What may come as a surprise to some, it is possible to secure motorcycle insurance without a license in the United States. In all areas of the country though, it is a requirement to have a motorcycle endorsement – Class M – on a valid driver’s license in order to ride a bike on public streets.
Riders that operate a motorcycle without a Class M endorsement are referred to as “riding dirty” by those in the motorcycling industry. Without an endorsement, it’s important for all riders to know that there are many factors that will influence the type of rates they will be quoted for coverage.
FACT: According to the most recent data from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, in 2018, unlicensed riders accounted for 46 percent of rider fatalities in that state — and more than half of those crashes didn’t even involve a collision with another vehicle. It’s due to statistics of this nature that influence how the insurance companies establish their rates for motorcyclists.
In 2019, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) surveyed motorcyclists in Texas to investigate reasons why motorcyclists choose not to get their Class M. To quote a post published on https://www.looklearnlive.org/ on January 3rd, 2020.
The survey was part of a larger project funded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The project’s primary purpose was to promote rider knowledge, skill, and safety by encouraging riders to complete motorcycle safety training.Credit to https://www.looklearnlive.org/
Some of the questions asked in the survey focused around:
• What about unlicensed riders in texas?
• Why don’t unlicensed riders get their Class M license?
• Were unlicensed riders aware of the 1-day intermediate safety course?
There are a myriad of situations that will allow a rider to secure motorcycle insurance without a license including the following:
Purchasing a motorcycle before getting a license
Many riders can relate to the scenario of seeing that perfect motorcycle in a showroom and it speaks to their soul. Before they realize it, they’ve signed off on the financing paperwork and are arranging for the dealership to trailer their chrome steed to its new home — your garage!
If the bike has been financed, it will be required to have full coverage. If it’s been purchased outright, it will need to have whatever the basic legal requirements are for your state for coverage. Almost all of the major insurance companies that offer motorcycle insurance coverage will allow you to secure a quote and purchase a policy online even if you do not have a motorcycle endorsement on your license.
NOTE: All insurance policies will take effect at 12:01 a.m. for the day after the policy has been purchased unless requested to take effect for a later date.
Owning a vintage or garaged motorcycle that isn’t ridden
Interestingly enough, there are many motorcycle owners that don’t ride their bikes due to them being vintage or simply kept in a garage.
With the vintage bikes, unless the rider plans on embarking on a Motorcycle Cannonball with a 100+-year-old bike to ride cross-country, most are “works in progress” of being restored. It’s still important to have coverage due to possible theft, vandalism, fire, etc. This type of situation recently received news coverage when an unknown person broke into the home garage of the legendary musician Billy Joel and vandalized many of his personal motorcycles.
With a bike being garaged, it happens more often than people realize due to riders dealing with a medical ailment that is keeping them off the road for a while or mature riders that go out and buy a bike to simply have in their possession to smile at and polish the chrome as it reminds them of their younger days.
Purchase a motorcycle in your name for another rider
Surprisingly, having a person buy a motorcycle in their name for someone else to ride is not that unusual. Every situation is unique, but frequently, when this happens it is due to a woman purchasing a bike for her boyfriend or husband due to her credit score being much better than his. One can only hope that his driving record is better than his credit score – and he has a Class M license – before he saddles up on that new ride because it will matter when it comes to securing good quotes on that motorcycle insurance.
Most states will require proof of basic liability insurance coverage before reinstating a license, provided all other requirements are met that caused the license to lapse or be revoked in the first place.
Speak to an insurance agent about securing an SR-22 form which is a document from your state that proves you have the minimum coverage. This form is also referred to as an SR-22 bond or Certificate of Financial Responsibility. An SR-22 is not “coverage” but it will help a rider secure insurance for their bike.