Idaho minimum car insurance requirements are:
Idaho Statutes §49-117(18)

  • Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least 25/50/15 – meaning:
    • Liability coverage
    • $25,000 of bodily injury to another person
    • $50,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons in any one accident
    • $15,000 of destruction of property of others in any one accident

All policies are required to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. However, according to Idaho Statutes §41-2502, you can refuse this coverage by rejecting it in writing. The Idaho Department of Insurance provides more information about this coverage online.

Although personal injury protection, collision insurance, and comprehensive insurance are not required by the State of Idaho, many drivers choose to purchase them in order to cover any expenses they may accumulate from an accident.

Alternative Options to Insurance:

Certificates of Self-Insurance are available in Idaho if the following requirements are met:
Idaho Statutes §49-1224

  • You or your company must have at least 26 registered vehicles
  • You must provide certified proof that your net worth is at least $500,000
  • You must qualify by application through the Idaho Transportation Department

Idaho Transportation Department
3311 W. State Street
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129
208-334-8000

In Idaho, you have the option to use an indemnity bond as proof of financial responsibility instead of purchasing an insurance policy if the following requirements are met:

Idaho Statutes §49-1229(2)

  • Indemnity bond for at least $65,000 for each vehicle registered. The bond must be made with a surety company licensed to do business in Idaho and has to be approved by the Director of the Department of Insurance.
    • Office of the Director — Bill Deal
    • Idaho Department of Insurance
    • 700 West State Street
    • P.O. Box 83720
    • Boise, ID 83720-0043
    • 208-334-4250

Required Proof of Insurance in Idaho

Insurance Card provided by an insurance company should include all of the following:

  • Name of the insurance company
  • Insurance policy number
  • Effective date and expiration date of policy
  • Accurate description of year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the registered vehicle(s)
  • Name and address of the insured driver

Self Insurance certificates are issued by the state and must include the following:

  • Certificate number issued by the Department of Transportation
  • Effective date of the certificate
  • A statement that all registered vehicles owned by the individual or company are covered by insurance
  • Name of the driver(s) covered by the certificate
  • Indemnity Bond
  • Name of company issuing bond
  • Bond number
  • Approval from the Insurance Director
  • Name of driver covered by bond

Idaho Department of Insurance

Insurance Director — Bill Deal
700 West State Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0043
208-334-4250

Obtaining a Driver’s License

Here are the requirements to obtain your Driver’s Training Instruction Permit:

  • Be at least 14 ½ years old
  • Be enrolled in a driver education course
  • Be enrolled in or show completion of high school, home school, college, or vocational school if under 18 years old
  • Have a parent or legal guardian sign for consent if under 18 years old
  • This permit is only to be used while attending driver education

Here are the requirements to obtain your Supervised Instruction Permit:

  • Be at least 14 ½ years old
  • Complete a driver education course
  • Be enrolled in or show completion of high school, home school, college, or vocational school if  under 18 years old
  • Have a parent or legal guardian sign for consent if under 18 years old
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the knowledge test

Here are the requirements to obtain your Instruction Permit:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • If under 17 years old, complete a driver education course
  • Be enrolled in or have graduated from high school, home school, college, or vocational school if under 18 years old
  • Have a parent or legal guardian sign for consent if under 18 years old
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the knowledge test

Here are the requirements to obtain your Restricted Driver’s License:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • If under 17 years old, complete a driver education course
  • Have instruction permit for at least 6 months
  • Get at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 of those at night) with a licensed passenger of 21 years or more
  • No traffic violations while holding the Instruction Permit
  • Any violation will required you to start your 6 months over with the permit
  • Be enrolled in or have graduated from high school, home school, college, or vocational school if  under 18 years old
  • Have a parent or legal guardian sign for consent if under 18 years old
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the knowledge test
  • Pass the driving test
  • Pay the test fee of $15 (subject to change)

Here are the requirements to obtain your Driver’s License if you are under 18 years old:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • If under 17 years old, complete a driver education course
  • Have instruction permit for at least 6 months
  • Get at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 of those at night) with a licensed passenger of 21 years or more
  • Have a parent or legal guardian sign for consent
  • No traffic violations while holding the Instruction Permit
    • Any violation will require you to start your 6 months over with the permit
  • Be enrolled in or have graduated from high school, home school, college, or vocational school if  under 18 years old
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the knowledge test
  • Pass the driving test
  • Pay the test fee of $15 (subject to change)
  • Pay the license fee of $15 (subject to change)

Here are the requirements to obtain your first driver’s license if you are over 18 years old:

  • Complete a driver’s license application
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the knowledge test
  • Based on the Idaho Driver’s Manual
  • Pass the driving test
  • Pay the test fee of $15 (subject to change)
  • Pay the license fee of $25 (subject to change)

The following documents are required for application (detailed information is available on the Idaho Transportation Department’s Driver’s License Fact Sheet):

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of lawful presence
  • Proof that you are a resident of the state of Idaho
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of school enrollment or completion if under 18 years old
  • Proof of driver’s training completion if under 17 years old

Completing Driver Education

When a person reaches the age of 14 ½, they may enroll in a Driver Education Course. You can enroll in a driver education course at any Idaho public school, online with the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, or at a state approved driving school.

To be eligible, a student must have the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of lawful presence
  • Proof that you are a resident of the state of Idaho
  • Social Security Number
  • Parental consent if under 18 years old

The driver education course requires students to complete a total of 30 hours of instruction in a classroom or online. The information is based on the Idaho Driver’s Manual.

It is recommended that you research any driver education program that you enroll in. You want to make sure they meet the following standards:

  • Instructors are licensed and have certificates from the State of Idaho
  • They meet the state curriculum requirements
  • Check if they have received any disciplinary action for violations
  • Make sure there are enough instructors to meet student needs

Upon completion of driver education, individuals under 17 years old are required to complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving practice, 10 of which must be at night. The Department of Education provides a Supervised Driving Guide to help parents or legal guardians make sure their child is receiving proper driving training. The Department of Education also provides a Student Driving Log to make a record of driving times, environment, and skills practiced. There is a Complaint and Feedback Form available on the Department of Education’s Driver Education page.

Knowing the Rules of the Road

Idaho provides information about their traffic laws online in the Idaho Driver’s Manual, as well as in the Idaho Statutes. Carefully obey these rules of the road to quality for the lowest possible car insurance rates. The traffic laws include:

Drivers in Idaho typically fit into one of three insurance coverage markets. One is the preferred market, which is available for drivers with good driving records and offers the lowest premiums. These drivers enjoy the lowest auto insurance rates in Idaho. Another is the standard market, which is available for drivers with fair driving records and offers median premiums. These drivers can still find affordable auto insurance in Idaho, given that they do not acquire too many additional tickets. The final one is the non-standard market, which is available for less-experienced drivers and those with multiple traffic tickets or accidents, and/or at least one drunk driving offense and offers the highest premiums. Unfortunately, the average cost of auto insurance in Idaho for these drivers is significantly higher.

Know Your Rates

Insurance companies calculate rates by carefully considering all of the licensed drivers in the household, even if they are not related to you by blood, such as permanent roommates and spouses. The base rate for each individual is adjusted according to several factors, including:

  • Age. According to statistics, drivers over the age of 25 are involved in less accidents than those younger than 25. For this reason, drivers younger than 25 years old are considered a higher risk and have to pay higher insurance rates than any other age group.
  • Gender. Statistical evidence has proven that men of any age group are involved in more accidents than women in the same age group. Therefore, male drivers typically must pay higher insurance rates than female drivers.
  • Marital status. Studies show that married couples tend to have fewer accidents and file fewer insurance claims than those who are unmarried, so married couples may have to pay lower insurance rates.
  • Driving record and claims history. If you have had multiple accidents, tickets, and insurance claims, you are considered a high risk when it comes to insurance. For this reason, those with poor driving records will have to pay higher insurance rates.
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle. Expensive vehicles are more likely to be stolen, which causes insurance rates to be higher. High-performance vehicles are more likely to be involved in a collision, which causes insurance rates to be higher.
  • Vehicle use. The frequency and distance that you drive your vehicle can affect your rates because driving more increases your chances of having an accident. Because of this, drivers with a short daily commute often pay less for insurance. Also, parking your vehicle in a secure location, such as a garage, decreases the risk of theft and damage, which can qualify you for low cost car insurance in Idaho.
  • Geographical area. Those who live in a part of town where the crime rate is high will likely see higher insurance rates due to the increased possibility of theft and vandalism to their vehicles. Likewise, those who live in an area that experiences a high number of traffic accidents will have to pay higher insurance rates because they are more likely to damage their vehicles in a collision than those living in less hazardous areas.
  • Credit history. The general rule of thumb is, the better your credit score is, the less your insurance rate will be because insurance companies look at your credit history is to determine the likelihood of you making your payments.

Picking an Insurance Agent or Broker

When shopping for insurance, the two types of individuals you will most likely deal with are insurance agents and insurance brokers. An insurance agent earns commission by selling insurance policies for the insurance company he or she works for. An insurance broker, on the other hand, is hired by individual clients and earns commission by selling insurance policies from different insurance companies based on each client’s specific needs. Keep in mind that the commission that agents and brokers earn is based on a percentage of what you pay for your premium. Therefore, the more you save, the less they make.

Insurance fraud can cost you a lot of money. To help inform consumers about insurance fraud, the Department of Insurance offers an online report. Protect yourself. Before you choose an insurance company, agent, or broker, make sure they are licensed with the Idaho Department of Insurance by searching for them on the Department’s insurance agent and company list.

In addition, the Department of Insurance provides a link to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Web site where you can search for complaint and financial information from insurance companies. Even if an insurance company, agent, or broker is licensed with the state, if they have several complaints filed against them, you may want to consider working with someone else.

If you have an issue with an insurance company, agent, or broker, the Department of Insurance Consumer Affairs Division offers several options when it comes to filing a complaint. You can file a complaint online, call and speak with a Consumer Affairs Officer at 1-800-721-3272, complete the complaint report and mail it to the address provided on the form, or write them a letter and mail it and any additional documents to the following address:

Idaho Department of Insurance
Attention: Consumer Assistance
P. O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0043

You can also request information about issues including a claim you have made, why your insurer cancelled your policy, or even if you simply have a question about your policy, company, agent, or broker.

Lower Your Rates

Speak with several insurance agents and brokers and find out exactly what insurance plan will work for you and what rates each agent or broker can offer you. You want shop around and find the best coverage for the best price. Remember to make sure the company, agent of broker is licensed and permitted to do business in Idaho by searching for them on the Department of Insurance’s insurance agent and company list. If you are suspicious about any insurance company, call and speak with a Consumer Affairs Officer at 1-800-721-3272, to see if any actions have been taken against that company. In addition, if an agent or company attempts to sell ERISA or union plans, contact the Department of Insurance to report the activity.

There are several insurance policy discounts that are available for consumers. When shopping around, inquire about discounts that you may be eligible, such as senior citizen discounts, discounts for young drivers with good grades, drivers who have completed a defensive driving course, and drivers with a good driving record.

In addition, pay close attention to your other insurance plans. Some plans, such as medical insurance, can overlap in coverage areas with your auto insurance plans.

After an Accident

If you are involved in a collision, first, you must check to see if anyone is injured. If you are able, render aid. If there is an injury, death, or property damage of more than $1,500, you must immediately notify the Idaho State Patrol, city police, or county sheriff according to Idaho Statutes §49-1305. If you or someone else is injured, inform the authorities of this so they can make sure emergency medical services are called to the scene. You must exchange name, address, vehicle information, driver’s license information, and insurance information with any other drivers involved in the accident, even if the other driver has no car insurance in Idaho. According to Idaho Statutes §49-1302, refusing to exchange information will result in a misdemeanor charge. Be prepared to give a thorough account of the events leading up to the collision to responding law enforcement members. Also, take down information such as the names of the officers and names and contact information of any witnesses you spoke with, and, if you are able, take pictures of the scene and damage to the vehicles and property for your own accident report. Drivers should stay at the scene of the collision until released by the responding law enforcement officer. If law enforcement responded to the scene, they will file an accident report with the Department of Transportation. If law enforcement did not respond to the scene, it is your responsibility to file an accident report with the state police, local police, or county sheriff. Failure to deliver an accident report in collisions resulting in an injury, death, or property damage of more than $1,500 lead to the suspension of your license and criminal charges.

You must also report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible, closely following your company’s procedures for filing a claim. Your company’s Web site will probably offer information about filing a claim, or you can call and speak to a representative. If your collision involved another driver, you must present your company with their name, address, vehicle information, driver’s license information, and insurance information. You should also be prepared to report the extent of the damage to both cars, provide pictures if you have them. Explain how the accident happened and what occurred during the accident. Also, provide the names and contact information of any officers and witnesses at the scene. Any police report filed must also be copied and sent to your insurance company.

When all of your information has been received, your insurance company will investigate your claim and come to a decision within 30 days of receiving all of the necessary information. If your claim is delayed, the insurance company must notify you. In the event that your claim is denied, your insurance company will notify you in writing. If there are delays and you have not been notified, or if you are having any other issues, contact the Department of Insurance Consumer Affairs Division at 1-800-721-3272.

When the other party was at fault for the collision, but you had to use your insurance to cover the costs of any medical or repair bills you had, your insurance company may seek subrogation in order to recover the money by reaching out to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. During this process, you should provide your insurance company with full cooperation to ensure that everything goes smoothly and to help your insurance company get fully compensated. If you intend to settle with the at-fault driver or their insurance company, be sure to notify your insurance company.

Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

High-risk drivers with a lengthy history of accidents, tickets, or drunken driving offenses often have a hard time purchasing insurance in the voluntary market. However, since it is illegal to drive without insurance, Idaho makes it possible for every driver to find insurance opportunities by offering the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan in accordance with Idaho Statutes §49-1225. This plan specifically covers drivers in Idaho who have tried and failed to find insurance coverage due to their driving records. If this applies to you, talk to an agent, broker, or the Department of Insurance to see if they offer this plan.

If you are convicted of traffic violations, such as driving without insurance, driving under the influence, causing an accident while driving without insurance, having too many traffic tickets within a short time span, or having had your license suspended or revoked, you may have to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of SR-22 insurance. Your insurance company will fill out the SR-22 form and submit it to the Division of Motor Vehicles. With time, you can repair your driving record and thereby qualify for affordable auto insurance in Idaho.

Additional Help

The Idaho Department of Insurance is always available to offer assistance to anyone shopping for insurance. They will answer inquiries related to insurance, look into complaints with specific companies, agents, or brokers, educate consumers on insurance law and procedures, and enforce insurance law on the consumer’s behalf if needed. You can contact the Consumer Affairs Division at 1-800-721-3272.

Online resources include: