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Do You Need a Driving Licence to Insure a Car?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 20 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
Driving Licence Car Owner Registered


My mother has inherited my father's car after he passed away. She has no licence but wants to keep the car; the idea was she would own the vehicle and my sister would become the registered keeper and insure the vehicle for herself only to drive.

The insurance company say that the vehicle cannot be insured if the owner has no licence, even if they are not driving it. This seems illogical to me, is it true?

(J.P, 30 April 2009)


You cannot legally drive without a driver's licence, and most insurance companies make this a basic condition for being granted car insurance. In this particular situation, your sister is the only person who is likely to be insured for the vehicle (provided that she holds a valid UK driving licence herself) but she does not need to actually own the car to do so.

Based on this, your mother can theoretically retain ownership of the car with your sister as the registered keeper but it may not be as straight-forward as this. The registered keeper of the vehicle is responsible for keeping the vehicle up-to-date with its MOT and Road Tax, as well as taking care of any parking tickets or speeding fines that are awarded.

Legal Owner Versus Registered Keeper?

Some insurance companies will refuse to insure you if you are not the registered keeper as it can complicate matters when the owner and registered keeper are two different people. If your sister is going to be maintaining everyday control of the car, it makes much more sense for her to become the owner of the car, especially as it solves the potential complications of having a separate owner and registered keeper.

Named Drivers

If your mother was in possession of a valid UK driving licence, it would be possible for her to nominate your sister as the named driver on an Insurance Policy. For example, insurance can be taken out for a son or daughter – assuming that he or she will not be the main driver of the vehicle – as long as the insurance company is informed that this is the case. This may affect the insurance premium, especially if he or she is a new driver. Insurance companies can deem the insurance invalid if this is not done and they feel that they have been misled as to who really is the main driver of the vehicle. This option is more common for those who are going to be sharing the use of a vehicle and therefore need to name other drivers on the insurance policy.

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I suffered heart failure in January and was fitted with a pacemaker and defibrillator, and told not to drive for six months.On the advice of the DVLA I voluntarily surrender my licence which I hope to get back at the end of July.When this happened I contacted my insurance broker to check that the car would still be covered and was told all was OK.My renewal came through this week and I again spoke to my broker (different person) who shocked me by saying I had not been covered for this period as I had no licence, I have a named driver on my policy for just such an event.It would appear that I have paid for six months insurance needlessly and have no cover.What if it is stolen from home or goes on fire?No one will insure me because I don't "technically" have a licence...help
patty - 20-Jun-17 @ 6:39 PM
Val - Your Question:
I am getting a neew car today but my renewal licence has only just been sent. Is there anyway I can drive legally. Also because card was mislead , dont have my licence number either? Thanks Val d.o.b 10/12^668

Our Response:
If it's just your photo card licence you should be fine. If for some reason your original licence need renewing, then it's worth contacting the DVLA to make sure they have received your renewal application.
YourDrivingLicence - 13-Jun-17 @ 11:05 AM
I am getting a neew car today but my renewal licence has only just been sent. Is there anyway i can drive legally. Also because card was mislead ,dont have my licence number either? Thanks Val d.o.b 10/12^668
Val - 10-Jun-17 @ 10:20 AM
@Dolly. Declare it to whom? If the insurance asks a specific question about offences within the past 5, 10 years etc...you are expected to answer them honestly. To remove endorsements from a licence you need to complete a form D1 available from the DVLA or from the Post Office.With the completed form you will then need to enclose your photocard driving licence and paper counterpart, plus a fee of £20.
YourDrivingLicence - 5-Jun-15 @ 10:55 AM
My husband has an in10 on his licence which is now expired. Does he have to declare this now it's expired. Also how can he get this roved from his licence thank you
Dolly - 2-Jun-15 @ 5:34 PM
Can I buy a second hand car and put it on my name if I dont have a provisional license yet? Or should I wait until I get the provisional first? I just want the car to be registered on my name so by the time I can legally drive its ready to go.
Rita - 18-Nov-12 @ 6:02 PM
Am i allowed to drive the car of someone who has died ? His insurance is still running and I have my own insurance
Shine - 7-Aug-12 @ 10:20 AM
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