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Can you get car insurance with a suspended license?

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

It might seem impossible: you have a suspended license, so you can’t drive. But you need to keep your car insurance so your rates don’t increase because of a gap in coverage. The question is: can I get car insurance with a suspended license?

Just as you can get car insurance without a license, with a suspended license, the answer is still “yes, but it may take a little work on your part.” If your license has been suspended due to a DWI, leaving the scene of an accident or some other traffic infraction, you know you can’t get behind the wheel until the suspension ends. But even while your car is in storage, you’ll want to keep a policy active. Let’s take a look at the details.

How to get car insurance with a suspended license

The first thing to note is that every insurer has different requirements, and what is a red flag for one might not be for another. So it makes sense to consider several companies, including those that specialize in insurance for high-risk drivers, such as The General and Progressive

It’s a good idea to talk directly to an agent when getting quotes to explain your situation. An online quote tool will probably flag your application, but an agent may have the freedom to accept your application based on your specific circumstances.

Shop insurance providers

You may need to shop around for insurance, and it will be harder to find policies that are as cheap as those you would get without a suspended license since you are a higher risk to insure. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the first quote you get. There are a number of agencies that specialize in drivers like you, and you should be able to get several quotes.

If you are putting your car in storage while your license is suspended, you could shop for a provider that offers comprehensive-only coverage. This type of policy doesn’t cover you for any accidents while driving, since you shouldn’t be, but does cover your car against perils such as fire, weather-related happenings, vandalism and theft. Even if your car is safely tucked into a garage, it can sustain damage, and this type of policy will ensure that you’re not stuck with high repair bills.

However, comprehensive-only insurance may not work if you have a loan on the car, or if it is leased. The entity that does, such as your banker, will probably not let you give up full coverage. If you are the owner of the vehicle, though, you can save money with comprehensive-only insurance and prevent a lapse in coverage while your license is suspended. 

Apply for a restricted license

A restricted, or hardship, license may make it easier for you to get car insurance than with a suspended license. Rules for this type of license vary from state to state, and your case will be decided based on your circumstances. A restricted license allows you to drive in very limited circumstances — such as to and from work, or only during daylight hours.

Although you may still get turned down with a restricted license, some insurers may look at you more positively with that than with a suspended license, so it may be worthwhile to look into it during your suspension.

Switch policyholders

Naming another individual as the policyholder, such as a spouse or partner who lives in your household, could help you get insurance. While you may not be insured as a driver, insurance providers are more willing to provide coverage for your vehicle if the policyholder’s license is not suspended.

The catch here is that you may have to switch the car’s title to this person or add them to your registration. You’ll need to ask insurance providers how they’ll set up your policy to know if you need to make any adjustments to your title or registration.  

How to get suspended license insurance

Your suspended license doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With a little work on your part, you’ll find insurance to cover you and your car during the time you’re not on the road. To recap:

  • Consider a company that specializes in high-risk drivers.
  • Unless your lienholder doesn’t let you, you may be able to reduce the insurance you’re carrying to get coverage.
  • Explore the option of a restricted rather than a suspended license.
  • Switch policyholders if you can.

If you follow these points carefully, you should be able to find an insurance policy that covers you until your license is reinstated. You’ll pay more for it than a driver with no dings on their license, but by gathering several quotes from a range of companies, you should be able to find one that is reasonably priced. 

The takeaway

  • You should carry insurance while your license is suspended to avoid a gap in coverage.
  • It may take some work, but you’ll be able to find insurance with a suspended license.

Getting car insurance with a suspended license can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. If your insurance company drops you, shop around to see who can give you the best price. If someone else needs your car, consider switching title and insurance to that person or trying some of our other strategies to get car insurance for a suspended license.

Mary Van Keuren

After 30 years as a writer and editor in academia, Mary now writes full-time for the insurance and finance industries. Her work has appeared on Reviews.com, TheSimpleDollar.com and Bankrate.com, as well as other consumer-focused websites.

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