Can You Get Car Insurance Without a License?

Most auto insurance companies won’t sell a policy to an unlicensed driver, but there are workarounds if you have a suspended license or don’t plan to drive.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
It’s not easy to get car insurance coverage without a license—but you may find a company willing to work with you if your license is suspended, you have a learner’s permit, or you don’t plan to drive.
  • Most car insurance companies require a driver’s license number to sell a policy.
  • Driving without a valid driver’s license
    is illegal in all 50 states, and driving without proof of insurance is illegal in almost all states.
  • If your license was suspended due to a DUI or multiple traffic violations, look for a company that will file an
    SR-22 form
    on your behalf.
  • Elderly and disabled car owners may be able to get insurance by listing a caregiver as the primary driver on their policy.

It’s difficult to get car insurance without a license

Insurance companies almost always require a valid driver’s license to purchase a car insurance policy for two simple reasons: 
  • Insurers use your driver’s license to examine your driving record and evaluate the level of risk you pose
  • It’s illegal to drive without a license
While you might be able to find
car insurance quotes
without a current license, when it comes time to purchase an actual auto insurance policy, you’ll need to provide a driver’s license number. Without it, almost no insurance company will let you buy a policy. 
If your license is suspended: You may be able to apply for a restricted license, which will allow you to drive under certain circumstances. Note that you may also need to
file an SR-22 certificate
to prove financial responsibility—and you should expect to pay higher car insurance rates due to your troubled driving history.
If your license is revoked: Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to find insurance carriers who are willing to sell you a policy because you don’t have any driving privileges. 

6 ways to find car insurance if you don’t have a license

  • Get a state ID card: Even if you don’t have a license, you’ll definitely need some form of ID to purchase an insurance policy. If you don’t already have a state-issued identification card, make that your first stop.
  • Go local: If you don’t have a driver’s license and you need an auto insurance policy, talk to an independent local insurance agent. An independent agent will have access to providers in your area who may be willing to insure you based on your driving history and current circumstances.
  • Add someone else to your vehicle title: This won’t be the best option for everyone, but if one person regularly drives your vehicle—like a family member or spouse—consider adding them as a co-owner of the vehicle. Then, you can purchase the insurance policy in their name.
  • Beware of listing yourself as an excluded driver: You shouldn’t be driving without a license—but if you list yourself as an excluded driver, it means you absolutely will not be covered by insurance if you’re driving the vehicle and you get into an accident. That makes this an especially risky option—even if your insurance agent suggests it. 
  • Ask about specialized insurance that fits your needs: If you have a vintage car that’s in storage most of the time,
    classic car insurance
    might be right for you. Or, if you want to keep insurance on a parked car while your license is suspended, you might drop collision and liability coverage but keep
    coverage to ensure your car is protected from things like theft or vandalism.
  • Check whether your state has a risk pool: If you can’t find anyone who will cover you, talk to your agent to find out how to apply to your state’s assigned risk pool. If you’re approved, your state will assign you to an insurer—and they must provide you coverage at that point. Be aware that these types of
    non-standard insurance policies
    typically have much higher rates than a standard policy.
Did you know? Some insurers are more likely than others to work with high-risk drivers. Try checking rates from companies like:
  • National General
  • Kemper Premium
  • Bristol West

Reasons you might need insurance if you don’t have a license

  • You only have your learner’s permit but want to purchase a car before you pass your driving test
  • You don’t drive, but you’re the parent of a licensed driver under 18 (minors under 18 are not legally able to purchase an insurance policy in their name)
  • You don’t drive, but you do own a car that others sometimes drive for you
  • You have a classic or parked car
  • You plan to drive again eventually and want to avoid a lapse in coverage
  • You want to park your car on public roads
  • Your license was suspended
    while you have an active car loan
In some of these cases, it’s possible to find an insurance company willing to work with your situation—but you’ll need to do some searching to find the right company.
Note for elderly or disabled drivers: Look for non-driver insurance with The Hartford, which has an exclusive contract with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP®). You’ll be listed on the policy as a nondriver, and you can designate a caregiver as the primary driver.

Learn more: Consequences of driving without a license

While the exact penalties for
driving without a license
vary from state to state, they’re always steep and include: 
  • Fines: Fines for a first offense are typically at least $100, and in some states—like
    —they may go as high as $10,000
  • License suspension: If you drive with a suspended license, you can expect to have that suspension extended
  • Vehicle impoundment: In many states, your vehicle can be impounded for a first offense of driving without a license
  • Mandatory jail time: Not all states impose jail time for unlicensed driving
If you’re caught driving without a license more than once, all of those penalties will be compounded, and in some states, you could actually face
felony charges
that will go on your criminal record. 
Need to know: If you choose to drive without a license under someone else’s insurance policy, the policyholder’s insurance could be canceled if you get into an accident. If that happens, they’ll have trouble finding affordable insurance again, since the incident will be on their record. 

How to find cheap car insurance with no license

If you don’t have a driver’s license, it probably feels like the best car insurance for you might be whichever provider is willing to offer you coverage. Still, it’s a good idea to shop around—talk to your independent agent about all of your options, and compare quotes from 3–5 insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the lowest auto insurance rates available to you.
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It’s possible to get car insurance without a license in
under some circumstances. While a national company like Allstate isn’t likely to work with you unless you have a valid license, you may be able to find coverage elsewhere. Elderly drivers should contact agents at The Hartford, while high-risk drivers who will get their licenses back soon may find coverage with GEICO, Progressive, or a smaller local or regional insurer like Aspire.
If you live in
and want to get car insurance without a license, you’ll need to find an insurance provider willing to work with you. If you’re unable to drive, finding a company that will list you as a nondriver is your best bet. If your license is suspended, look for companies that handle
SR-22 insurance
You don’t just need a license to get a car insurance policy—that license has to be up to date. If your license has expired, it’s time to head to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to renew it.
Yes. In most states, mandatory jail time is one of the penalties for driving without a license—even if it’s your first time. While the sentencing guidelines vary, in some states you could go to jail for multiple years just for driving without a license.
Yes—but it’s not a straightforward process. You’ll need another form of ID, and many lenders won’t approve a car loan for an unlicensed driver. And if you plan to drive the vehicle you’re purchasing, you’ll face the same challenges getting liability insurance to legally operate the car.
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