It’s clear that you need a valid driver’s license to drive legally, but do you need one to purchase auto insurance? While you can get car insurance with an expired license, it’s significantly more difficult than if it was up to date.
Our team of insurance experts has reviewed the best car insurance companies and found which may still provide you with standout coverage. It’s smart to compare free quotes from various options to determine the ones that are willing to insure you for the most reasonable rates.
Will Car Insurers Offer Coverage With an Expired License?
One of the first hurdles you’ll face when looking for car insurance with an expired license is finding a provider that offers coverage beyond your grace period. Most companies require a valid driver’s license to insure your vehicle for the first time, though renewals are typically possible even after expiration.
Can I Renew Coverage With an Expired License?
While you can typically renew insurance coverage with an expired license, it’s not a smart choice. You may need to pay fines if your license hasn’t been reinstated, and you could even face higher insurance premiums by seeming like a high-risk driver to your provider.
From the auto insurer’s perspective, the risk increases after your license expires. Your driving skills may be weaker than they once were and you could have forgotten some essential road rules. You also may not drive as confidently, increasing the risk of getting into a car accident and building a bad driving record.
Why Won’t Providers Insure People Without a License?
The fact that auto insurance carriers want you to present a valid license comes down to risk. Without an up-to-date driver’s license from your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV), you can’t legally drive. Along with the legal component, your car insurance company will have no idea whether you can pass a written driving test, a road test or an eye exam.
How Can I Get Auto Insurance With an Expired License?
While you can’t always buy car insurance with an expired license number, there are plenty of companies that may provide coverage. You’ll most likely need to ask for a nontraditional policy from an insurance agent, as you shouldn’t be driving your vehicle without a driver’s license.
Get an SR-22 Certificate
This is a popular option for those with suspended licenses, but it may also apply for high-risk policyholders with an expired license. An SR-22 certificate essentially labels you as a high-risk driver and provides financial responsibility for your vehicle that meets minimum coverage.
Keep in mind that not all insurance companies offer protection to people with SR-22 certificates. Since this type of coverage is intended for high-risk drivers such as those with DUIs and poor driving records, it’s both relatively expensive and limited in scope.
LIst Yourself as an Excluded Driver
A relatively simple method to get car insurance with an expired license is by listing yourself as an excluded driver. In this case, you’ll put someone else as the primary driver and must entirely stop driving the vehicle.
Being listed as an excluded driver is especially popular among older adults who own a car but no longer feel confident driving it. These people can list an adult child as the primary driver and simply list themselves as an excluded driver.
Parked Car Insurance
Parked car insurance works if your license is expired and you don’t drive, but you still own a car. You still need auto insurance for parked cars in case of accidental damage, so this option works well for vehicles that are never driven.
You’ll receive comprehensive coverage and get financial protection against theft, vandalism and severe weather damages. This type of coverage typically ranks as a cheap car insurance option because of the lower risk associated with insuring a parked vehicle.
Add Someone Else to Your Registration
As mentioned, some car insurance companies don’t let people list a non-owner as the primary driver. This requirement varies by company and by state. If it’s not possible for you, adding the primary driver to your vehicle registration as a co-owner may work.
Can I Drive My Insured Car Without a License?
Carrying minimum liability insurance doesn’t offset your lack of a driver’s license. Any auto insurance policy you get with an expired license should explicitly exclude you as a driver. Driving without either a license or a license plate leads to harsh legal consequences regardless of whether you’ve got proof of insurance.
If you’re caught driving without a license, your insurance company is unlikely to cover damages. The fact that you are explicitly excluded from the car insurance policy means that the company isn’t liable, so you’ll bear the financial consequences if an accident occurs.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
It’s critically important that you get your driver’s license up to date as soon as possible in almost all instances. Since getting your car insured is also of paramount importance, we’d recommend options such as GEICO, USAA and Progressive.
Compare Car Insurance Rates
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In our analysis, GEICO earned an overall rating of 9.1 out of 10.0 stars. GEICO offers numerous methods to reduce your car insurance costs such as discounts for good drivers, new vehicles, anti-theft systems, good students and insuring multiple vehicles.
USAA: Best Military Provider
USAA earned an overall rating of 9.6 stars out of 10.0. Military members, veterans and their families can take advantage of various discounts from USAA, such as those for new vehicles, for insuring multiple vehicles and for safe drivers.
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Progressive could be the most suitable option for high-risk motorists because of its relatively easy approval process and competitive rates. It offers discounts for insuring multiple cars or policies, for homeowners, for good students and for going paperless.
Can you get insurance without a license in Texas?
Yes, you can get minimum liability coverage as an unlicensed driver in Texas. However, you have to list a primary driver who has a driver’s license.
Can I get insurance without a license in California?
Yes, you can get auto insurance as a vehicle owner without a license in California. However, it can be more complicated, especially if you don’t have a driver’s license due to driving violations.
Can I drive with an expired driver’s license in California?
No, it’s illegal to drive with an expired license in California and can lead to a citation and fines if you break state law. The California DMV makes it very easy to renew your driver’s license via an online portal.
Can you own a car without a license?
Yes, you can own a car without a driver’s license. However, you won’t be able to pick it up from the dealership or a private seller and can’t legally drive it anywhere.