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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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A conditional driver’s license is one that limits your driving activities to certain specified rules, such as only being able to drive during certain times of day or with a certain number of passengers. Usually, a conditional driver’s license is given to new drivers before they qualify fully for a regular driver’s license.
In other cases, a conditional license may be given out to a person whose license has been revoked or suspended due to poor driving practices. For example, if you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, you may be given a conditional license that allows you to drive for business purposes but not for pleasure. You could also be given a conditional license if you are convicted of other driving infractions such as multiple speeding tickets or reckless endangerment.
While it is not impossible to buy car insurance with a conditional license, doing so will pose a unique set of difficulties depending upon the reason for having such a license. Because liability insurance is required by the state, you will be able to purchase some sort of coverage for your vehicle; you may not be able to buy the insurance that you want, however.
If your driver’s license is conditional due to your age, you may not be in a position to purchase car insurance anyway. Most teenagers and young adults remain on their parents policies until they are older. First, an insurance policy must be purchased by the owner of the vehicle, so if your parents are the registered owners of a car they should be the ones to take out an insurance policy. Second, insurance for young adults and teenagers is more expensive than it is for others, and sharing a policy with your parents may actually be more affordable than trying to buy your own coverage.
If you do choose to purchase your own policy as a new driver, you should be able to obtain the insurance whether or not your driver’s license is conditional. Be advised that your rates will be higher than most people’s at first, but with years of safe driving your policy will begin to drop in price. You can also reduce your premiums by getting good grades, maintaining good credit and avoiding any traffic violations and speeding tickets. As you grow older, your policy will drop in price, and you will be rewarded for having had a policy for several years.
Individuals whose driver’s license has been revoked or had conditions placed on it due to driving infractions will have a more difficult time purchasing car insurance. In some cases, bad driving violations can even cause your car insurance company to cancel your insurance coverage. Obtaining new car insurance after having a policy canceled can be difficult, but not impossible.
Several types of high-risk insurance companies exist that will insure nearly anyone, regardless of their driving history. High-risk policies will usually cost more than other types of insurance, and you may not be able to buy as much coverage as you would like. Some types of high-risk policies will only allow you to carry liability coverage; you would not be able to use the insurance to pay for your own repairs in that case.
One kind of high-risk insurance policy is called an assigned risk policy. Drivers who cannot obtain insurance through a regular company can receive coverage through this program. Essentially, every insurance company is assigned a number of high-risk policies they must provide coverage for. These policies may be paid through one company and brokered through another, so the policy you carry may not match the agent that you have. Regardless, assigned risk policies provide only liability coverage unless you have a lien holder that requires you to carry collision.
Whether you have a conditional driver’s license due to driving inexperience or a poor driving history, you can still receive lower insurance rates by focusing on safe driving practices. After several years of safe driving, your record will clear and your rates will begin to go down. Although it may take awhile to repair the damage caused by a DUI or other serious traffic infraction, it’s not impossible to obtain affordable full-coverage insurance once you have begun to drive more reliably.