Question of the Week: I don’t have a driver’s license – can I still get car insurance?

Question: I don’t have a valid driver’s license – can I still get car insurance?

Answer: With a few exceptions that we’ll go over below, the answer to this question is a resounding “NO”. If you do not have a driver’s license, then you cannot legally drive a motor vehicle, and therefore you have no need for auto insurance. That said, there are people that break the law and drive without a driver’s license, but it is impossible for them to have auto insurance (so in most states they are breaking at least one other law by not having auto insurance). If you do not supply a valid driver’s license number during your auto insurance application (whether over the phone with an agent or online) in almost all cases you will not be able to continue with your application.

However, there are three cases in which you may be able to obtain insurance without a license:

  1. In some states, if you have a Mexican identification card, you are allowed to use that as a substitute for a driver’s license, and therefore can get auto insurance.
  2. If you do not have a driver’s license out of choice or necessity (for example, you have a disability that does not allow you to drive) then it is possible to get auto insurance on a vehicle that you own if you can, a) prove that you will never be driving the car and, b) list a licensed primary driver that will be driving the car. Basically, this means that if you own a car and want to be driven around or want to pay the auto insurance bills for someone else that drives your car, you can. For example, if you are retired, have surrendered your license and want an adult grandchild to run errands for you and that person doesn’t have their own insurance, this exception may work for you. That said, if you share the same address as the person that you are insuring, most likely the auto insurance company will consider you as a possible driver and factor that into your auto insurance premium (basically, unless you have a serious disability, your auto insurance company will most likely not accept your promise to not drive the vehicle).
  3. If your license has been suspended or revoked, your state’s DMV might require you to obtain insurance before reinstating your license. While not all insurance companies are willing to set up a policy under these circumstances, many companies will, so just shop around a bit. You can then take or send proof of your insurance to your state DMV, to start the process of getting your license back.

As you can see, there are very limited circumstances where not having a valid driver’s license will allow you to insure a vehicle. For most of the adult population it is not possible to get auto insurance without a driver’s license. Also, we should point out that using someone else’s driver’s license to get an auto insurance policy is a serious offense, and could result not only in the guilty party losing their insurance, but also in civil and/or criminal procedures.

To compare auto insurance quotes online visit, or if you prefer, call 1-800-258-5101 and have a licensed insurance agent walk you through your options, compare coverages and discounts, and help you through your purchase.

36 Comments on "Question of the Week: I don’t have a driver’s license – can I still get car insurance?"

  1. Crissy September 14, 2016 at 10:39 am · Reply

    In TN you don’t need a license to obtain insurance

  2. Teresa August 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm · Reply

    hello, I live in NY state, my father in-law moved into our home. He recently went for renewal of his license and failed his eye test. he refuses to go to eye doctor to pass his test. so in turn he doesn’t have a license. he has a car that he makes payments to the bank with insurance. my question is will his insurance company cancel his insurance if he has no license? also if he sticks his son, my spouse on his insurance as a registered driver even though he has his own insurance through a different company will that allow him to keep his insurance and his car?

  3. Pamela Marvel August 10, 2016 at 8:18 am · Reply

    The SR22 is something that you get from the insurance Company showing the DMV that you Have insurance they keep that on file for 6 months. In Virginia it will cost $500 to register your car if they see you had no insurance for the prior year of registration.

  4. Jay August 5, 2016 at 12:17 am · Reply

    I live in Washington and am 19 with a valid permit. I recently paid for a car in full at Hertz in Burien on 6/20/2016 but no one in my household has a license so I had to get a licensed family friend to register as the owner and we got a policy with Omni Insurance. This family friend has insurance with her sister as well which is why we had to find a whole new company-or so they told me. We got the policy through Sandi Smith the same day as we got the car and she said that me only having a permit was fine. The car stays at my residence though, which is nowhere near the family friend. Now Omni Insurance is saying that because I’m an unlicensed driver they have to cancel the policy on 8/18/2016, which is only 3 days after I plan to attempt the driver’s test. I’m afraid that I’ll fail and lose my insurance. To make matters worse, this family friend is leaving for 5 months due to family issues in Kentucky, so they’re giving me ownership of the car. Are there any Washington companies that will give you insurance until you get your license?

  5. Nrdavis June 5, 2016 at 7:35 am · Reply

    I live in the state of Michigan could anybody possibly tell me if I could get insurance on my vehicle without a driver’s license I’m working towards getting my driver’s license

  6. Janet R Galaang May 15, 2016 at 9:34 pm · Reply

    I’m 18 years old and own a car but only have learners permit. I called most of the insurance company think of who accept learners permit. Luckly i found carnegie general insurance agency. They have 30 days policy for drivers learner to get their drivers license.

  7. Paul harway April 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm · Reply

    I lost my drivers license in 1999, I paid the 1500 court fee but did not go to the 18 mounth program I want to do it now go back to program .do I need a sr22 insurance? what is that? will this cover me until I finish my 18 mounth program? I don’t have a car but want to purchase asap so when I register the car what ikind of insurance do I need to present?

  8. Carl m March 31, 2016 at 5:22 pm · Reply

    Yes you can get it I had no drivers license for long time and got it

  9. Jessica February 1, 2016 at 1:24 am · Reply

    I was a passenger in a car accident. My Lawer say it legal for a person to have auto insurance without a driver’s license. Not true.

  10. Delilah January 23, 2016 at 8:57 am · Reply

    You can too get auto insurance if you do not have a license. Its called SR22.

  11. SAMANTHA January 21, 2016 at 1:34 am · Reply

    i need to get car insurance but i dont have a valid licence yet my sister does and is going to be on my insurance does anyone know a good auto place to go threw who will let me be the primary on the insurence

  12. Jack123 December 26, 2015 at 8:37 am · Reply

    I live in Massachusetts and I use to have insurance in my name with someone else’s license as the primary driver. I haven’t had insurance in awhile so I wanted to do the same thing again. Although I was told that u can’t do it that way anymore. So my question is,can u still do it that way in the state of Massachusetts?

    • Torr Leonard (Answer Financial) December 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm · Reply

      test 2

  13. Jerry December 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm · Reply

    The U.S Supreme Court says you do not have to have a driver’s license to drive a car if you are using it for your personal use and not using it for the purpose of making money

  14. Deeti November 26, 2015 at 7:29 pm · Reply

    Hi don major

    Can you tell me which insurance did you purchase? I am facing the same problem, own a car have a permit but want some refresher driving lessons before I get my license, but can’t do it on my own car cause I don’t have an insurance. I am located in Medford, Oregon.



  15. Janet November 23, 2015 at 10:56 am · Reply

    I bought and paid in full for car and full coverage insurance but had no drivers license. This past week I had a serious accident resulting in totalling my car and a cracked skull. Will my insurance pay off?

  16. don major November 1, 2015 at 5:31 am · Reply

    You don’t have to have a license to insure your car. I’ve bought insurance without a license before from InsurancePanda… cheap too.. like $30/month. You insure and then you list the primary driver with their license, it doesn’t have to be the owner. The car is what is insured, not the driver. The premium for the insurance will reflect the primary driver’s driving record, etc.

    • Deeti November 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm · Reply

      Hi don major
      Can you tell me which insurance did you purchase? I am facing the same problem, own a car have a permit but want some refresher driving lessons before I get my license, but can’t do it on my own car cause I don’t have an insurance. I am located in Medford, Oregon.


  17. Kaous October 7, 2015 at 2:57 pm · Reply

    Can I register a vehicle in my name with a learners permit and obtain insurance or be added to my sisters insurance even though the title is in my name?

  18. hubert September 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm · Reply

    Hey guys I’m living in Plainfield, New Jersey and I’m looking for a company to insure my car. Well the issue is so far I’ve got only the permit but I need to insure my car to be able to get the driver license. So until now I have visited a few agencies to get my car insured but it was unsuccessful ’cause I’m asked to get the driver license first so I want to know if you guys know some company over here in New Jersey able to accept insuring my car by only having my permit and New Jersey ID? Thank guys for you time

    • Joe October 14, 2015 at 5:27 pm · Reply

      Don’t go to agencies do it online, a lot of companies ask if you have a permit and that’s all you need…good luck

  19. Christy June 28, 2015 at 5:27 pm · Reply

    I live in PA and you don’t need a drivers license to get insurance. I know for a fact because I have my insurance policy under my name and I don’t have a license and have my husband on the policy as the primary driver. My rates are based on my husband driving record not mine because he’s the primary driver. As I stated this is very simple and extremely common in PA.

  20. yesse June 4, 2015 at 10:07 am · Reply

    my phone doesn’t have a license or tags or insurance on her car if I have non car insurance would I be able to drive it to work and back

  21. Justine Suarez May 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm · Reply

    Thank you for reading!

  22. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  23. Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!

  24. Kendra July 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm · Reply

    I live in NV and YES you can get insurance if you don’t have a license as long as you are over 18 years old and at least have a driver’s permit. It still isn’t legal to drive because you don’t have an actual license, but you can still do it and the chances of getting pulled over are very slim as long as you’re driving safe, have up to date tags and of course, don’t let your insurance lapse. I know this for a fact because I didn’t have a license at nineteen and only had my driver’s permit. I’m 21 now and I got my license only about five months ago! Just call the insurance company that you’re thinking about getting and see.

  25. crow June 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm · Reply

    I live in Texas and am turning 79 but hardly ever drive so I was not going to renew my license. My insurance company says I have to have a drivers license to keep my insurance. My son drives me and I want to keep my insurance because I get a discount on my homowners policy for having house and car insured. Anyone out there know what I can do?

  26. Scott May 19, 2014 at 8:26 pm · Reply

    The State statutes require “proof of financial responsibility” not insurance. A bond is also proof of financial responsibility, and all State’s have provisions for bonds in their financial responsibility statutes. An insurance policy is another way of showing “proof of financial responsibility”, but the Insurance company’s pool of assets is the “bond”, the driver is limiting their financial responsibility to the cost of their annual premiums and deductible, while all other damages and costs of an accident are paid for by the insurance company’s asset pool.

  27. Melissa April 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm · Reply

    I do not know where you guys live, but I live in Texas and in my hometown alone, there a dozen or more auto insurance places that will give you an auto insurance policy with just a Texas ID, and no drivers license. Yes, your premium is a little higher, but you can very easily get auto insurance without having a drivers license, and the policy is a valid policy that has all of the same information within it, as a policy would have if the person had a license.

  28. Pand December 17, 2013 at 6:55 am · Reply

    You don’t have to have a license to insure your car. You insure and then you list the primary driver with their license, it doesn’t have to be the owner. The car is what is insured, not the driver. The premium for the insurance will reflect the primary driver’s driving record, etc.

  29. Ernest December 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm · Reply

    Technically, you do not have to have a “driver’s license” if you are not using your personal vehicle for commercial purposes. I wonder how one would insure their “car” if a driver’s license is required for coverage?

  30. daulton October 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm · Reply

    You NEED insurance to get a license.. and need a license to get insurance… this makes NO SENSE AT ALL

    run around laws… i hate them all for making everything difficult

  31. Aeryn September 30, 2013 at 11:34 am · Reply

    This doesn’t really cover getting insurance if you do not have a license, but have a learning permit under the graduated licensing system. Can you get insurance with a permit, if you are an adult and do not live with parents whose insurance can cover you?

  32. dave April 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm · Reply

    my sister in law let her drivers license,car registration,and car insurance expire.she has tried to renew her drivers license,and dmv says she needs to have her car insured.she tried to insure the car,to get it registered,and was told she needs a drivers license.she lives in southern california.she seems to be going in a vicious circle.what steps should be taken?what sequence does she need to use?

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