How do people without a driver's license insure their cars?

My brother lost his license due to multiple DWI’s and I now drive him around in his car. He is still making payments on it so it needs to be fully insured. I added his car to my insurance, with him listed on the insurance as unlicensed. Someone once told my brother this was illegal, and he is constantly worried about it, though my insurance company assures me its OK.

My main argument, besides my insurance telling me its OK, is that many people need to own a car without a license. The elderly, epileptics, and rich people who don’t drive are a few I can think of right now.

So is this legal?

How do people without a driver’s license insure their cars?

From my experience sitting at home and watching hours of judge shows, I’ve seen that despite what your insurance company says, it’s not ok. In order for you to insure the car, the title needs to be in your name. As for how people without licenses insure their cars, I was always under the impression that they didn’t. Because they’re not supposed to be driving in the first place. Again, this is just what I’ve picked up from watching way too much daytime tv so I’m sure it’s not entirely accurate. But at the same time, if it was a legal practice I wouldn’t be hearing about it so much on judge shows. And of course it probably varies by state.

How do corporations do it? I don’t think that corporations, local municipalities, etc. have Driver’s Licenses, do they? Is there a piece of plastic somewhere that says:

Driver’s License

Name: Verizon, Incorporated
Address: <wherever Verizon’s HQ is>
DOB: <whenever Verizon was legally incorporated>
Height: n/a
Weight: n/a
Hair: n/a

That is used to insure all of Verizon (major telco on the US east coast)'s telephone repair vans?

It boggles the mind to consider how a corporation would qualify for a DL. Do they take a sampling of stockholders or employees and give them all the tests, and then do an average to get the “average” driving knowledge and skill of the company? Can it be suspended if the CEO or a major stockholder gets a DUI?

And it makes sense, in a way, to have a way for an individual to own a car and not drive it. In the “good old days”, rich people supposedly bought a fancy car and then hired a driver (as part of the cornucopia of household servants that people had then). I imagine that there were some uber rich people that considered actually driving the car to be beneath them and to be a form of manual labor.

Despite the second previous poster, I assume there must be a way. I’m sure there must be quite a few elderly, disabled, rich, etc. people who own a car and have it insured but do not have a driver’s license because they are chauffeured.

IANAL nor an insurance pro and the laws may vary state-to-state, but here’s what happened when I inherited a car before I had my license (I didn’t get it until I was 30): the insurance listed me as the owner and a friend of mine as the insured driver. He went with me when I took my driving test and if there was any legal issue with it, the PA State Police didn’t say anything. I owned the vehicle outright so I don’t know if this might be different for a vehicle purchased with a loan.



Well you have a point on that. I think the main difference here though, is that the OP isn’t the owner of the vehicle. I think that’s where it gets a bit fuzzy. Maybe I’m mixing up my completely reliable information from tv. Which is entirely possible and more than a little likely XD

They call the insurance company, make the arrangements, and pay the premiums. I guess I don’t understand why there would be a question about this. Surely your insurance company is a more reliable info source than “someone” your brother knows. It’s a given that the unlicensed driver is not going to drive the car (legally), and might not be covered for damages if he did (depending on the state and the policy), but car insurance covers many things beyond a particular individual driving a given car. What reason would there be not to sell him insurance?

I’ve known learner drivers to get insurance - they just have to pay a lot more. They also have to follow the law, obviously, so they don’t drive unless they have a suitable full-license holder with them (which is the law in England), but they can still be insured.

Yup. Even if he didn’t have anyone else driving his car, he might want insurance for third-party damage or theft that could occur while the car was parked up.

You don’t have to have a license to insure your car. You insure and then you list the primary driver with their license, it doesn’t have to be the owner. The car is what is insured, not the driver. The premium for the insurance will reflect the primary driver’s driving record, etc.

Personally, i would not cover my drunk driving brother on my policy. At the very least you should talk to a lawyer about what your risk might be if he gets a load on and gets behind the wheel of any car.

HE should call insurance companies and ask. Just consider the car a piece of property – perhaps it could be covered as a rider with homeowners or renters insurance.

You don’t need a license to own a car. You need a license to drive a car. If you own a car but do not drive it, insurable stuff can still happen to it (theft, hail, fire, someone driving the car with your permission wrecks it). Because stuff can happen to the car, the lender wants you to have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on their loan’s collateral. You know, so the collateral can be restored if something happens to it.

INSURABLE INTEREST: deals with whether or not you can insure someone else’s property. It’s not a legal issue so much as a criterion an insurer is supposed to use when determining whether or not they’ll issue the policy. Make sure you’ve been absolutely clear with your insurance company about the situation, and document your efforts to do so. Otherwise, if you’re driving the car around and cause an accident you might run into several flavors of trouble you don’t want to taste (I won’t list them, there are many and they are complex). But I can think of plenty of scenarios where you can insure and drive someone else’s car without a problem. One solution for your scenario:

  • Policy in your name listing you as the principle operator: This gives you liability coverage to pay for injuries and property damage you cause in an accident.
  • Brother is listed as an excluded driver: underwriting will require this because…they just will, trust me.
  • Brother is listed as an additional insured: this will allow the insurance company to pay HIM for HIS car should something happen to it, and it will allow the company to defend him against allegations of ‘negligent entrustment’ should you cause an accident. The lender, by the way, is already listed as an additional insured.

ETA: aaaaaand, of course, you want to check with your insurance company to see if they’ll do this, laws and regulations vary from state to state, I’m not your insurance guy, I’m not a lawyer, etc.

That can’t be it - I’m pretty sure my mom still holds my title, because it’s an ordeal to make her switch it over. What I instead had to do is get both of our names on my car registration. On insurance, it just has my name on the card, although I’m not sure right now what the official documents say.

Corporations aren’t required to have driver’s licenses, but the individual employees who drive company vehicles are. Company-owned vehicles are insured just as privately-owned vehicles are and are required to have an insurance card just as you and I are. IIRC, though, a vehicle used solely for commercial purposes comes under commercial lines, not personal lines, so it’s not like XYZ Corporation will get a policy with State Farm.

Well that’s the straight dope if I’ve ever seen it. I know I’m OK with points 1 and 2, not sure about point 3. I’ll check.

I don’t think that insurance is a ‘legal/criminal’ matter so much as it is a concractual matter, i.e., the courts don’t care who owns the vehicle or who pays for any damage to/by it as long as it conforms to laws concerning proper liability coverage while it is being operated on public roads.


I don’t see a problem with him insuring the car against a property loss, theft or damage. I seriously doubt anyone would write a policy for liability though since he’s not a legal driver at this time.

AFAIK, and we just went through this with our daughter, YOU should be covered on your policy for any car you drive. I don’t think that includes any collision or comprehensive coverage to his car, but I’m not sure about that.

I can’t believe an insurance company would allow you to put an unlicensed driver on your policy. That just seems like a very bad idea for you to consider.

When I bought my brother a car, the title and registration was solely in my name. But the insurance was in his. Not a big deal.