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

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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?

  9. 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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