Can I Buy Utah Auto Insurance Without a Driver's License?

Utah state flagDrivers across the country may need to purchase insurance while unlicensed for a number of reasons: the policyholder may want to maintain coverage while his or her driving privilege is suspended, the individual may have only a learner's permit, a vehicle owner may want to insure against theft or damages while the car sits in the back yard, etc.

But motorists in Utah have an extra reason for being in this situation, and tens of thousands of unlicensed motorists in the state do purchase coverage in a given year. That's because Utah remains one of the few states in the country that allow some motorists to get behind the wheel legally without first obtaining a license.

Driving Privilege Cards

Unlike the vast majority of states, Utah has two routes for inhabitants to get on the road legally. They can either obtain a standard driver's license, or they can apply for a driving privilege (DP) card, which is not considered full licensure but gives holders the legal right to be on the road as well as the ability to purchase car insurance without a license but with certain restrictions.

The main difference between the two is how they are obtained. To get full licensure, the motorist must provide a social security number, which can only be obtained by U.S. citizens. But to get a DP card, applicants can provide their individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), which are assigned to foreign nationals who cannot obtain a social security number.

DP cards must be renewed every year and cannot be used for identification purposes.

DP Holders' Insured Rate Is Similar to License Holders'

Since the state Legislature first established DP cards in 2005, it has monitored the use of the cards and whether their holders end up purchasing Utah auto insurance policies. According to the latest report, which was published in January 2008, there had been nearly 41,000 DP cards issued in the previous year.

That report also showed that DP cardholders purchase coverage at a rate that is only slightly lower than that of regular drivers. The authors of the report tried to match about 3,500 of each to policies to get a feel for the rate at which they purchased insurance. They found that licensed drivers in the sample had an 82 percent insured rate. The holders of DP cards had an insured rate of 76 percent.

Requirements for DP Cards

To get a DP card, applicants must provide the following:
  • proof that they have driving privileges in another state or country or proof that they have taken a driver training course
  • proof of Utah residency, which can come in the form of bank statements, court documents, utility bills or a handful of other document types
  • a social security number or ITIN
  • evidence of identity
  • a completed fingerprint card