Can I Get Car Insurance With a Provisional Driver's License?

Drivers with provisional licenses have to be added to their parent’s policies or pay inflated premiums to ensure they are adequately covered.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Since provisional license insurance is not available in the United States, drivers with a provisional license will need to be added to their parents’ insurance, or buy insurance themselves, despite the high cost.
Drivers on provisional licenses must learn early in their driving career that
car insurance
is vital to keeping themselves, their passengers, and other drivers safe.
While insurance can be costly, especially for new drivers, it doesn’t need to be. With
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Read on to find out the nitty-gritty of provisional licenses and insurance

What is a provisional license?

A provisional license is granted to new drivers, usually teenagers, giving them the legal ability to drive a car as they learn the rules of the road before they earn their full driver’s license.
Of course, there are numerous restrictions a driver on a provisional license needs to abide by, depending on the state. Some possible restrictions are:
  • Six months to a year on a provisional license before becoming fully licensed
  • A fully licensed driver—at least 20 years of age— must always accompany a provisional driver when they drive
  • Provisional drivers can only drive during certain hours (though there are exceptions for going to or coming home from work)
Also, drivers who have lost their license due to traffic violations, such as driving without insurance, may be issued a provisional license before being allowed to get their full license back.

How to get a provisional license

In order to obtain a provisional license, the following criteria need to be met.
  • Must be between the ages of 15 years, six months, and 18 years of age
  • Must have completed a driver’s education course
  • In possession of an instruction permit, signed by an adult
  • A completed application for a provisional license, including agreeing to comply with any request for drugs and alcohol testing
  • Pass a vision test
  • Agree to carry their provisional license on them at all times while driving
Key Takeaway It’s always a good idea for a new driver to take a driver’s ed course while on a provisional license, in order to learn the rules of the road and
defensive driving

How much does provisional insurance cost? || Car insurance rates

Car insurance can be expensive for drivers with provisional licenses because, typically, teen drivers and drivers coming off a suspended license are more likely to be riskier drivers.
In fact, teenage male drivers have more accidents at a rate of four to one over their teenage female counterparts.
That being said, there are ways drivers with provisional licenses can reduce their car insurance rates. Taking driver’s education and defensive driving classes can help lower rates by anywhere from 10%-25%.
It is always a good idea to shop around and see which insurer gives the best rates for provisional drivers, as well as any discounts they might offer.

Why do drivers with a provisional license need insurance?

Any driver at any skill level can get into an accident, and the consequences can be devastating. That’s why all drivers, including those on provisional licenses, should be insured in order to protect themselves and everyone else on the road.
Adding a teenage driver to a parent’s insurance policy is a smart way to protect both a new driver and their parents from any potential mishap and possible out-of-pocket financial loss.
In such a case, adding the teen driver with a provisional license to a parent’s policy allows them to learn to drive while being protected.
Key Takeaway Provisional car insurance is not sold in the United States, so provisional drivers can be added to a parent’s car insurance policy, or they’ll have to purchase their own standard auto insurance.
If a new driver is learning to drive with a licensed driving school, they will be covered under the school’s insurance while taking their lessons.

Adding a driver with a provisional license to a policy

As mentioned, you can’t buy provisional car insurance in the U.S. But since car insurance can be expensive for young drivers,
adding a teen driver
onto a parent’s existing policy is a good way to protect them and keep their costs down.
Keep in mind, a parent’s car insurance rate will go up with a new, young, and riskier (at least in insurers’ eyes) driver on a provisional license being added to their policy.
Once the provisional licensee becomes a fully licensed driver, they can be added as a regular driver onto their parents’ insurance, or purchase their own insurance.
Another option for a driver on a provisional license is to purchase non-owner insurance.
Non-owner insurance is a policy offering coverage for drivers who don’t own a car but want to protect themselves and others when driving someone else’s car, such as a parent’s.
A non-owner policy may be ideal for a parent who plans to let their teen drive only occasionally.
Also, this kind of policy offers only the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements, so you’ll save some money on your monthly premiums.

Can a driver with a provisional license own a car?

Indeed, they can! But in most cases, insurers will not allow a car-owning new driver on a provisional license to be added onto a parent’s policy. You can always ask your insurer if they’ll make an exception.
Otherwise, a driver with a provisional license who owns a car will need to buy their own auto insurance. As mentioned, car insurance isn’t cheap for young drivers, so it is best to shop around for the most affordable rate.

Teens, car insurance, and finding lower rates

Car insurers see teenagers as risky investments, which is why insurance rates for young drivers and those with provisional licenses can be so high.
Half of all road accidents caused in the U.S. are caused by teenage drivers. In fact,
teenagers are responsible for more accidents that result in death
than any other age cohort.
A teenager with numerous accidents on their driving record may be, unfortunately, uninsurable.
Key Takeaway Insurers charge a high premium for teen drivers because, statistically speaking, they are the riskiest group of drivers on the road.
If you are a teenager, or a parent of a teenager, don’t despair—there are some ways to get car insurance that won’t break the bank.
First, keep those pens poised and put the pedal to the metal (no pun intended) at school. Insurers like insuring teens with good grades—some insurers will give you a
good student discount
on your car insurance if you’re doing well at school.
Whenever buying insurance, whether on a provisional license or not, it is always a good idea to shop around for the most affordable rates. Car insurance prices can vary widely from one provider to another, so do your due diligence when seeking insurance while on a provisional license.
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Frequently asked questions

Will a driver with a provisional license have higher rates if they drive a brand new car?

Yes, the type of car you drive can affect how much insurance you pay. Driving a brand new car will mean you’ll be paying a higher insurance premium.
If a teenager on a provisional license is driving a brand new car, they will be more expensive to insure. On a cheaper, used car, the prices will be more manageable.

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