Do you need car insurance for a driving test?

Whether you borrow or own the vehicle, you will need car insurance to take your driving test.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 12, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • When taking a driving test, you will need a vehicle with the appropriate insurance
  • Most people will borrow a vehicle and should check the policy to ensure that it covers them as a permissive user
  • It may be possible to use a rental car under contract with another driver

If you are preparing to get your driver’s license, you may be worried about the process and want everything to go as smoothly as possible. You might have some questions about auto insurance for the driving test and want to make sure that you are protected. 

It’s important to gather the correct information before you go to take the driving test. Read on to find out if you need insurance and how to ensure you get coverage.

What are the driving test insurance requirements?

If you’ve never had a license before, every state requires that you take both a written and practical test. You need to pass both to get your driver’s license.

You may also need to satisfy certain requirements by your department of motor vehicles, or DMV, before attempting the driving test.

If you’ve taken lessons and feel ready to sit for the driving part of the test, you must ensure that your vehicle is adequately insured. Whether you borrow or own the vehicle, you will need your state’s minimum required car insurance for a driving test.

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Can you use a borrowed vehicle?

Most people in this situation will not own a vehicle but may be waiting to pass the test before they can purchase one. If you already legally own a vehicle, you can register it in your name before taking the test. 

If you don’t own a vehicle, you may borrow one from someone you live with, such as a parent. Many liability car insurance policies will allow you to use the borrowed car for your driving test, so long as the policyholder has given permission. 

You’ll also need to make sure to check if the documentation in your insurance policy includes driving test insurance requirements.

What’s a permissive user? 

Does insurance follow the car or the driver? Although you cannot be named as a driver on an insurance policy if you do not yet have a license, many insurance companies will extend coverage if you are known or related to the policyholder. 

Always ensure that you get express permission from the vehicle owner. It’s a good idea to get this in writing, just in case the DMV asks for it.

If this information is clear, it may satisfy the requirements of any jurisdiction that uses the “strict conversion rule.” This rule means that you must conform to any requirements laid down by the owner and policyholder. 

In other words, you must use the vehicle to drive to and from the test and during the test only.

Can you use a rental car?

If you cannot borrow a vehicle elsewhere, it may be possible for you to use a car rented from an auto rental company. You won’t be able to rent a car yourself without a valid license, but you can ask a family member to do so. 

Discuss this with the rental company to make sure that it is aware and to get any supplemental coverage if you need it for extra protection.

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What insurance do you need for a driving test?

The type of car insurance you need for a driving test varies from state to state, and you need to verify the requirements in your location to see if your insurance policy is sufficient. 

The test administrator will check to see that you have the minimum requirement before the test can proceed. After all, one thing is for sure,  driving a car during a test without proper insurance is illegal.

Can you get temporary car insurance for a driving test?

Some insurers offer short-term coverage for a period of a few days. However, this will only apply to a registered driver, and you need to check to see if the company will add you as a permissive user.

What You Need to Know About Auto Insurance for a Driving Test

When you are preparing to take your driving test, ensure that the vehicle you use has the correct type of coverage. If you use a borrowed car, make sure that the owner’s insurance coverage extends to you for this occasion. 

If you want to use a rental car, somebody else will need to sign the contract, and you should check with the rental company first to ensure coverage extends to you

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