Can You Buy a Car without a Driver's License?

  • by: Patrick Peterson
  • August 17, 2020

There are no laws preventing you from buying, financing, and even insuring a vehicle even if you don’t have a driver’s license. You know you can’t drive without a license, but if you were wondering, can you buy a car without a license? The answer is yes.

There are various situations where you might want to buy a car without a license. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Perhaps you want to buy a car as a gift for a loved one or family member.
  • You might be a teenager who has a learner's permit but hasn’t yet earned their driver’s license but wants to have a car ready for as soon as you do.
  • Maybe you own a business and need to purchase vehicles for your employed drivers but want to retain ownership of the vehicle.
  • If you have a disability that prevents you from driving, you could buy a car for your caregiver so that they can drive you around.
  • Some people buy collectible cars that they will never drive but want to own. 
  • You have the money to pay for a vehicle but can’t drive it, so you buy it allow your child or spouse to drive it.
  • If you are an unlicensed driver but have a chauffeur who drives you around, you will most likely need to buy a car for them to operate. So that you can ensure the vehicle for an underaged driver.

These are just a few reasons why someone might buy a car without having a valid driver’s license. 

purchasing a car without drivers lisence

How To Buy A Car With No License

Buying a car without a license is not that difficult, but you should do some prep work ahead of time. Before you go car shopping or cut a check for the deposit, do some research to determine if you might run into trouble in any area.

  1. Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine what paperwork is required and if you can get all of it.
  2. Contact your auto insurance company and ask about their requirements and rates for non-licensed drivers. You will need to obtain some form of insurance policy with the required insurance coverages before taking ownership of the vehicle. 
  3. If you plan on financing the car, you might contact some local auto dealers and local banks or lenders to find out about rates and any specific rules you will need to comply with to purchase the car without a license. 
  4. Bring a licensed driver with you for a test drive and to drive the car home.
  5. Obtain financing and seal the deal.

Once you have purchased the car, you then need to register it and insure it. Some states require you to have auto insurance before purchase. It’s always a good idea before buying any car (new vehicle or used car) to perform a VIN check to ensure the vehicle is free of any defects, unresolved recalls, and hasn’t been in any accidents, flood, fire, or is stolen. 

Do you need a license to buy a car?

Can I Register A Car With No License?

Unfortunately, no. That is the biggest obstacle when buying a car without a license. Typically, a state registration must match the name on the vehicle title to be valid. If you do not have a valid license, you cannot register the vehicle yourself. The solution is to name someone with a license on your title so they will have co-ownership, and then they can register the car. Ensure it is someone you trust, like a spouse or family member. Each state has different laws but registering and having a legal license plate is a requirement for all newly purchased vehicles

A few exceptions to this rule are if you buy the car for someone else, their name will be on the title, and they can register it and get a license plate. If you plan to buy a collectible motor vehicle that will never be driven, you don’t have to register it all. If you purchase the car in your business’ name, that will be on the title, and you can register it that way. 

No Drivers License Required Car Dealerships

It depends on the dealership. Most car dealers will allow you to buy a new car but they will likely need you to present some form of photo identification so they can validate your identity. However, they may not allow you to finance the car through them. You may have to come to get your own auto loan from a local lender or bring cash. Be sure to get a completed bill of sale regardless of where you purchase the car. 

You may be able to find a dealership that will offer you in-house financing, but it is rare unless you have perfect credit. Either way, in most states you will have to have it insured before signing the paperwork. 

drivers lisence

Auto Insurance With No Drivers License

In most cases, yes you can get car insurance without a license. Insurance companies understand that there are situations where owners may not drive. However, because their rates depend on driving records, they may need you to provide a valid driver’s license number for the person driving the car so they can obtain that information. They want to know the vehicle will be driven by a safe driver saving you and them money.  The insurance company may also add you to the policy as an “excluded driver.”

No Drivers License Car Finance

Yes. Depending on the lender, you may have to provide various documentation, including some type of identification card to qualify for an auto loan. You will also have to provide proof of insurance and may have to provide a licensed driver who will be taking the car or truck on the roads. In some cases, a bank or credit union may require you to have a co-signer on loan, someone who does have a valid driver’s license. Without a license to drive, it may affect your interest rate on your auto loan. Lenders will also check your credit report, so make sure everything is good there. If you have bad credit, you may have a difficult time. 

Car buying without a license can be tricky but doesn’t have to be. You can't have bad credit or a suspended license without some issues. But, as long as you some form of state ID, the buying process should go okay. If you do not have any type of government-issued photo ID, when you buy a car without a driver's license it may be more difficult. Lenders and insurance companies need to validate your identity before putting their necks or money on the line with a stranger.