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Car insurance for drivers without a license

Among your options to consider are non-owners and SR-22 policies.

Although a special situation, there are several ways you can insure your car without a license. But depending on the reason, you may find your premium above average for suspended licenses or teen drivers.

Why do I need car insurance if I don’t have a license?

Although an interesting situation to find yourself in, it’s possible that you may need insurance on a car you own but aren’t licensed to drive. Several situations where this might occur are:

  • You have a suspended license. You may need to keep insurance while clearing up your record.
  • You bought a car for others to drive. You might not intend to drive yourself but need transportation for family members to use.
  • You bought the car before getting a license. You found an epic deal on a vehicle before you got to the DMV.
  • You have medical reasons for staying unlicensed. Health problems can sometimes disqualify you from driving, but you may still need others to drive you around.

How do I get car insurance without a license?

You might throw customer service for a loop if you say you want a policy without a license. However, you can still get insured if you have a plan. Consider these methods of getting insurance without a license:

  • Get an SR-22 policy. If you have a suspended license, you can hold your own policy, but may need to file an SR-22 with the state. You can file this proof-of-insurance document by having your insurer submit the necessary forms for you.
  • Apply as the policyholder and exclude yourself. For those simply without a license, some insurers may allow you to start a policy under your name and then exclude yourself from getting coverage. That means the insurance company won’t pay for any damage incurred if you’re at the wheel.
  • Place the primary driver on the title. Typically, companies like to see the car owner apply for the insurance policy. If you have trouble getting insurance, you could opt to put the car’s regular driver on the title. You may still need to exclude yourself from getting coverage.
  • Allow the primary driver to get insured. Although not a typical option, you could find a company that allows the primary driver to get a policy without owning the vehicle. Non-owner coverage could fit this situation, but you may need other coverage not typical for a non-owner policy like collision and medical payments coverage.

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How much does car insurance cost without a license?

The rate for the average driver is about $1,300 per year. Drivers with a suspended license might see a rate increase, depending on the reason for your license suspension. For example, your car insurance could increase by $1,248 per year after a DUI conviction. Other convictions might not increase your rate much at all.

Because you may not be driving the vehicle, your primary driver’s record might weigh in more here. As long as that driver has a standard amount of risk, you could expect standard rates or better for a pristine record.

How can I save on car insurance without a license?

Even if you don’t drive, you can still take the wheel when it comes to saving on your premium. You’ll find several ways to do that:

  • Shop providers. Compare quotes side by side so you know you’re getting the best coverage for your situation.
  • Go for a spotless driving record. No matter what’s happened in the past, you can always press forward with safe driving habits.
  • Take safety courses. You might receive a discount for completing approved driver training.
  • Get a low mileage rate. It’s likely that you may not drive as much as everyone else. If that’s the case, let your insurer know your annual mileage to lower that rate.
  • Consider telematics. Sign up for your company’s program to track mileage and safe driving habits, which could lead to a steep discount.
  • Encourage student drivers. If you have teen or college age drivers, encourage good grades for extra savings. You could also get lower rates during school season if your student goes away from home.
  • Get as many other discounts as possible. Rack up all the discounts you’re eligible for, such as automatic payments, safety features and bundled policies.
  • Lower coverage if you can. You might want broad coverage for physical damage and liability, but you could rethink add-ons like better car replacement if they’re not needed.
  • Pick family-friendly cars. Give insurance companies an easy reason to lower rates with cars they consider less risky, such as sedans and minivans.

What kind of coverage should I get without a license?

If you plan to let someone drive your vehicle, consider getting all the standard coverage for wide protection. However, you might opt for a bare-bones policy if your car sits in the garage most of the time.

  • Property damage and bodily injury liability. These are required by state—you’ll need liability even for minimal driving.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. This helps you take care of expenses if another driver doesn’t have insurance. Some states require it.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). Keeps drivers or passengers protected from expensive medical bills and income loss due to injuries. You may not need this coverage if you have solid health insurance, unless it’s required by your state.
  • SR-22. Not technically a coverage, those with a suspended license may need to add this filing to your account. Adding SR-22 filing lets your insurer know to send proof of insurance to the state.
  • Loan or lease gap. Helps you pay off your loan or lease if your car gets totaled. Some lenders may require it.

Case study: Car insurance without a driver’s license

Melanie has a medical issue that keeps her from driving. But she also has two young drivers in her household, ages 15 and 17, who can’t apply for their own policies because they’re younger than 18. Melanie is the policyholder on the car insurance, but she excluded herself from getting coverage.
To keep rates down for insuring teen drivers, Melanie applied for a telematics-based policy, which highlights her teen’s safe driving skills. She has also ensured eligibility for good student, accident-free and safety course completion discounts.

What should I watch out for?

This special situation does include a few caveats when getting coverage:

  • Excluding yourself. Keep in mind that you can’t legally drive a car without insurance. If you do receive your license, you might have to update your policy to include yourself.
  • Lapsed insurance. Failing to renew a policy could result in penalties, especially if you have a suspended license, since you’re under closer scrutiny by the state.
  • Coverage needs. When opting for less coverage due to low mileage driving, consider your ability to pay for your car repairs or replacement if an accident occurs.

Bottom line

There are some situations where you might need car insurance without a license. You have several options for getting insured without paying more than necessary. Finding discounts and shopping multiple providers could help you save as much as possible.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance without a license

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