible for any damages you cause in an accident. That can add up to tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars if an accident is bad enough and there are multiple injuries. (We can help you compare and buy car insurance here.)
If you’re worried about finding the best auto insurance coverages for the best price, or if you’re worried about affording insurance at all on top of your new automobile payments, you can check out some of our tips for saving money on car insurance.
Also keep in mind that where you live, how far you drive, what kind of vehicle you drive, your credit and the types of coverage you want all affect how much your insurance coverage will cost. That’s why it’s important to understand just how much car insurance you need for your particular circumstances. Once you’ve done that, you can start comparing auto insurance quotes from some leading insurance agencies to find low-cost auto insurance for you and your car.
Here's a primer on finding out how much insurance you really need.
2. You plan to drive someone else’s car
This one is kind of a no-brainer. If you don’t own a car, you don’t need to insure a car, right? Right. If you’re going to be driving a car owned by, say, your parent, your spouse or your employer, their insurance company likely will require that you be listed as a secondary driver of that vehicle (or primary, if applicable), but you won’t be required to take out an insurance policy for yourself.
3. You plan to drive a rental car every now & then
Say you live somewhere where owning a car is more of a pain than a convenience, such as New York City. That doesn’t mean you aren’t ever going to want to drive, so you may still want a license so you can rent a car to get out of the city for a long weekend, or drive while on vacation or visiting friends in another part of the country. When you do, you can use the insurance provided by the rental company or you can use any coverages provided by your credit cards, if they’re available.
You can learn more about rental car insurance here.
4. You work for a company as a driver
Folks who drive delivery trucks, for example, may not have their own car to insure, but most certainly need a license to operate their employer’s vehicle. Same goes for a chauffeur, for example. A lot of these folks need commercial licenses to operate these vehicles.
If you are an Uber, Lyft or rideshare driver, you can get your own special kind of insurance. Learn more here.
Do I need non-owner car insurance?
Keep in mind, if you don’t own a car, but drive one frequently enough, a non-owner car insurance policy is probably a good idea. That’s because the coverage you often get through someone else’s car insurance, a rental car company or credit card company is not always comprehensive.
Non-owner car insurance primarily covers liability, meaning any damages or injuries you cause while you’re driving a rented or borrowed ride. You can go here to learn more about when non-owner car insuranceis right for you.