The Best Car Insurance Companies for Unlicensed Drivers

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couple talking to an insurance agent about the best car insurance for unlicensed drivers

Taking out car insurance as an unlicensed driver might seem unusual, but it’s more common than you might think. There are actually several reasons why you might need car insurance without a license. You may need to insure a car that you own but don’t drive. Or you may need to put someone else on your insurance policy.

Not all car insurance companies are willing to insure drivers without a license, so you may need to shop around for quotes to find the right policy.

Here’s everything you need to know about insuring a car without a license and which companies offer the best insurance for unlicensed drivers.


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Key Takeaways:

  • Securing car insurance as an unlicensed driver is difficult, but you can list yourself as an excluded driver on some policies. 
  • While it’s not illegal to purchase a car without a license, you’ll need auto insurance coverage and a licensed driver behind the wheel to take it off the lot.
  • If you’re a driver with a suspended license, you should find an insurer willing to file an SR-22 for you to obtain coverage. 

What Is Car Insurance for Unlicensed Drivers?

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states in the U.S. So it goes without saying that driving without a license – or with a suspended license – is illegal too! So why would you need one without the other? Here are a few situations that might apply to you.

You own a car that you don’t drive

This might be the most common reason for needing car insurance without a valid driver’s license of your own. Maybe you’ve gotten older or developed a chronic illness or disability that prevents you from getting behind the wheel.

Your friends, family, or caregiver may not have their own car, so they use your vehicle to drive you to and from doctor’s appointments and other errands. If that’s the case, you’ll probably need to put their driver’s license number on your auto insurance policy since most insurance companies won’t issue you a policy without one.

You own a classic car

If you own a classic car for show or nostalgia that you don’t plan to drive, you may not bother renewing your license if it expires. In order to insure your car against theft or vandalism, you’ll need to take out classic car insurance.

Classic car insurance may not include personal injury protection or collision coverage. If you ever take it out of storage and drive it yourself – even just for a day – you’ll need additional insurance coverage and a valid driver’s license again.

You have a suspended license

If the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspends your license, you may need proof of insurance or financial responsibility before the DMV will reinstate it.

This is especially true if the reason for the license suspension is that authorities caught you driving without insurance or driving under the influence (DUI). If that’s the case, you may need to find an insurer that offers SR-22 coverage for high-risk drivers.

Whatever the case, maintaining continuous coverage while you don’t have your driver’s license can save you money in the long run because insurance providers look at how long you’ve had insurance when setting insurance rates.

You need to insure another driver

If your spouse, child, or another family member has their learner’s permit but not a full driver’s license, then they may not be able to take out their own auto insurance policy. Many insurance companies won’t insure new drivers under 18 unless they’re added to another policyholder’s coverage.

Some insurance companies will allow you to list them as the primary driver and yourself as an excluded driver, even if you don’t have a license and aren’t the car owner. Always be upfront with your auto insurance company or insurance agent, so there aren’t any issues if the driver gets into an at-fault car accident.

Purchasing a Car Without a License

While there are laws to prevent driving without a license, it’s not illegal to purchase a car without one. Of course, the seller or lender will ask for one, but you can always provide a government-issued ID card. 

Even if your state allows you to purchase a car unlicensed, reputable dealerships won’t be so quick to agree. Without a license, you won’t be able to test drive a vehicle or drive it off the lot. 

However, some dealerships may entertain you if you’re planning on getting your license soon. They might require that you have someone with a valid driver’s license present when shopping for the vehicle. 

Make sure to contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to find out what paperwork you need to purchase a car without a license.

The 5 Best Insurance Companies for Unlicensed Drivers

Young woman checking her cars tires

Whether you’re looking for comprehensive coverage for an unlicensed driver or just the state minimum liability coverage, you can choose from a few companies. Here are our top picks for the best insurance for unlicensed drivers.

The Hartford

The Hartford insurance offers special deals and discounts to AARP members, making this a good choice for seniors who need to insure a classic car or one that a family member or caregiver uses.

Other features include The Hartford Truelane usage-based insurance, a disappearing deductible program, and a network of over 1,600 trusted repair shops.

Founded in Hartford, Connecticut, The Hartford has been offering insurance since 1810. 

Ethisphere has named the insurer one of the world’s most ethical companies at least 13 times. It currently has 4.13 stars based on 764 reviews on Clearsurance.

Pros:

  • Unique benefits and perks for AARP members 
  • Renewability of lifetime auto insurance policies  
  • High customer satisfaction ratings 

Cons:

  • Limited deals available for drivers under 50 
  • Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau 

Commonwealth Casualty

Commonwealth Casualty is a relatively new insurance company, offering car coverage since 2010. The downside? It’s only available in Texas and Arizona.

Still, if you’re an unlicensed driver in one of these states, it may be worth looking into. 

Commonwealth Casualty is the cheapest car insurance company in Texas, with an average monthly premium of $55.

In addition to liability insurance, Commonwealth Casualty offers roadside assistance, rideshare coverage, and named driver restriction removal.

They have an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau but have a lower-than-average rating from the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Pros:

  • Offer a variety of discounts for drivers looking to bundle homeowners and auto insurance 
  • Drivers with a good driving record can take advantage of perks such as the vanishing deductible discount for additional savings

Cons:

  • Only offers insurance in two states – Arizona and Texas 
  • No app for customers to manage their policy on the go 

Travelers

Travelers Insurance has an A+ rating from the BBB, and 4/5 stars based on 1,729 reviews on Clearsurance, making this a trusted insurance provider in all 50 states. Travelers Insurance offers notable car insurance discounts, including a Good Student discount and a Safe Driver discount for drivers with a clean driving record.

The company makes it easy to add or remove a driver from your policy, whether you have a teen driver with a learner’s permit or an adult child moving back home. Its online portal, MyTravelers, makes it easy to pay bills, access important policy documents, file claims, or request roadside assistance. You can also get a discount of up to 15% for maintaining continuous coverage.

Pros:

  • Online portal for policyholders to manage their auto policy and request roadside assistance 
  • Has up to 15 potential discounts policyholders can qualify for to enjoy further savings

Cons:

  • Limited rideshare insurance availability 

Direct Auto

Direct Auto is a car insurance company that caters to drivers with trouble finding car insurance, including uninsured drivers and drivers with a poor driving history. Direct Auto offers full coverage insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and more, with average rates of around $173 for a male driver and $168 for a female driver.

Currently, it’s available to drivers in 16 states and offers flexible payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, and cash. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Direct Auto has an A- rating from AM Best and a rating of 4.1/5 on WalletHub.

Pros:

  • Willing to take on high-risk drivers who struggle to find coverage with major insurers 
  • Policyholders can file a claim around the clock, whether online or over the phone 

Cons:

  • Direct Auto only offers insurance in 16 states 
  • Lacks an option for accident forgiveness if drivers are in a collision 

GEICO

Finally, GEICO may be a good choice for unlicensed drivers if you’re having trouble finding insurance in your state. GEICO has a rating of 4.13/5 stars on Clearsurance and a ranking of 867/1,000 from J.D. Power.

GEICO makes it easy to add teen drivers to your policy and move them to an individual policy when ready. GEICO doesn’t offer classic car insurance directly, but you may be able to qualify for a policy with one of their partner companies.

Pros:

  • Geico provides a wide range of coverage options for drivers to choose from 
  • Geico’s mobile app makes it simple to file claims, review policy information, or access insurance ID cards 

Cons:

  • Not all Geico features and coverage options are available in all 50 states 
  • Geico doesn’t offer gap insurance to its drivers 

Car Insurance Coverage Options if You Don’t Have a License

Couple using a phone while sitting inside a car

Although most major national insurers won’t provide car insurance to drivers without a license, you still have options to get coverage. Whether you’re looking to get full coverage or just basic liability, here are a few car insurance coverage options. 

Add a Co-Owner to Your Car’s Registration 

Auto insurers require vehicle ownership before issuing insurance policies, and adding a car co-owner helps some drivers get around the rule. Fill out the proper form with your local DMV to satisfy the requirement and pay the processing fee. 

Purchase Parked Car/Storage Coverage

Another option to consider is to purchase parked car or storage insurance coverage. If you don’t have a license and plan to store your vehicle for several months, your insurer may allow you to enroll in this type of plan.

Purchase Coverage Through a Broker/Independent Agent 

Consider buying  your insurance coverage through a broker or independent agent. These agents may work with local insurers that are willing to give auto insurance coverage to unlicensed drivers. 

Find the Best Insurance for Unlicensed Drivers

In most cases, you’ll need a valid driver’s license to take out an insurance policy, but there are some exceptions – such as insuring a car you don’t drive or taking out insurance for a young driver in your household. Not every car insurance company will cover unlicensed drivers, but it’s still possible for you to find cheap car insurance.

Being an unlicensed driver can make it harder to estimate your auto insurance rates, so your best bet is to use a comparison tool like Compare.com. By getting auto insurance quotes from multiple companies, you’ll be able to find the best car insurance for your situation. Just enter your ZIP code below to compare your rates: 


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Best Car Insurance Companies for Unlicensed Drivers FAQs

Can I get car insurance without a license?

Yes, you can purchase car insurance without a license. However, you’ll need to list yourself as an excluded driver or transfer the car’s ownership to a licensed driver. 

When will I need car insurance as an unlicensed driver?

You might need it if you have a suspended license, have a car you don’t drive, need to insure another driver or have a vintage car in storage. 

Can I insure a car that I don’t drive? 

Yes, you are legally required to have insurance for your vehicle, even if you don’t drive it regularly. 

What kind of coverage can I get as an unlicensed driver?

Most major car insurance coverage is available to unlicensed drivers, but you’ll need to check with your insurer to see what is available to you. 

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