Having a Social Security number can make the car-purchasing and car-insuring processes more manageable, but it isn’t always required.

It depends on the state and car insurance company.

The nine-digit SSN number helps auto insurance companies easily find personal information about you to set auto insurance rates.

Here’s what you need to know about Social Security numbers, why insurance companies often want SNNs and their importance when buying or insuring a car.

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Written by:
Les Masterson
Managing Editor
Les Masterson has more than 20 years of experience in journalism, editing and content creation. In his career, he has covered everything from health insurance to presidential politics.

Can I get car insurance without a Social security number?

Some car insurance companies let you buy coverage without a Social Security number. There is no federal law that says they must or must not demand a Social Security number. Instead, it depends on the company’s policies.

You may find companies through CarInsurance.com that make your SSN optional during the purchase process, while others require it. If you don’t have a Social Security number and need to get car insurance, you can call our service center at 855-430-7753 and see about getting auto insurance quotes without an SSN.

There are controversies over the use of credit scores for rating, but the bottom line is that car insurance companies have not been able to find a better indicator of risk other than using a simple credit-based insurance score. It’s not less controversial than the use of gender or marital status as a factor. Each of these items has come under public scrutiny as biased and a form of profiling.

Car insurance companies use this information to assign a rate to a risk pool. Auto insurance companies work hard to segment risks and help the pool by having those contributors pay their equal share.

If you need to get a car insurance quote now, you should be able to start your policy as long as you can obtain a U.S. driver’s license within 30 days, if you don’t already have one. Compare insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best possible rate.

Why do insurance companies need your Social Security number? 

Car insurance companies usually require a Social Security number to find out more about you, such as:

  • Driving history
  • Credit score
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Address, including Zip code

All of those metrics may influence your car insurance rates. A handful of states don’t allow insurance companies to base car insurance rates on credit history. Having a poor credit history increases rates in most states. Auto insurance companies say that people with poor credit are a higher risk, including the possibility of filing more claims.

Find out more about car insurance and Social Security numbers.

How can I get car insurance without a Social Security number? 

Shop around for car insurance and ask insurance companies if they require a Social Security number.

Car insurance company policies differ. Some insurance companies only demand that you have a driver’s license and don’t care about a Social Security number.

Can I buy a car without a Social Security number? 

You generally don’t need a Social Security number to buy a car in the U.S. However, there’s an exception.

If you need to finance a car, you’ll likely need one.

Can I get a driver’s license without a Social Security number? 

States have different driver’s license requirements. But, in recent years, several states have passed laws allowing unauthorized immigrants to obtain a driver’s license without Social Security numbers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of January 2023, these include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut 
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to find out more about getting a driver’s license without a Social Security number.

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

Editorial Director

John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

Managing Editor

Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

Managing Editor

Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Managing Editor

Les Masterson has more than 20 years of experience in journalism, editing and content creation. In his career, he has covered everything from health insurance to presidential politics.