How To Get Insurance On Your Driver’s License

Once you get your driver's license, you will want to make sure you're protected. So it may seem like a good idea to get auto insurance on your license, but that's not how it works. Auto insurance typically follows the vehicle. You can get non-owner auto insurance, but it doesn't protect your actual driver's license. If you are caught without your driver's license, you might get in a bit of trouble, but driving without auto insurance can result in criminal charges, severe fines, and loss of driving privileges.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Nov 28, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Driving without a license is illegal, just like driving without insurance
  • Auto insurance typically goes with the vehicle rather than the driver
  • You can get non-owner auto insurance if you frequently rent or driver cars owned by someone else

Getting behind the wheel of a car isn’t always smooth sailing. A lot can happen when you’re on the road that can potentially harm you or your vehicle. So no matter where you’re going or whose car you’re driving, it’s essential always to stay protected. One of the most practical ways to do this is by purchasing an auto insurance policy.

But as a new driver, you might not own your vehicle yet. In this case, you may wonder if you can get auto insurance on your license.

Put simply, no.

You can’t get insurance on your driver’s license. However, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re protected once you receive your valid driver’s license and hit the open road.

For example, having adequate auto insurance that you can afford. To find the best auto insurance rates, enter your ZIP code into our free search tool. Keep reading to learn more.  

Obtaining Your Driver’s License

Obtaining a valid driver’s license is one of the most important milestones to reach as a new driver. This document legally proves you’re allowed to operate a motor vehicle, regardless of whether that vehicle belongs to you or someone else. But obtaining your driver’s license can often be a lengthy process consisting of multiple steps, including: 

  • Earning your learner’s permit
  • Practicing with a licensed driver
  • Completing a driving test 

Earning Your Learner’s Permit 

To obtain your driver’s license, you first need to get a learner’s permit. A learner’s permit allows you to practice driving on the road with a licensed driver so that you can better prepare for your driver’s license test. 

To earn your learner’s permit, you need to pass a written test. This test will quiz you on various aspects of driver safety and essential rules of the road, which you can learn by studying your state’s driver’s manual. Often, your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will also offer practice tests to help you acclimate to the style of the exam. 

Once you pass your learner’s permit test, your DMV will issue you a learner’s permit.

Practicing with a Licensed Driver

With your learner’s permit in tow, you can practice driving on the open road with a licensed family member or friend. This can be extremely helpful when learning how to drive, and in fact, many states require prospective drivers to log a certain amount of practice hours on the road before taking their final driver’s license exam. 

In addition to practicing on your own time, you’ll also need to enroll in a driver’s education program where you’ll practice driving routes with a certified instructor. While on the road, your instructor will supervise you and give you important advice on safe and effective driving.

Completing a Driving Test

Once you’re old enough, have completed your driver’s education classes, and logged any necessary driving hours, you’ll be ready to take your driver’s license test at the DMV. This is your chance to showcase your newly mastered driving skills to a DMV employee, who will ride in the car with you and score your test. 

If you pass this test, you’ll get a license.

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What You Can Do With a Driver’s License 

A driver’s license allows you to operate vehicles on the road. However, driver’s licenses come in a few different classes, dictating which types of vehicles you’re permitted to drive. For instance, special licenses are needed to drive commercial trucks or motorcycles, as operating these vehicles requires additional knowledge and skills. 

A standard driver’s license, which permits drivers to operate two-axle vehicles, such as compact cars or SUVs, is a class C license. This is the type of license you’ll obtain as a new driver. 

Can You Get Insurance on Your Driver’s License? 

Once you can legally get behind the wheel of a car, you’ll want to make sure you have insurance to protect you in the event of an accident or other unforeseen circumstances.

While it may seem natural to get insurance on your driver’s license, as your license is what stays with you no matter whose motor vehicle you’re driving, this isn’t how auto insurance works. But that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself.

If you plan on driving someone else’s vehicle, you can look into obtaining non-owner car insurance. This type of car insurance policy protects you from liability if you cause an accident while driving another person’s vehicle.

Non-owner car insurance is a smart option for drivers who:

  • Frequently rent cars
  • Borrow other cars
  • Don’t yet own a car, but don’t want to be without coverage 
  • Need to meet SR-22 insurance requirements after revocation of their driver’s license

Other Types of Auto Insurance and How They Affect You 

If you don’t purchase non-owner car insurance, you’ll likely still be protected in the event of an accident, depending on the insurance coverage of the vehicle you’re driving. Different types of insurance offer different levels of coverage. Some common types of auto insurance include: 

  • Collision coverage – This type of coverage can help the insured vehicle owner pay for vehicle repair or replacement costs after an accident with another car or an object, such as a fence or tree.
  • Medical payments coverage – This type of coverage can provide financial assistance to the driver of the insured vehicle, as well as any passengers if they’re injured in an auto accident.
  • Liability coverage – This type of coverage helps cover the costs of another person’s medical expenses or property damage if injury or damage was caused by the actions of the insured vehicle’s driver.

Regardless of the insurance purchased, it is tied to the car, not to the driver or the driver’s license. This means, if you borrow your parent’s car and get into an accident without having non-owner car insurance, your parent’s insurance would be liable for any damage costs. 

Except for New Hampshire, all states legally require their drivers to purchase at least liability insurance for their vehicles. So, if you happen to borrow a friend’s car and are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance would help pay for your medical expenses. 

If you don’t have insurance, it’s crucial to make sure you never borrow a vehicle that isn’t insured. If you get pulled over or in the event of an accident, you’ll need to prove to the authorities that the car you’re driving has the minimum car insurance requirement.

Suppose you’re unable to verify this with a physical copy of the vehicle’s insurance policy. In that case, police may use license plate scanning technology to obtain information regarding the vehicle’s insurance status electronically. Driving a vehicle without insurance can result in hefty fines and jail time.  

To learn more about your state’s specific laws regarding auto insurance, check out your state’s DMV website. 

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Why is Car Insurance Necessary?

Car insurance ensures that you don’t have to pay out of pocket to make costly repairs to your vehicle, replace stolen items, or cover another driver’s medical expenses in the event of an accident. Instead, you simply pay a monthly premium to your insurance provider. Then, the insurance company can financially cover your losses when needed, to the degree that your policy allows. 

How to Keep Insurance Costs Low

Insurance companies are risk-averse by nature. This means that if they deem you to be a high-risk driver, they’ll likely increase your car insurance premium. By doing this, they protect themselves from shelling out too much of their own money to cover accident expenses that they believe you’re likely to incur. 

What factors can make you a high-risk driver? 

Unfortunately, as a new driver, your age and lack of driving experience can have a negative impact on your insurance premiums, as young drivers are more likely to get into auto accidents. However, there are steps you can take to help lower your insurance costs. 

These include: 

  • Following the rules of the road – If you’re ticketed for speeding or other traffic violations, your insurance premium will rise. On the other hand, if you’re a safe driver and maintain a clean driving record, your insurance may lower your premium or offer you a discount. 
  • Looking into discounts offered by your insurer – Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a discount with your insurance provider. For example, many insurance providers offer good student discounts to drivers under 25 who maintain at least a B average in school.
  • Driving a safe vehicle – The type of car you drive can also affect how much your insurance costs. If you’re driving an older vehicle that’s on the verge of breaking down and doesn’t offer much in terms of safety features, your insurance company will likely charge you a higher rate. Conversely, driving a newer car that boasts robust safety features can help lower your monthly premium. 

Trust Us For All Your Insurance Needs

Learning the rules of the road is one thing. But learning the rules of car insurance..?

Unfortunately, that’s another tricky route to navigate.

Fortunately, we can make sure you don’t get lost along the way.

We have years of experience comparing insurance quotes so that customers can make wise, informed decisions about their car insurance coverage. So check out our free search tool today to receive your free insurance quote comparison and find the car insurance policy that’s right for you.  

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