How to Get Motorcycle Insurance Without a License

If you don’t plan to drive your bike, you may be able to get motorcycle insurance without a license. Here’s how.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Bellina Gaskey
You can usually
get motorcycle insurance
without a license, but you might have to get creative—and pay higher prices.
If you bought a bike and you don’t have a valid license, that’s a great reason to buy a policy. Maybe you’re a new rider or an aspiring motorcyclist. All your assets should be covered by some type of insurance, even if they’re not being used in their intended fashion. After all, collectors insure their artwork even if it’s being stored in a basement somewhere. 
Before you start shopping around, there are a few important considerations. Here’s what you need to know about buying motorcycle insurance as an unlicensed driver.
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How to get motorcycle insurance without a license

You can buy bike insurance without a license under some circumstances—but you cannot drive a motorcycle without a license.
Getting insurance without a license can be a tricky process. Not all insurance companies will accept an unlicensed policyholder. That’s because your driving record helps companies figure out how risky you are (and thus how much to charge you for coverage). There’s also a chance that you’ll
drive while unlicensed
, which is a big no-no. 
You may be able to get motorcycle insurance without a valid driver’s license if you can provide another form of state ID in lieu of a driver’s license. 
If an
auto insurance
company is hesitant to sell you coverage, try one of these tactics:
  • Name yourself as an excluded driver on the policy—just don’t drive the bike
  • Name another driver who is licensed—and their record will determine the rate
  • Ask about adding a motorcycle endorsement to your existing auto policy
Otherwise, you may have to wait until you get your motorcycle license.

How much does motorcycle insurance cost without a license?

The cost of insurance can vary dramatically from person to person. Your driving record, your vehicle (or motorcycle), your age, your zip code, and your license status will impact how much you pay for coverage. Some insurance providers offer better rates than others depending on these factors.
In general, people with suspended or revoked licenses (or a history of such) can expect to pay a lot more for auto or motorcycle insurance. This is especially true if a
DUI
or
distracted driving
was the cause of the license suspension.
Your premium also depends on how much coverage you need and the size of your deductibles.
Every state has a
minimum level
of required insurance coverage. This typically includes bodily injury and property damage liability insurance, and some states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection (PIP). 
The motorcycle insurance required depends on the minimum coverage requirements in your state. If you opt for additional coverage like
comprehensive
(which gives you protection against vandalism and theft, among other things), expect your premium to be even higher.
If you’re wondering whether motorcycle insurance is cheaper than car insurance, the answer is sometimes. It depends on the type of motorcycle you drive, among other factors. 
In some cases, motorcycle insurance can actually be more expensive. For example, a vintage 1940s Vincent will cost far more to insure than a 2005 Harley Sportster. A scooter or moped may cost less than a sports bike. While motorcycles are often cheaper to fix than motor vehicles, motorcycle drivers face a higher risk of getting into a costly accident than car drivers.
You may be able to lower the cost of insurance by taking an approved safety course.

Things to consider before purchasing motorcycle insurance without a license

Even a small gap in insurance coverage can trigger higher premiums later on. From this vantage point, it’s smart to get motorcycle insurance as soon as you get a bike—even if you don’t have a valid license.
However, there are several things you need to consider before buying motorcycle insurance without a license.
If you decide to buy a policy and name someone else as the primary driver, be aware that this person’s driving history will influence the cost of insurance. 
Selecting a young person as the primary driver will result in much higher insurance premiums, as people under 25 are charged some of the highest rates among all drivers. Avoid selecting a primary driver who has a history of traffic violations, as this will inflate the cost of insurance even further.
You may be creating unnecessary extra work for yourself if you buy motorcycle coverage now and exclude yourself only to add yourself later once you get your license
It’s also important to remember that just because your bike is insured doesn’t mean you are. Don’t drive without a license. If you get caught—or if you get into a motorcycle accident—you won’t have the coverage you need. Plus, you’ll face huge penalties.
Finally, remember to keep proof of insurance on file.
MORE: Essential tips for motorcycle winter storage

Common reasons for needing motorcycle insurance without a license

Here are some situations when you might buy motorcycle insurance even if you don’t have a driver’s license:
  • You have a vintage motorcycle that’s in storage
  • You bought a motorcycle under your name for another rider 
  • You purchased the bike before getting a license (or you only have a learner’s permit)
You might be facing a situation where you have a suspended license. You still want your bike to have coverage even though you can’t drive it right now.
Another possibility is that you have yet to pass your road test, but you got excited and bought a motorcycle already.
On the one hand, there’s nothing wrong with buying an insurance policy for a motorcycle that isn’t on the road yet. In fact, this is a smart strategy for avoiding a gap in coverage, which could trigger higher insurance rates. 
But it’s also okay to wait and buy insurance until you have your motorcycle permit and you’re ready to drive your bike.
Discuss your needs with an insurance agent, and you may find that basic
liability coverage
is enough to meet your needs.
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FAQs

Yes, you can—but you might not be able to register the motorcycle or get a license plate without a license number. You certainly can’t drive without a license. Check with your local DMV before you buy.
Yes, in general, insurance is more expensive if the policyholder doesn’t have a license. That’s because the insurance company has no way to assess how safe or risky you are as a biker.
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