If don’t have a driver’s license, why would you even need to think about getting auto insurance? Even if you can’t legally drive a car, you can get car insurance, and there are several situations in which you might want it.
The thing is, even though you can (and might want to) get car insurance without a license, the process isn’t always the easiest. One of the first things that most car insurance companies ask for is a driver’s license. If you don’t have one, that could present a problem. While getting insurance might be more challenging, it’s not impossible. In this article, we’ll go into reasons why you might want auto insurance without a license and how you can go about getting insured.
Just because you don’t have a driver’s license, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have insurance. Getting a policy provides you with protection if you get into an accident in someone else’s vehicle, or a vehicle you own (but don’t drive) gets stolen. Here are a few reasons you might want to get car insurance, even if you don’t have a license.
Maybe you don’t have a license, but you do have a personal driver who takes you where you need to go. Even if you’re not the one behind the wheel, you still need to have insurance for the cars you own and your driver operates.
Or, maybe you don’t drive anymore due to age-related or medical reasons. If you have someone who transports you to work, appointments, or on errands, you’ll still need insurance even though you’re not the one who’s doing the driving.
One thing to keep in mind is that auto insurance rates often increase with age. Companies often view older drivers as higher-risk. If you’re not driving, you may be able to save some money getting yourself listed on someone else’s policy, since your age won’t matter as much if you’re not the primary driver on the policy.
You might not drive, but your teenager might have recently gotten their license. In most states, anyone under 18 can’t legally enter into a contract, and that includes a car insurance policy. If you live in one of those states, you may need to list yourself on their policy (naming them as the primary driver) until they turn 18.
As a teenager who recently got their driver’s license, you typically get listed on your parents’ insurance policy, especially if you’re going to be learning to drive using one of their vehicles. Not everyone has a household policy to join, though, or a family car to learn on. In such cases, you might choose to buy your own vehicle. Even though you’re on your permit, you’ll still need to get insurance for it. Keep in mind that if you’re under 18, you’ll likely need to have an adult listed on the policy, too.
Do you have a vintage vehicle that’s in excellent condition, but you don’t plan to drive it? Even if it never leaves the garage, you may want to protect it from a full or partial loss (such as damage or theft), just like you would any other valuable asset you have in your home. An auto insurance policy helps you to do just that. Whether or not you have a license, insuring your vintage vehicle keeps it safe.
So, now that we’ve established that you can (and might want to) get auto insurance without a driver’s license, the next question is, how do you go about it? After all, one of the first things an auto insurance company asks for is a valid driver’s license. Many companies are wary about providing insurance for unlicensed drivers, and some may refuse to provide coverage altogether.
If you don’t have a license, you may be able to secure an insurance policy by listing someone else as the primary driver on the policy. You may, however, need to list yourself as an excluded driver, which means that your insurer won’t cover you if you decide to drive the car and get into an accident. If you plan to get your license in the future, you will need to contact the insurance provider once you do obtain it to add yourself as a driver.
So, who can you list as the primary driver? Technically, you can name anyone you want, whether they live with you or not. The person you name, however, should be the person who will be driving the vehicle. That might be your spouse, child, roommate, friend, or caretaker. No matter who you list, they should have a valid license.
When listing someone as the primary driver, remember that the insurance company bases the rates on their driving record. The company requires a valid license number for this very reason. If you’re insuring your car and having someone else drive it, what you pay for the policy is based on their history. You’ll likely pay more if you have a primary driver who’s had a few accidents or infractions in the past than if you have someone with a clean record.
If you had a license, but it got suspended, you can still get insurance. In fact, you may need it to prove that you’re protected once your license gets reinstated. An SR-22 shows proof of financial responsibility, which you might need to provide to get your driver’s license back. It shows the court that you have the minimum coverages required by your state. Not every auto insurance company offers SR-22, though, so you might need to shop around to find one that does.
Technically, you can buy a car without a driver’s license. If you’re going through a dealership, though, the process might be more difficult. You likely won’t be able to test drive any cars without a license and insurance. Many dealerships require immediate proof of insurance before they’ll complete the transaction. They may also require a license if you’re going through them for financing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that whether you buy a car at a dealership or you go through a private seller, you won’t be able to drive the car home yourself if you don’t have a license. You’ll also want to have it insured before you take it home, just in case something happens en route. If you’re not licensed to drive, you should have someone, preferably the person listed as the primary driver on the insurance policy, with you who can transport it home.
After buying the car, you will need to register it. Again, you won’t need a driver’s license to do so, but you will need proof of insurance, along with the necessary paperwork and fees. Once you’ve secured the policy, which we’ve covered above, you can go through your state’s DMV to get it registered.
Even if you don’t have a driver’s license, getting an auto insurance policy may still be a good idea. Comparing multiple rates at once with companies like PolicyScout makes it faster and easier to find a policy that best suits your needs. The right auto insurance will provide you with the protection you need, whether you have a license or not.