Can You Get Car Insurance with a Driver’s Permit?


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: JULY 25, 2022 | 3 MIN READ

The short answer? Yes, you can get car insurance with a driver’s permit. If you’re aiming to purchase your car insurance and still only have your learner’s permit, you must have non-operator’s insurance on the vehicle until you have your driver’s license. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know to secure your coverage before you get your driver’s license. 

Car Insurance With a Driver’s Permit Quicklinks

Do Drivers with Learner’s Permits Need Car Insurance?

Yes, permit drivers need car insurance, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be your own. You can join your parent’s policy if you’re still learning to drive. If you can’t join their plan (or prefer not to), car insurance for young drivers exists.

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

Not necessarily. If a family member is allowing you to learn to drive using their car, there’s a chance that their policy may already extend coverage to you. However, every insurance company’s rules vary when it comes to learners. Have your family member double-check with their provider to ensure coverage when you’re behind the wheel of their car. 

If you reside with the car owner you use, they will need to add you to their policy as soon as you get your learner’s permit. 

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

Yes, you will need your car insurance. If you were lucky enough to receive a car as a gift or bought it before passing your driving test, car insurance is required before you can register the vehicle and receive your license plates. 

It’s possible to purchase your auto insurance with a learner’s permit, but only a handful of insurance companies will offer coverage for provisional drivers. Some companies even require provisional drivers under 18 to sign a policy with another licensed adult.

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. 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 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 it’s usually much more affordable to add a teen driver to an adult’s policy than to purchase 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 their 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)

FAQs

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.