Right off the bat, it is against the law to drive a car on a public road without a valid driver’s license. That said, you don’t need to have a license to get car insurance. While purchasing an auto insurance policy without a valid license might seem counterintuitive, a driver’s license is not the only reason why a driver might need car insurance.
Finding an insurance provider offering no license insurance will be a little harder than getting normal auto coverage; it is not impossible. Can you get insurance without a license? Here’s everything you need to know.
Reasons for Buying Car Insurance Without a License
To reiterate, driving without a license is illegal. Why, then, would someone who doesn’t intend to get behind the wheel need car insurance? Below are a few scenarios where getting a no license insurance policy might be in your best interest.
You Have a Health Condition That Prevents You From Driving
If you’re currently suffering from a health condition that prevents you from driving, it’s still a good idea to get protection even if you won’t be driving your vehicle for a while. Keep in mind that the whole point of car insurance is to protect you against potential financial loss if your vehicle is ever involved in an accident or theft.
Even if you put your car in storage for the duration of your recovery and your license expires in the process, you still want to get auto insurance to protect you in case anything happens to your vehicle while in storage.
Additionally, a lapse in coverage might mean paying higher premiums the next time you need insurance. Getting no license insurance for the period your vehicle remains parked is a foolproof way to prevent this from happening.
Someone Else Is Driving You Around
If you’re a senior who’s not comfortable driving or you’ve lost your license for whatever reason, you might get a younger caregiver or family member to chauffeur you around in your car. Even if you’re not the primary driver of your car, you still need to get an insurance policy to cover your vehicle.
That said, the average cost of car insurance increases as you get older. A cheaper alternative would be to let someone else take over as the primary driver of a car that’s registered to you. Listing someone else as the primary driver of your vehicle may not always be an option if the person who chauffeurs you around doesn’t form part of your household.
You’re a Student Driver With a Provisional Driver’s License
A teen driver with a learner’s permit still needs car insurance even if they’re technically not yet licensed. If you have a teen in your household learning to drive on your vehicle, it needs to be insured, especially if they’re taking it out on public roads.
It’s a good idea to consider adding your teen driver to your auto insurance policy as a provisional driver in case the unexpected happens.
You Don’t Drive, but You Have a Student Driver Who Does
Suppose you buy a car for your teen when they turn 16 and get their driver’s license. Even if you’re not the one who’ll be driving the vehicle, you still need to get auto insurance for it. Most states don’t allow vehicle owners to register their car with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) without providing proof of insurance first.
If your teen isn’t old enough to be on their own policy, you would need to register them on the policy of someone else aged 18 years or older. If you don’t drive, your best bet would be to get a no license insurance policy and list them on it.
You Own a Vintage Vehicle That Sits in Your Garage
If you purchase a vintage car you don’t take out on the road, it still needs to be insured against theft or damage. Even if you’re keeping it as a prized possession (a collector’s item, if you will) and have no intention of driving it, it still makes sense to get a no license policy that covers non-collision situations, including vandalism or a tree falling on it and smashing the windshield.
You Have a Suspended License
If you have a sketchy driving record or get charged with a DUI/DWI, you could end up with a suspended license. In most states, you won’t get it back until you provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR-22 certificate.
While this isn’t “insurance” per se, it proves to the court that you have the minimum liability no license coverage required by the state.
Can I Buy a Car With No License?
Technically, it is possible, but it won’t be easy. The specific circumstances in which this can happen ultimately come down to the rules of the auto dealership. In most cases, you’ll need to show proof of insurance before you can seal the deal. They won’t even allow you to test drive the car without proof of insurance and, more often than not, a valid license. It’s a lot easier to drive it off the lot if you have a valid license.
Can You Register a Car With No License?
While there’s not much you can do without a driver’s license; you can buy and register a car in your name. This is a viable option for someone who may want to purchase and register a vehicle in their name but have a chauffeur, caregiver, or family member use it to drive them around.
What Is the Penalty for Driving Without a License?
It depends on your state laws and whether you’re a repeat offender. In most states, driving without a license is charged as a misdemeanor offense and may result in six to 12 months jail time, a fine of $1,000 to $2,500, or both. The court fine may be lower if it is charged as an infraction. Get in touch with a driver’s license lawyer as soon as possible to get the best possible outcome in your case.
Have legal questions? Chat online with an available Laws101 attorney.