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. So please, if you do not have a driver’s license and want to drive, go get a license and then get auto insurance.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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

  4. 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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