D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 13, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • While it may be tempting to cancel your coverage while your license is suspended, it may be better to keep it, so you don’t have gaps in your coverage. If you keep making your payments, many insurers also don’t check your full driving history unless you give them another reason to
  • Many insurance companies won’t give coverage to someone with a suspended license. You can find coverage (at a higher price) with many insurers, and you still have options
  • Your rates could increase anywhere from 30 to 125 percent after a license suspension

Your driving record is one of the primary factors that affect the price of car insurance. If you have a suspended license, you may be wondering about suspended license insurance.

Below, we’ll discuss whether you should keep your car insurance while your license is suspended, how to find car insurance while your license is suspended, and what kind of rate increases you could see after your suspension.

Before you begin reading about suspended license insurance coverage enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above to compare car insurance quotes from companies in your area.

Do I need car insurance if my license is suspended?

If your license is suspended in the middle of your car insurance policy, you may consider canceling the policy to save money on your premiums. After all, why pay for insurance when you can’t drive? If you get in an accident with a suspended license, your insurance company may even opt to not pay out the claim. So why give them your hard earned money? Despite what you may think, this may not be the best option.

If you cancel your policy while your license is suspended, you will have a gap in your insurance that future car insurance companies will see when they check your coverage history. Many auto insurance policies are also in an automated cycle of renewal. If you don’t give them a reason to, they won’t spend the money to check your record at every renewal.

Unfortunately, a lapse in coverage can cause insurance companies to increase the rates of your premium. Therefore, the money you may save in the short-term may turn into more significant long-term expenses. Even while you’re not driving, your car could be hit by an animal, falling tree, or drunk driver, in which case you could still be covered by comprehensive insurance. You should never allow your car insurance coverage to lapse  if you plan to get your license back.

Is my license suspended? If you’re wondering how to check if your license is suspended, it is relatively easy. You may be sent a notice by mail, but you can also call or visit your DMV to get a copy of your driving record or contact your car insurance company. The state may suspend your license for many reasons including too many tickets, unpaid tickets, DUI convictions, and more.

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How can I find suspended license insurance coverage?

If you start looking for a new car insurance policy while your license is suspended, you may find it a difficult task. Most car insurance companies won’t approve you for coverage (and, if they do, your suspended license car insurance rates are likely high) since a suspended license means you may be a risky driver.

Depending on which state you live in, you may be able to apply for a restricted license. Restricted licenses will allow you limited driving privileges, such as driving to work, doctors’ appointments, court, or transport dependents.

Whether you’re approved for a restricted license will depend on multiple factors, including why your license was suspended, why you’re applying for the restricted license, and your overall driving history. Keep in mind, insurance companies may base their rates on average driving miles in most cases. A limited license probably won’t lower your insurance rates substantially.

However, even with a restricted license, you may still have a hard time finding coverage. You may be limited to non-standard insurers, such as Acceptance, The General, or Titan Insurance. A restricted license may also be known as a hardship license.

How much does suspended license insurance cost?

Your driving record is one of the main determinants of your car insurance rates. Let’s look at how some traffic violations can affect your car insurance premiums:

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Driving Record InfractionAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
Clean Record$3,102.08
One Speeding Violation$3,641.34
One Accident$4,076.60
One DUI$4,895.38
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How much your rates increase will depend heavily on the insurance company and the state you live in. If your driving record is clean before your license suspension, you could see increases after your license suspension ranging between 30 and 125 percent.

For example, if your annual premium before your license suspension is $637, you may see this go all the way up to $1,517. If you already had multiple tickets or accidents, your rates may not increase by as much.

Driving without meeting your state’s insurance requirements or having gaps in coverage may be just as expensive. All it takes is a cop pulling you over and asking for proof of insurance to revoke your driving privilege and drive up your rates. So make sure you’re covered by a good auto insurance provider.

If you’re shopping for an auto insurance policy with a poor driving record, the rules remain the same. Get multiple quotes from more than one auto insurance company. Compare those quotes to see what coverage they offer and the cost. Make sure you have a valid license if you plan to drive (comprehensive coverage can protect a car you’re not driving for a longer period of time), and review reinstatement requirements with your current insurer. Then choose the option that makes sense for you.

If you need help finding affordable suspended license insurance coverage, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below.