Can I buy car insurance with a learners permit?

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In a nutshell...
  • Cutting down on the number of distractions while you drive is a good idea to help you stay alert and focused
  • You must have the permit on you at all times while you are driving
  • Avoid any use of drugs or alcohol while operating a vehicle

Although many car insurance companies require a valid driver’s license to buy auto insurance, you may be able to buy coverage with a learner’s permit from some carriers.

If you do find a company that offers such insurance, however, the rates are typically much higher than they are for experienced drivers.

Driving is essential for the practice most states require before issuing a driver’s license. Not every state needs you have your insurance policy before driving with a permit.

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What options do I have to drive with a permit legally?

Adding your name to your parents’ policy may be an option while you are at the driving permit stage.

The policy remains in their name, but you may be legally able to drive while you are in the process of obtaining your license.

This option may also work for states who require a Junior License after obtaining a permit yet before receiving your full-fledged driver’s license.

What are a junior operator license and the graduated license law?

A graduated license law is a law that requires the first time, and younger drivers accrue some hours driving before they take a road test.

The process of obtaining a license in Massachusetts starts with a learner’s permit then advances with a junior operator license for drivers under the age of 18.

At each stage, the driver is awarded fewer restrictions and more driving privileges.

Check with your state’s department of motor vehicles to see if either concept exists and what type of car insurance coverage you need for either stage in your country.

What are some restrictions for new drivers?

Driver’s permits typically require you do not drive without a licensed driver in the car, with requirements also extending to the age and length of time the driver has held a valid license.

Permit holders under age 18 may be restricted from driving during certain times of the day, such as between midnight and 5 a.m., without a parent or legal guardian who holds a valid license in the vehicle.

You must have the permit on you at all times while you are driving and the license may also be valid only in the particular state in which it was issued.

Wisconsin’s graduated license law requires an additional 30 hours of driving practice that includes 10 hours of night driving, according to the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

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What happens if I mess up with a permit?

Depending on the extent of your violation while holding a permit, you could face some hefty penalties.

If you get in a crash or receive a moving violation, you may end up with a very long road to getting your full, unrestricted license.

Drivers who hold a permit or junior license may also be subject to harsher penalties for specific offenses than more experienced drivers would be.

Such crimes in Massachusetts include:

  • Racing
  • Speeding
  • Any motor vehicle violation that involves drugs or alcohol

Penalties will depend on the state and may consist of pretty severe fines, revocation of your permit for a specific length of time and even require you to reapply for a new license later.

What can I do to drive safer and keep my insurance premiums lower?

Avoiding any use of drugs or alcohol while operating a vehicle is undoubtedly at the top of the list.

The social pressures of being a young driver and far higher than adulthood but when you have the keys to a car, you must use adult judgment.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs is often met with a very harsh penalty that could affect your parents’ policy rates for the car you were driving at the time as well as other vehicles.

Other common sense tips from the Illinois Department of Insurance include always wearing a seat belt and keeping your eyes on the road and ears open for danger.

The age and number of passenger rules for a young driver are meant to help reduce distracted driving, as are state laws aimed at cell phone use and texting while driving.

No one can argue getting your learner’s permit is exciting, but this also comes with great responsibility.

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