Can You Get Car Insurance With a Learner’s Permit?

WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich


It’s possible to get car insurance with a learner’s permit. However, you typically can’t register a vehicle in your name until you’re a fully licensed driver. Also, if you have a driver’s permit, insurance carriers typically will only insure you for a limited amount of time before they require you to get your license.

Table of contents:

Do drivers with learner’s permits need car insurance?

If you have a driver’s permit, you have to have insurance. However, you might not need to have your own policy. If you’re a teenager learning to drive, your parents should add you to their insurance policy. Not only will the process be easier, but your insurance will also be cheaper because you’re added as a secondary driver on the policy, not the primary one.

Do you need insurance if you’re learning to drive with a family member’s car?

If you’re learning to drive, you’re required to be insured. In most cases, you should be added to your parent or legal guardian’s insurance policy. However, this doesn’t mean another family member can’t teach you to drive. As long as you have insurance, it extends to whatever car you’re driving.

Adults learning to drive need to obtain insurance policies on their own. Insurance companies typically cover drivers with learner’s permits until they are fully licensed.

Do you need your insurance if you already own a car (with the title in your name only)?

Everyone who owns their own car needs to carry insurance, even if they haven’t passed their driving test yet. Most states require insurance, so depending on the requirements in your area, you might need to show proof of coverage before registering the vehicle.

How to get car insurance with a driver’s permit

You may have to jump through a few extra hoops and/or shell out a little more money, but obtaining car insurance with a driver’s permit is still possible. Your action plan will depend on whose car you’re driving — whether it’s a family member’s ride or your own. 

While you have a driver’s permit, the easiest way to get insurance is by becoming a listed driver on your parent’s car insurance policy. However, that may not be possible if you have a vehicle registered and titled in your name and you’re an adult. Instead, you’ll need to get non-operator insurance for your vehicle.

This will cover the car for theft, vandalism, and other damage that could occur while parked. It won’t cover any accidents you have until you’re a licensed driver and fully insure the car.

You can purchase car insurance like anyone else with a driver’s license once you pass your test, but prepare yourself for the cost. According to the Centers for Disease Control, teens (ages 16-19) are the most at risk for car accidents. Keep in mind: the lower your age, the higher your premium is expected to be. 

How to add a driver with a learner’s permit to your policy

If someone in your household has a learner’s permit, you need to notify your insurance company. Fortunately, adding someone to your policy who’s learning to drive is simple.

  1. Call your insurance company.
  2. Tell them you want to add a driver to your policy.
  3. Give them the driver’s name, birthdate, learner’s permit number, and any other information they request.
  4. Ask them what your new premium will be.
  5. Ask if the quoted premium includes all possible discounts.
  6. Obtain quotes from at least 3 more insurance companies to make sure you get the best possible rates.

How to find cheap car insurance for young drivers

Because teen drivers are inexperienced and the most at-risk age group for accidents, finding cheap car insurance for new drivers can be difficult.

Remember that adding a teen driver to an adult’s policy is usually much more affordable than purchasing independent coverage. If that’s not an option, you can take a few steps to locate the most affordable plan for you.

  • Sharing a car: Instead of adding another car to your policy and making the teen a primary driver, share a car that already exists on the policy and make them a secondary driver.
  • Vehicle age and model: If you’re a teen going to get a car, look for sedans, minivans, and SUVs — those typically have the best rates for young, inexperienced drivers. Luckily, the car color doesn’t affect your insurance rates.
  • Delaying the license: Remember, the lower the age, the higher the premium. If a car is more a “want” than a “need”, you may save a lot of money by waiting until the age of 17 to get your driver’s license. 

Ask about discounts

It’s common for insurance companies to offer discounts to manage the high costs of insuring a young driver. Some discount possibilities include: 

  • Earning good grades
  • Paying upfront instead of opting for monthly payments
  • Telematics (tracking) devices that share driving data
  • Completing driving safety classes
  • Attending college and living 100 miles away from home (and leaving the car with your parents)


Can you register a car without a driver’s license?

There aren’t any U.S. states that require a driver’s license as a registration requirement. However, some states call for proof of auto insurance, which requires a license (or a license within 30-45 days of purchasing a policy). 

How do you add a driver with a learner’s permit to your car insurance policy?

Check with your insurance provider before the new driver gets their permit. Some companies require all children age 15 and over to be listed on their parent’s insurance policy regardless of their driving status. Other companies don’t list teen drivers until they get their learner’s permit. 

Are there car insurance discounts available for young drivers?

Yes. It’s common for insurance companies to offer various discounts for young, inexperienced drivers. Earning good grades, enrolling in safe driving courses, low mileage, and distant student discounts are all examples of ways to save on the cost of coverage.

How much car insurance does someone with a driver’s permit need?

Whether you’ll be on your family member’s plan or purchasing your coverage, your vehicle must be insured for the minimum amount required by the laws in your state. Remember that you’ll face the consequences of a fully-licensed driver in an at-fault accident, so carry enough coverage to keep yourself protected.

How do you get driver’s permit insurance?

When calling insurance companies in your area, ask about the provisional driver requirements. Then, you’ll get quotes and compare them with options and discounts. Once you’ve narrowed it down, you’ll sign a policy. 

Driver’s permits and car insurance

Learning to drive and earning your driver’s license is a milestone moment. But before you drive off into the sunset, it’s crucial to understand your insurance coverage options to make the best decision for your needs and your budget. That’s why getting car insurance quotes from multiple companies is important. 

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