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 insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • Getting insurance without a valid driver’s license can be a challenge
  • Some high-risk insurance companies will issue car insurance to individuals who have had their license suspended
  • Even if you have coverage while your license is suspended, an insurance company may decline to pay claims if you get in an accident while unlicensed
  • If you have a restricted license instead of a completely suspended license, you may be able to purchase high-risk auto insurance. Usage based insurance may save you money
  • A suspended license could affect your insurance rates for years
  • You may still want to keep insurance even while your license is fully suspended to protect your car from other drivers, weather, and more

Unless you plan on turning in the license plate and registration to your car upon receiving notification that your license is suspended, you may still need to carry a minimum amount of car insurance if you own a vehicle. Unfortunately, there are many ways a car can cause damage even if you’re not behind the wheel. The exact laws vary between states, but it may be easier to keep your current insurance plan than to find a new one once your license is reinstated.

Depending on the exact circumstances, the state may require you to show proof of basic liability insurance before you can get your license back. Maintaining liability coverage may be the cheapest way to go, but it’s not necessarily the best. Try ours today by entering your zip code in the above and see how much you could save.

How Does A Restricted License Affect Your Insurance Rates?


Even if your auto insurance company doesn’t check your record, the state will request special forms that raise red flags. SR-22 insurance is much more expensive, and the state can require this proof for several years. This will be applicable whether you’re on a restricted license or if you get your license back after having it suspended.

Under no circumstances should you drive with a completely suspended driver’s license. This is illegal and civil and criminal penalties could be levied against you if you are caught. Your car could even be impounded.

In some instances, you may be able to get a restricted driver’s license, which is a license that allows you to drive under certain conditions.

Individuals with DUIs or OWIs may be able to get a restricted license if they agree to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicles. Other individuals may be able to drive their vehicles to and from work or school.

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Why Are Drivers Licenses Suspended?

If you’ve received a notice in the mail that your driver’s license has been suspended, you should take action to remedy the situation. Common reasons that driver’s licenses are suspended include:

  • Not having a valid car insurance policy or letting your policy lapse
  • Too many traffic tickets or points on your license
  • Getting a DUI, DWI or OWI
  • Driving recklessly or speeding
  • Participating in a hit and run instead of staying at the accident scene
  • Not paying a fine related to breaking a law while driving
  • Failing to appear in court after receiving a traffic ticket and summons to appear

If this is expected, you should see what the next steps are and when you can expect your license to be restored. You may even want to get a lawyer to make sure you’re going through the proper steps.

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What Can Proof of Insurance Do for You While Your License Is Suspended?

Not having car insurance on your vehicle can lead to severe penalties, and there are valid reasons you would still need insurance on a car you cannot drive.

If you are making car payments on a vehicle, you will still need to carry a valid insurance policy on that vehicle even if you cannot drive it due to a suspended driver’s license. Ironically, you would need to carry full collision and comprehensive coverage. This is true even if your insurance company wouldn’t cover an accident involving a suspended license.

This is because many financial institutions require insurance on vehicles where they have provided loan money. They have to protect their investment. If you intend for someone else to drive your vehicle and/or chauffeur you around to run errands and get to and from work, you will need a valid insurance policy on your vehicle.

Even if you don’t drive, proper insurance will prevent you from getting parking tickets or your car towed on the street. Comprehensive insurance will also protect you if you get hit by a hit and run driver, wildlife, or a falling tree.

You can find policies for high-risk drivers and driver’s with suspended licenses by utilizing a car insurance comparison tool.

How Can You Find Affordable Rates on Car Insurance after A License Suspension?


It can be extremely difficult to find a car insurance policy after license suspension. However, if you have someone that can chauffeur you around, you can list them as the primary driver on the car insurance policy. Once you get your license back, you can change your insurance to cover your driving. Keep in mind, you may need to abide by extra restrictions depending on the case.

You must also have yourself excluded specifically by name on the policy. This works well if your primary driver lives in your household. Valid primary drivers would include your spouse or an adult child.

If you cannot find a policy that allows you to list a non-vehicle owner as the primary driver of your vehicle, you can always have the individual added to the title of your car. You can also look for insurance companies that offer policies to high-risk drivers.

Some companies may be able to write a policy for a driver with a suspended license and a primary driver that does not own the vehicle.

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How to Find a Policy with a Suspended License

Then you should use a comparison tool to search for car insurance policies for drivers who need SR-22 insurance. Keep in mind, this is after you get your license back. You may also have to contend with whatever caused your license suspension. If you were caught engaging in reckless driving, that could raise your rates more. Just make sure to be honest.

Failure to tell the insurance company about your suspended license could result in the revocation of your policy if the insurer were to find out. Then start getting quotes. Compare a few insurance companies to see what prices they offer and what coverage you can expect for that price. Make sure to list all your traffic violations within the time period they give you. Your driving record will pull it up even if you don’t tell them leading to increases in the quoted rate.

Once you find a policy that you can afford, you should purchase it online and print your temporary insurance cards and the information for the policy. Your new insurance company will send your permanent cards and additional information through the mail.

Begin shopping for car insurance today and see how much you could save.