How Can you Get Car Insurance with a Suspended License?
Due to a traffic violation, ticket, or falling behind on important payments, your driver’s license may be temporarily suspended. You’re now prohibited from driving for a certain period of time until you can take the necessary steps to reinstate your driver’s license. At the same time, you may be wondering what will happen to your car insurance coverage if your driver’s license were to be suspended. Don’t be caught driving without a license and face more consequences.
So, How Can you Get Car Insurance with a Suspended License? Finding or continuing car insurance with a suspended driver’s license isn’t impossible nor overly complex. It’s just a matter of knowing what to do and the order of doing it.
Often, the difficulty depends on the circumstances of the driver’s license suspension or any accompanying accidents. States require drivers to carry both car insurance (minimum amount) and a valid driver’s license. Here’s how to stay insured in the event your driver’s license is suspended.
What Are the Reasons for a Suspended License?
A suspended driver’s license means the insured driver has been temporarily stripped of their driving privileges. States DMV’s handle what specific circumstances will determine a driver’s license suspension differently depending on their laws.
Here’s what may result in a suspended license consistently throughout the country:
- Driving with no car insurance. Regularly operating a vehicle without your state’s minimum required coverage can result in a suspended license. Inversely, it’s illegal to drive with a fake ID as well.
- DUI. Driving under the influence , also know as DUI or DWI, will usually result in temporary license suspension. Repeat DUI offenders may lose it permanently. At the same time, underage drinking and refusing to take a breathalyzer if suspected can also revoke your driver’s license.
- Reckless driving. A history or a couple of instances of reckless driving may give the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV all they need to revoke your license. Fleeing the scene of an accident, speeding, too many traffic violations, and vandalization of property are some reckless things that could get your driver’s license suspended.
- Failure to pay. Falling behind on your taxes or child support may result in a loss of driving privileges. Failure to file an accident report to the DMV at the time of one may also result in suspension.
- Special cases. A special case of license suspension will be if you’ve developed or have a medical condition that could impair your ability to drive. Additionally, not showing up to traffic court or your court-ordered driving safety course are also grounds for suspension from the DMV.
When my license gets suspended, what happens to my car insurance?
Your suspended license will be brought to your car insurance company’s attention when they look over your vehicle report at the time your policy is up for renewal.
In most cases, the car insurance company will choose not to renew your coverage. If an insured driver with no license or a suspended one wants to apply, it’s a red flag of high risk to the insurers. They’re not only aware of the legality of driving unlicensed but also the risk of filing a claim for an unlicensed driver. Doing that is incredibly expensive for the car insurance company, and most insurers try to avoid it.
When it comes to car insurance coverage, for the time being, suspended license holders are better off with a high-risk, local car insurance company. Unless there are other people on your car’s policy, your car insurance company may opt not to renew.
If a covered, a licensed insured driver was to do something to have their license revoked like a hit and run, DUI or DWI, then they could expect their car insurance rates to rise and pay more money for their insurance premiums.
The average premium increase for a suspended license would be 67% for up to 3 years, that’s a large amount of money. This is assuming that you’ve also received a ticket from the police for a specific traffic violation like a hit and run, DUI or DWI. That rate from an insurer can increase anywhere from $200 to $500 per year for some of the largest car insurance companies.
What’s the best kind of car insurance for a driver with a suspended license?
Car insurance may be a requirement in your state, even if you’re not legally a driver anymore. It also plays a role in reinstating your license with the DMV.
There are a couple of reasons why you should keep your coverage and stay insured until your license is no longer suspended. As previously mentioned, perhaps your policy includes multiple drivers for a single car.
At that point, you would have to be listed as the secondary insured driver as opposed to the primary. If you choose to put your car in storage for the time being, then comprehensive insurance would cover it should anything happen.
Staying with your policy will also help you avoid coverage gaps with your insurer. Car Insurance companies tend to see coverage gaps as a high-risk liability and may be hesitant to sign you on. A lot of suspended drivers qualify for a restricted license from the DMV which allows essential driving most often after you are charged with a DUI or DWI offense.
The way to save money on suspended license car insurance is to lower your auto insurance coverage during a suspension. Since you won’t be driving, you may be able to temporarily drop collision coverage in favor of comprehensive auto insurance. However, if you rent or lease your car, this may not be an option.
What’s a restricted license or conditional license, and how does it work?
Sometimes called an occupational, hardship license, a restricted license allows those with a suspended license to drive for essential purposes usually after being arrested for a DUI or DWI offense.
A restricted license, hardship license, or conditional license covers drives to:
- Work. If your license is suspended and you’re without transport to your job, daily drives to your workplace are covered by a restricted license, hardship license or conditional license.
- Doctors’ appointment. Any other medical appointment or check-up is essential and covered by a restricted license, hardship license or conditional license.
- Court. While showing up in court to have your license reinstated, you’d be entitled to drive a vehicle under your name there.
- Transport dependents. If you managed a carpool to your workplace and others relied on you for transportation, you may still drive them.
Keep in mind that restricted licenses, hardship licenses or conditional licenses are entirely based on the case and severity of your suspended license. They are also at your DMV’s discretion. Your DMV driving record, suspension, and the reason why you would need a work license are all part of the application.
Some auto insurance companies may also be hesitant to cover a driver with a restricted license, hardship license or conditional license. Some of the smaller, non-standard car insurance companies specialize in that type of auto insurance coverage and can save you money.
How do I get my suspended license reinstated?
The first step to reinstating your suspended license is to pay any associated DMV fees and complete any driving courses that may be required. From there, you must:
- Have a clean driving record. If you have safe driving habits, then now is not the time to change them. A clean driving record with the DMV shows you’re making the changes to be a safe driver.
- Meet with a Secretary of State or DMV hearing officer. Informal hearings at the DMV are mandatory for drivers with suspended licenses with no injuries or fatalities. Formal hearings at the DMV are required for more serious cases. These would be the court appearances.
- Have proof of financial responsibility. As required by state law, you’ll need to provide financial responsibility for the minimum required car insurance to your DMV. Auto Insurance companies file what is known as an SR22 which certifies just that. An SR-22 form may also be called a Certificate of Liability Insurance or an FR-44 in some states.
- Pay a reinstatement fee. The money you pay to the DMV to receive your reinstated driver’s license depends on the state you live in. The amount of money it costs can range anywhere from $70 to $1,000 depending on your DMV. It also depends on offense number and severity.
Is it Possible to Rent a Car with a Suspended License?
Car lenders or the bank dictate which car insurance coverage you receive when driving one of their cars. Since you’re not the car’s owner at the time of your license suspension, trying to lessen your coverage may result in more dictated coverage. In that event, you would have to pay that auto insurance rate at a much higher amount of money for your insurance premium.
You’d be able to lower your car insurance policy for a car you own, saving you money. Putting the car in storage and dropping collision insurance while maintaining comprehensive coverage is an example. You’d be paying less money, and your vehicle will be covered legally and while it’s not in use.
The idea behind auto insurance for drivers with suspended driver’s licenses is for them to keep their car affordably covered and pay less money until they get their license back again.
How to Register A Car with a Suspended License
It is not a requirement to have your license in hand when registering your vehicle with the DMV. However, you will need proof of car insurance and the appropriate documents to the DMV as well as information about how other types of coverage work if you don’t want to get an SR-22 for instance (which some people do).
To start off with this process without any hassle at all, there are ways such as applying for hardship licenses or getting SR-22 Insurance policy which might be more suited depending on different circumstances. Once these steps are done, however, registration can happen through your motor vehicles offices or DMV just like before!
Need a Car Insurance Policy with a Suspended License? We Can Help!
A final word of advice would be to not cancel your car insurance policy in the event of a license suspension. For reasons we’ve just gone over, auto insurance is a requirement in reinstating a driver’s license.
To avoid those high rates and save money, consider placing the car in storage under a comprehensive policy or applying for a restricted license. Meanwhile, take all the steps you just learned to get your license back.