How do I get car insurance if I’ve lost my license?

In order to get car insurance, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. If it’s been lost you can get a new copy, but if it’s been suspended you’ll need to take a different approach.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • If you simply lose your license, you can pay a fee and get a duplicate copy at your local DMV
  • If your driving privileges have been suspended, you may just have to wait until your penalty is over
  • In some states, you will have to show proof of insurance to get your license reinstated

When you’re in the market for car insurance, you’re going to have to meet a few requirements first, with one of them being the ownership of a valid driver’s license. Getting car insurance is simple if you have only lost or misplaced a physical copy of your driver’s license.

However, if you have had your license suspended or revoked, you will need to do quite a bit of work before you will be able to secure personal car insurance.

There are a few services you can take advantage of in the event that something has happened to your license. Going to your local DMV and paying for a duplicate copy of your driver’s license will solve the problem for drivers that lost their license.

Motorists that have had their driving privileges rescinded because of criminal convictions or serious driving violations may need to file an SR-22 form with the DMV before they can get a new car insurance policy.

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Who can purchase car insurance?

Virtually anyone can purchase a car insurance policy if they are at least 16 years of age. This is because car insurance providers must follow state laws and can only cover motorists that are legally permitted to drive.

However, the first thing that an auto insurance company is going to review when they issue a new policy is your driving abstract.

Even if your driver’s license has been revoked, your car insurance company will be able to look at your driving record and see the reason why you lost your driving privileges.

In many cases, car insurance companies refuse to insure anyone that does not have a valid driver’s license because of the financial risk as well as the legal factors. On your hunt for an insurance company, you’ll want to ask them what their policy is for a lost license, to make sure they will be able to work with you fairly.

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How can I get my driving privileges restored?

Can you get insurance with a revoked license? Every state has a different set of rules when it comes to issuing new driver’s licenses to motorists that have lost their driving privileges.

In some cases, the only factor that will assist you in getting a driver’s license is time, especially when a judge has made an order during criminal proceedings.

However, if you have lost your license due to unpaid speeding tickets or because of unpaid child support, you can get your driver’s license back rather quickly.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission outlines some of the possible reasons that a state resident may have lost their license, as well as the actions needed to have a license restored.

In the state of Washington, motorists with suspended licenses are sometimes able to appeal their cases. Sometimes drivers can have their driver’s licenses suspended due to internal errors at the DMV.

If you have had your driving privileges revoked, you should determine exactly why this has occurred and see if there is anything that you can do to have them restored as soon as possible.

Do I need car insurance to get my license back?

In some states, drivers with suspended licenses need to have proof of insurance before they can get their licenses back. In other states, drivers simply need to take a class, pay a fine, or let a certain period of time go by before their drivers’ licenses are re-issued.

If you have found that you need to get valid proof of insurance before your driver’s license will be restored, you will probably need to fill out what is called an SR-22 form.

This form can only be obtained from your personal car insurance provider after you have purchased a policy, and it must be submitted to the DMV

Drivers that have had their licenses rescinded in the state of Colorado have to fill out an SR-22 form prior to getting their driver’s license back. Sometimes when you’re looking into SR-22 insurance, there is a reinstatement fee attached, which is fairly common when it comes to getting your license back to valid status. You can always look into comparing your current insurance carrier against others, if you feel you’re being overcharged.

Car insurance for unlicensed drivers is expensive; however, they too can receive lower rates if they make smart driving decisions in the future.

Can I get car insurance if I don’t know where my license is?

While getting car insurance after physically losing your license is pretty easy, there are still a few issues that you may encounter. Requesting a duplicate copy of your driver’s license at the local DMV should only take a few minutes and a small amount of money.

However, if your license has expired or if there has been a recent change in procedures, you might have to supply the DMV with a few key pieces of information:

  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Utility bill in your name
  • Another form of photo I.D.

You might also need to take a new picture and update your vital statistics if your appearance has significantly changed since the last time that you had a driver’s license issued.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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