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Driving With an Expired License: Does it affect car insurance rates?

Here's what you need to know...
  • If you are caught driving with an expired license, you will receive a citation and your car insurance company will find out and likely, your rates will raise
  • Make sure you renew your license before it expires to avoid this unnecessary rate hike
  • Look for any discounts you can so you can keep your insurance premium as low as possible

If you are driving with an expired license and are pulled over by a law enforcement official, you will most likely receive a ticket or citation for the unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

If this is the case, and you are found guilty, you will most like be fined and assessed points on your driver’s license. In turn, this will cause your auto insurance rates to rise because a driver with a moving violation and points on their license is considered a higher risk.

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Drivers who are considered high-risk are often more expensive to insure and the insurance companies will pass that cost on to you if you would like to stay insured.

Driving with an expired license shows some unreliability and immaturity, so it is possible that your insurance company will take that into account as well when determining your auto insurance rates.

If you do get caught driving with an expired license, be proactive. Speak to your insurance agent or company immediately and let them know what happened rather than waiting for the company to find out through a driving record check.

There may be an opportunity to save money through another aspect of your premium even if your rates do rise because of the unlicensed operation charge.

How do I ensure that I do not let my driver’s license expire?

GIrl reading on laptop

The simple answer is to look at the expiration date on your driver’s license and write it down or enter it in a calendar that you use constantly.

However, that may not always be feasible since some expiration dates are set eight, ten, or even 12 years after the license is issued.

One way to ensure your license stays current is to take care of the renewal the day you receive the notice from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In most cases, the DMV will send out a renewal notice anywhere from 30 to 60 days before the expiration date, if not sooner. If you make it a habit of renewing when the paperwork arrives, you will be sure of having your license stay valid.

Another way to make sure your license does not expire is to get it renewed when your spouse or significant other’s license is due.

Even if this is a couple of years before your original expiration date, it will force the renewal dates to eventually be synchronized so there is a good chance that at least one of you will remember to get your license renewed the next time around.

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Can I renew my driver’s license online?

This answer specifically depends on the state where you live.

Some states, such as New York, allow you to renew your license online if you live at the same address, do not need corrective lenses, and have not had major moving violations in the previous 36 months.

You can apply and pay for your new license online and simply receive a new identification with the same picture.

However, depending on your state, if you have not had a vision test in a certain amount of time, you must have a vision test and then apply for a new license at a local Department of Motor Vehicles office.

While the vision test can be conducted at any optical office, the DMV also offers a valid eye exam for drivers.

You can learn more about renewing your license online from the U.S. Government’s official website.

Why is my insurance policy only six months in length while my license is valid for ten years?

Up close shot of hand on wheel, wearing a watch.

The reason that your car insurance policy is only valid for six months is so the auto insurance company has the ability to reevaluate you as a driver after six months rather than a full year.

Drivers can rack up several citations, tickets, and accidents in a short amount of time, and if an auto insurance company is locked in for a full year it can become quite expensive for them.

As a general rule, most car insurance companies will be glad to provide a renewal policy even before your current policy expires so as to keep a customer.

This is unless there have been some driving issues on your license, such as moving violations, etc.

Keeping an open line of communication with your insurance agent or insurance company is an easy way to stay on top of your policy and to make sure you are not only getting all the possible discounts you can but to also make sure that you are being taken care of as a customer.

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