Can You Buy a Car Without a License? – A Complete Guideline

It’s almost impossible to drive a car if you don’t have a license. But does the same regulation apply to purchasing a vehicle? Can you buy a car without a license? Similar to the challenges you’ll encounter to buy a car with no credit check, there a few hurdles when purchasing a car without a license. But that doesn’t make it impossible.

While a valid driver’s license is mandatory for driving a car, no regulation says you must have a license to own it. Buying a vehicle with no license may seem strange, although you may have reasons to own the car. You’ll still have to jump over some hoops if you plan on purchasing a car.

Even so, it’s fairly easy to navigate the process, provided you have a valid photo ID. Keep reading to discover everything about buying a vehicle without a license. Meanwhile, you could also check our resource on how to buy a car with a credit card.

Can You Buy A Car Without A License?

It is legal to buy a vehicle even if you don’t have a driver’s license. But how can you buy a car without a license if you plan on using it? That’s a different approach altogether, which we’ll cover later in this post.

In the meantime, you’ll want to remember that car-buying does not have one-size-fits-all requirements. That is why you can buy a car with no credit check if you know where to look. In this case, you could have a somewhat easy time or an overwhelming experience, getting a new set of wheels with no license. Let’s look at the hurdles and solutions to buying a car without a license.

Difficulties of Purchasing a Vehicle Without a License

No matter your reason to buy a car with no license, it’s still more challenging than buying it with a license. To help you navigate the process, we’ve compiled some of the biggest issues you’re likely to encounter when purchasing a car without a license. For each obstacle, we’ve given an ideal solution to help you work around it.

1. Car Registration

Maybe you are eager for a full response to the question, “can you buy a car without a license?” But you should probably be asking, “can you register a car without a license?” The biggest problem you will encounter when purchasing a vehicle minus a license is the registration process.

To drive on public roads, a vehicle must be registered by the DMV under its legal owner. The legal owner is the one whose name appears on the car’s title. If you need full ownership of the car, your name will be on the title.

Everything looks easy up to there. But there’s a caution. To register for your new car, you should have a valid driver’s license. This requirement can indirectly prevent you from buying the car for yourself.

The caveat only applies if you plan on maintaining full ownership of that auto, personally. But it’s not applicable in the following situations:

  • You are purchasing the vehicle as a present: You will register the recipient as owner. It means they must have a driver’s license and insurance.
  • Purchasing the motor vehicle for your business: You’ll register the car under your business, where all drivers have to be licensed and covered.
  • You are getting the vehicle as a classic collector’s item: Collectible cars don’t need registration as long as you’ll never drive them on public roads.

How To Work Around It

There are two ways to go around the registration hurdle if you’re wondering, “how can you buy a car without a license?”

  • Co-ownership: The first solution is to purchase a motor vehicle with a licensed driver. It might mean co-owning the car with a trusted licensed driver. Working with someone you trust is vital because they’ll register the vehicle in their name as title-holder. It means the automobile will legally belong to them. If there’s no close family member you can trust for co-ownership, get someone else and consult a lawyer to draw a contract that protects you if things go awry.
  • Business-class Registration: Register the vehicle under your business name if you’re purchasing for business use. This means only licensed and insured drivers can drive it, while your business maintains sole ownership.

2. Auto Financing

Most people are hardly able to buy a vehicle outright. Vehicle financing is nearly an essential part of the whole purchasing process. And it can be fairly troublesome if you do not have a license. Although, to be frank, financing can still be challenging even with a driver’s license.

  • Proof of Identity: In the absence of a valid driver’s license, you’ll need a photo ID to begin the financing process. It proves your identity is the person taking out the loan. You’ll get through this process fast enough even without a license. But things become complicated after that.
  • Proof of full legal ownership: Auto dealerships often provide expedited car registration services at purchase to simplify the buying process. You can instantly take the new vehicle off the lot without going to the DMV for registration. But they’ll need a driver’s license to register the car in your name. Taking a car loan with that dealership might be difficult because they’ll be aware that you cannot assume full ownership of a new car.

How To Work Around It

No rule requires people to be licensed drivers to purchase a car. Similarly, it is very legal for lenders like banks, credit unions, and car finance companies to offer you a loan for a car without a license. Most dealerships might deny you in-house financing without a valid license. But there are alternatives.

  • Business-purpose Financing: You can easily receive financing if you buy the car for your company, especially if the business has an excellent credit report.
  • Third-party Financing: There are plenty of third-party auto-financing servicers willing to work with you without a license. If foregoing dealer financing isn’t an issue, consider this option. But remember you’ll still need proper insurance cover for the vehicle before taking out a loan.

3. Auto Insurance

You must get proper coverage for your car before you secure financing. Auto insurance is also necessary to register your vehicle. The issue is that most insurers will ask for your name and license number when applying for insurance. They need this information to check your driving history and calculate your rates.

How To Work Around It

  • Explore more Options: You can still get car insurance without a driver’s license because insurers look at many factors to determine your rates. They solely don’t rely on your driving records. Shop around for insurance companies that won’t ask for your license. Still, you must offer an alternative primary driver. The provider will then use the primary driver’s records to determine your eligibility and premiums.
  • Co-ownership: As discussed earlier, you can also overcome this problem by having the license in the co-owner’s name.

4. Test Drives

Another car-buying challenge without a license is that the dealer won’t let you test drive it if you don’t have a license. Whether you are purchasing used or new, a test drive is an integral part of the purchase process. You’ll want to ensure the car is in perfect condition and that it’s what you wanted, before taking it home. A test drive can reveal some minor details that you wouldn’t have seen at the lot.

How To Work Around It

  • Bring your driver: The best solution is to let your primary driver test drive the car. Although you can’t feel what it’s like to drive it, the driver will help you determine if the vehicle is a great purchase.

Steps to Buy A Car Without A License

We’ve looked at some of the obstacles you’re likely to meet when buying a car with no license. Now, let’s look at the step-by-step process for purchasing a vehicle without a valid driver’s permit.

Step 1: Finding Your Primary Driver

Identify a legally licensed driver to drive the car and the legal owner of your vehicle. You can simplify the buying process by having one person to drive and own the car. Getting through registration and insurance processes will be a breeze even if you don’t have a valid license. Remember to get the driver’s full name and license number if you’ll set up and pay for insurance coverage.

Step 2: Shopping for Insurers

Getting auto coverage can be more difficult without a valid driver’s license. You don’t have to pay unnecessarily high rates as well. Start shopping for insurers in advance to find one that offers cheap vehicle coverage to unlicensed buyers. This is an important step since insurance is necessary when applying for auto financing.

Step 3: Searching for Private Sellers and Dealerships

You’ll want to do your homework and find the best dealership to simplify the entire car-buying process with no license. Fortunately, some dealerships focus on selling to unlicensed buyers. However, just because you’re unlicensed doesn’t mean you should settle for significant price hikes. Alternatively, buy from a private seller if you want to complete the registration process later on.

Step 4: Applying for Financing

If you can’t buy the car outright, it means financing your purchase. You can shop for dealerships that provide auto loans to unlicensed vehicle buyers if you need in-house dealer financing. The other option is to take out a car loan through a third-party provider. But even in this case, the creditor will need proof of insurance to determine your eligibility.

Step 5: Bring Your Primary Driver

Whether you are co-owning or buying the car for someone else, remember to bring a licensed driver when shopping for a vehicle. You can test the vehicle to see if it’s a good buy. Besides, you can avoid paying delivery charges to get the vehicle to its destination.

Step 6: Completing Car Registration

Whether you bought the automobile from a private seller in cash, or through dealer financing, you have to complete its registration. You can have both your name and co-owner’s particular on the title for partial ownership. But the vehicle will still be registered under your co-owner.

Bottom Line

We’ve given a detailed answer to the question, “how can you buy a car without insurance?” Overall, the auto-purchasing process is engineered in a way that favors licensed buyers. Fortunately, there are loopholes to work around the hurdles when you’re purchasing a vehicle without a license. We still encourage you to visit your state’s DMV site to review local rules and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I buy a car from CarMax without a license?

Yes. You can buy a vehicle from any dealership, including CarMax, without a license. Get a licensed driver to register as the legal owner and have both your names on the title. If you are buying it for someone else, simply use their details to complete the purchase process.

Can I buy a car without car insurance?

Yes. Although auto insurance is necessary to qualify for financing and registration, you can still buy the car using the primary driver’s insurance.

Can you get a car without a job?

Sure. There’s no law preventing unemployed citizens from getting a car. You don’t need a job, for example, to accept a vehicle for a birthday present. The only time you may not get a car without a job is if you are plan on financing it yourself. You must prove to the creditor that you can pay the loan; in which case it will be difficult to do if you’re unemployed. 

Can you buy a car from Carvana without a license?

Yes. You can buy a car Carvana without a license but use your primary driver’s license. You will also need the recipient’s license if you are buying it as a gift. 

What is the minimum down payment for a car?

Several factors work together to determine the minimum down payment for a vehicle. The amount will vary by buyer profile, model, area, and other factors. Also, a trade-in can have a significant impact on your minimum down payment. And depending on the deal, you can get a car with a $0 down payment, like in most sign and drive leases.

CarsPlan Admin

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