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 Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Anyone who plans to drive a car on a public road must have valid auto insurance coverage at any point that they are driving
  • If your student driver is not yet fully licensed and still has a learner’s permit, he or she is not required to maintain separate insurance coverage apart from a parent’s insurance policy just yet
  • You can always have your student driver added to your own car insurance once he or she is ready to get a regular driver’s license, which is a very simple process
  • Your car insurance company is not automatically on notice once your student driver applies for and gets a driver’s licenses, which means that you must be proactive about notifying your insurer about any changes in your policy
  • Each state has specific laws and requirements for car insurance for new drivers, so you should check with your insurance agent to make sure your student driver is in compliance with all state laws regarding car insurance for new and student drivers

The requirement to have valid car insurance is for drivers who have an actual driver’s license. A student driver probably has a permit that is issued by the state department of motor vehicles.

At that point, having his or her own insurance policy is not necessary for your teen driver and would be prohibitively expensive in most cases anyway. Instead, your insurance driver may be able to come up with coverage options for your teen driver just from a simple phone call from you.

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Auto Insurance Requirements for Teenage Drivers


There are plenty of options for finding insurance coverage for your teen driver without throwing your own finances and insurance game into a tailspin.

The key is that your insurance agent must be aware that your teen driver is working towards getting his or her driver’s license in the near future.

This allows you to plan for immediate coverage once your student driver is ready for a full-blown license.

You should never assume that your car insurance company is simply aware that your student driver is driving your vehicle just because they have applied through the state department of motor vehicles for a provisional driver’s license or a learner’s permit.

Even though the state typically requires insurance companies to notify them of changes in insurance coverage, such as the cancellation of an insurance policy, the state does not necessarily notify the insurance company of a new driver getting his or her license. This is your responsibility as the insured driver and policyholder.

Almost every single car insurance company will allow you to just add your student driver to your current policy.

Even though this means that you could be paying a bit more for your insurance premium, it also means that you will be covered in the event your teen driver has an accident with any of your vehicles.

Besides, most insurance companies require that you inform them of the driving status of all the people living in your household for your existing policy anyway.

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Licensing Laws in Your State

Every state is a little bit different in terms of how they structure the driver’s license process. In some states, student drivers as young as 14 years old can begin the process of qualifying for a learner’s permit to begin to drive.

Your state may have a requirement specific to the licensing process for new drivers to carry insurance.

Your existing insurance agent will be able to tell you about the requirements for your state, which is another reason why you should contact them when your teen driver starts the process of getting his or her license.

It is never worth the price of paying a penalty or fine for not having the required insurance.

Affordable Insurance for Student Drivers


It can be a significant bump in your car insurance premium if your student driver is going to purchase a car on their own.

Insurance will likely be cheaper if your student driver is eventually added on as a driver through your policy with access to certain vehicles to drive.

Until your student driver has a more experienced driving record, planning for the ownership of a car by a new driver alone will probably be very expensive.

This is a good time to ask your insurance agent about discounts you could plan for in getting your student driver set up with the required car insurance.

The most popular ones for younger drivers are the good student discount and driver safety course discounts. Not every insurance company treats discounts the same, which is why comparing quotes is so important in getting a good price for car insurance.

The Bottom Line on the Requirements to Insure a Student Driver

Even though a student driver does not have his or her full driver’s license yet, it is a smart move to check with your auto insurance agent about what you need to do to add him or her to your policy.

When your teen driver gets a driver’s license, you will want to make sure that your insurance company is aware that the driver is added to your policy.

Your student driver should make sure to have a copy of his or her proof of insurance card at all times when he or she is driving. Enter your zip code below for the best car insurance rates in your area today!