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How to find the best car insurance for a driver with a suspended license

Finding car insurance with a suspended license can be tricky – so is trying to get auto insurance without a license. Depending on the reason your license was suspended, you could find a workaround — namely via a restricted driver’s license. It can be confusing if your license was suspended when you are carrying active car insurance. Let’s explore the ins and outs of getting auto insurance quotes for drivers with a suspended license.


How to get auto insurance with a suspended license

Most auto insurance companies won't issue a new policy to a driver with a suspended license. First, you’re not legally allowed to drive a motor vehicle. Second, it would be a risky investment to insure a driver with a suspended license. Although there are non-driving related reasons a license can be suspended, many are related to driving recklessly or violating the rules of the road in one of the below ways:

To an auto insurance company, a client exhibiting reckless driving habits is a claim payout waiting to happen, i.e., money lost. As a result, insurance companies charge potentially risky clients higher premiums — or deny coverage altogether.

Depending on your location, you might be able to apply for a restricted license. A restricted license allows drivers with a suspended license to drive to the following places:

  • Doctors' appointments
  • Work
  • Court
  • To transport dependents

Restricted licensing is subject to state regulations and is offered on a case-by-case basis. The reason for your driver's license suspension, the reason for your restricted license request and your driving record are all considered as part of the application process. Restricted licenses are sometimes called occupational licenses, hardship licenses or work licenses.

suspended license

How to get a restricted license

Not all car insurance companies will write an insurance policy for a driver with a restricted license. If you run into issues, speak to an insurance agent directly: if major insurance companies deem you too high-risk, one of its subsidiaries might approve you. Also, consider non-standard insurance companies. These smaller companies often work with high-risk drivers to get them insured.

The Zebra's licensed insurance agents can connect you with non-standard and standard companies. Call us at 1-833-768-7789 to see if we can find you insurance with a suspended license.


How much is car insurance with a suspended license violation?

Nationally, a citation for driving with a suspended license is the fifth most expensive violation a driver can receive — behind hit-and-run, racing, DUI and refusal to submit to a chemical test. On average, you can expect your car insurance rate to jump by over 67% with a suspended license citation. Getting a ticket for a suspended license will certainly cost you over the long run, as you're typically rated on it for three years. Let's explore what the cheapest insurance companies are with this violation on your driving record, using the standard driver profile we use in our methodology.

Average 6-Month Premium Before and After Suspended License Ticket
Company No Violations After Driving with Suspended License Charge Premium Increase: % and $
Allstate $944 $1,269 34% or $325
Farmers $762 $1,386 81% or $623
GEICO $638 $1,109 73% or $470
Liberty Mutual $823 $1,258 52% or $434
Nationwide $673 $1,517 125% or $844
Progressive $802 $1,191 48% or $389
State Farm $656 $950 44% or $293
USAA $474 $817 72% or $343

 

If you can't qualify for USAA, State Farm was the second-cheapest insurance option for drivers with a suspended license citation. Every insurance company is different in how much exactly a certain violation will increase your premium. As you can see, there is quite a bit of variance between them for the same violation. This is why it's important to shop around with as many insurers as you can for the most affordable rate. Use our data as a starting point in your search for cheap car insurance after a suspended license violation.


Can auto insurance companies see if your license is suspended?

Yes.  Like how they communicate with your insurer when you receive a speeding ticket, your department of motor vehicles (DMV) will electronically inform your insurance company of your license suspension. While this often results in the cancellation or nonrenewal of your current policy, there are still options for you to avoid a lapse in coverage.  Read on to learn the details. 


What to do with your auto insurance after a license suspension

If you were already insured when your license is suspended, your insurance situation can get complicated. Although the short-term cost savings could be tempting, do not cancel your insurance coverage. Depending on the reason for your license suspension, maintaining insurance coverage will probably be a requirement of lifting your license suspension and returning to the road.

Some drivers with a suspended license might be required to carry an SR-22 form. An SR-22 can be required by your state for such infractions as a DWI, a hit and run or other serious traffic violations. You are required to carry an SR-22 form for a term that usually ranges from three to five years. It is a form that is sent to your state by your insurance company that essentially works to provide proof of insurance coverage. Even if you have a suspended driver's license, you must still fulfill these requirements by carrying an auto policy from an insurance provider. Check with your department of motor vehicles (DMV) to find out more about the reinstatement of your license.

An SR-22 can be required by your state for such infractions as a DWI, a hit and run or other serious traffic violations.

Can I lower my car insurance coverage if my license is suspended?

This depends. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, you most likely cannot. Because another entity — such as a dealership or bank — technically owns the vehicle, they will usually require high levels of coverage. If you lower your coverage, your bank or dealership might add "forced coverage." If your dealership opts to force coverage, the insurance you removed will be re-purchased, and you'll foot the bill. Forced coverage is usually more expensive than maintaining your coverage.

If you own the vehicle outright, you can make changes to your coverage. If you’re absolutely not going to be driving your vehicle during your license suspension, consider removing your collision coverage. This coverage is designed to protect your vehicle if it is damaged when colliding with a fixed object. If you won't be driving the vehicle, you won't need this coverage.

Depending on where the vehicle will be stored, your comprehensive coverage might not be necessary either. Comprehensive coverage insures your vehicle against damage caused by weather, animals, theft and vandalism. If you’re going to store your vehicle in a locked garage and you’re not worried about severe weather, this might be another option for you. This type of protection is called storage insurance/storage coverage.

Removing your liability insurance will not be an option, however. Because liability coverage is required in nearly all states — New Hampshire being the exception — removing it would risk having your vehicle registration suspended. Considering you’re already dealing with your suspended license, registration suspension isn’t ideal.

Decide which car insurance policy is right for you.

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What to do after a suspended license

Getting your driving privileges revoked can be a major setback. Finding affordable car insurance with a suspended license is going to take some work, and even then expect to see your insurance rates go up. While most insurance companies will not issue you a policy with a suspended license, you might find some help from a restricted license. Furthermore, online car insurance shopping might be difficult for you, which is why we recommend speaking to an insurance agent directly. You can ask them directly for recommendations for your situation. The Zebra can help you compare insurance quotes from companies that may be willing to work with you. This can help you find cheaper car insurance rates. Feel free to give us a call at 833-768-7789 for personal assistance.


RECENT QUESTIONS

If the driver is not licensed, does it affect their ability to file a claim?

Most insurance companies do have access to a driver's background when they quote and insure them. Not having a driver's license is usually an issue for insurers but it's not impossible to find insurance for an unlicensed driver, and that seems to be the case in this situation.
Jan 21, 2020 Bradford, PA

Do I need storage coverage for my vehicle if it isn't running?

In Minnesota, if the vehicle is inoperable then you don't have to carry insurance. Storage insurance would provide physical damage coverage so your vehicle is protected while it is being stored, but it does not provide coverage to drive on the road which wouldn't make you legally compliant anyway.
Dec 2, 2016 Saint Paul, MN

If a car isn't going to be used for a certain amount of time, does it need to be insured?

As long as the vehicle is still registered and licensed, then it needs to be insured. Pennsylvania can suspend your license if you suddenly drop insurance off a vehicle.
Sep 12, 2019 Meadville, PA

Can I get car insurance if my spouse has a revoked license?

Most companies will not insure a driver with a revoked license, even if there is a driver on the policy whose license is valid. Your spouse must be listed on your policy since you are married, but she does not have to be covered as a driver.
Sep 12, 2016 Walden, NY

Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.