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Can You Buy a Car Without a License

In many states, you cannot drive a vehicle without a valid driver's license, but can you buy a car without one. In this article, you'll learn how unlicensed drivers can purchase an automobile. You'll also discover how you may complete the insurance, financing and registration process without a license.

Can I Buy a Car Without a License?

Yes, it's perfectly legal to buy a car without a license. A driver's license allows you to operate a vehicle on the road; however, you don't need one to buy a car. Most dealerships will allow you to buy a new car as long as you have enough money and a government-issued ID.

Yes, it's perfectly legal to buy a car without a license but you can't drive the car.

Unfortunately, dealerships won't allow you to test drive a car without a valid license. Additionally, you can't legally drive your vehicle off of the lot, even though you've purchased it. The car dealership will have to deliver your new auto to your home. Additionally, you may have problems obtaining financing, car insurance, vehicle registration or titles without a license.

There are several circumstances when a person may make a car purchase without a driver's license:

  • You're disabled – Differently-abled people may need to purchase vehicles for their caregivers, even though they may not have driver's licenses.
  • You purchased a car as a gift – Even though you can't drive, you may want to buy a new or used automobile as a gift for a family member. You can put the vehicle in the person's name. You can also designate this person as the primary driver, so they can purchase their own insurance coverage.
  • You're using the vehicle for your business – You can purchase one or more automobiles for your company without having your own driver's license as long as your employees are licensed to drive. Owners can also register them under your business entity's name. You can use the vehicles for your company and purchase whether or not you have one.
  • You're a collector – Are you purchasing an antique vehicle or a collectible car? In most cases, you do not need a license to buy an automobile.
  • You have a hired driver – If you have a chauffeur or private driver, you can purchase a vehicle for them to drive you around town.
  • You have an underage child - Your teen may have a license but can't legally finance a car.

Challenges of Buying a Car With No Driver's License

Although you don't need a driver's license to purchase a vehicle, you'll still need a government-issued photo ID to get a loan, registration and auto insurance.

You can get a valid photo ID by visiting your local DMV and asking for one. You may need to present a social security card, proof of residency or other identification to get a photo ID. The requirements vary for each state.

1. Insurance Coverage

One of the greatest barriers unlicensed drivers have is buying insurance coverage. Many states require their residents to get car insurance before registering their vehicles. They will also need coverage before they can legally drive.

In the United States, one of the greatest barriers unlicensed drivers have is buying insurance coverage.

It's difficult to get insurance coverage if you don't have a license. Most insurance companies will require you to provide a driver's license number before they'll give you a quote. License numbers allow insurers to check your driver's history before they offer you an insurance quote.

Some insurance agencies won't insure you if you're not the primary driver; however, there are several ways to get car insurance without having a driver's license.

Use an Independent Agent - One solution is to hire an independent insurance agent. These professionals have vast knowledge about different carriers and their products. They also know which insurers work with unlicensed drivers.

Ask Another Person to Become the Primary Driver -Name another person in your household as the vehicle's primary driver. This person will replace you on the insurance policy. They will provide their personal information and place the insurance in their name.

This person should be a trusted friend or family member or else this could pose a problem. If you decide to use this option, make sure that the applicant has a good driving record, otherwise the insurance agency may not provide coverage. The insurance company will also use the primary driver's driving record to calculate the insurance rates and coverages.

Become an Excluded Driver or Co-Owner - You can buy a car with or for someone and ask the insurance company to add you as a co-owner. They can also list you as an excluded driver or non-driver on the insurance policy if you don't have a driver's license.

2. Financing

Another barrier that unlicensed drivers face is securing an auto loan for their vehicle. During the car buying process, most shoppers need a loan to purchase a new car.

It is legal for auto financing companies, banks and credit unions to approve your car loan, even if you don't have a driver's license. In most cases, you will need a government ID to obtain financing.

At car dealerships, some lenders won't approve your application if you are an unlicensed driver. Even though lenders are willing to work with people with low credit scores or tight budgets, they are hesitant to approve loans for unlicensed drivers.

Some financing departments believe that unlicensed drivers will only have partial ownership of the vehicle, thereby presenting a financial risk. If these lenders don't approve your loan, consider applying for financing through a third-party lender.

3. The Car Registration Process

Many DMVs require car owners to provide proof of insurance and a valid driver's license to register their cars. If you don't have a driver's license, you'll have to place the car under another person's name.

For instance, you may have to share equal ownership with another driver. Only share ownership with a trusted person, such as a relative, spouse or close friend.

J.D. Power says that drivers should use the words "and" or "or" between each owner's name. These terms are critical so the car can't be transferred or sold without your agreement.

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Can You Buy a Car Without a Driver's License in California

Yes, you can. California has a legal loophole that allows residents to use U.S. identification cards to buy or register vehicles. Unfortunately, if you are an unlicensed driver, you can't drive the vehicle you've purchased off the lot. California's DMV allows people to use the following IDs:

  • REAL ID card – By May 3, 2023, you must present a federally compliant ID (such as a passport, military ID, or a REAL ID) to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities like courthouses, military bases or federal buildings.
  • Standard ID card – After the May 3, 2023 deadline, the state won't accept these IDs for flights, but you can still use them to prove your identity and age.
  • Senior Citizen ID – Seniors 62 years and older can use a no-fee senior citizen ID card. It is valid for eight birth dates after the application date.

Can You Buy a Car Without a Driver's License in Texas?

Texas doesn't have a state law that prevents unlicensed drivers from buying a car; however, you'll still need a license to buy auto insurance or to register a vehicle, according to the Texas DMV.

You may be able to purchase insurance, but you'll have to exclude yourself as a driver. You'll have to provide the information of the primary driver of the vehicle to buy auto insurance.

Can You Buy a Car Without a Driver's License in Ohio?

Ohio allows you to buy a car even if you don't have a driver's license; however, you can't legally drive your car without a license. Additionally, you can't register your automobile without having a driver's license or a social security number, according to the Ohio BMV. You'll need a valid State of Ohio ID or Real ID card.

Get Coverage for Any Vehicle Today

You can buy a car without a license, but you'll need a valid government-issued ID to purchase get financing, obtain insurance or register a vehicle in most states. States like California, Texas and Ohio are representative of most areas in the country; In these three states, you don't need a license to purchase a vehicle.

If you're seeking car insurance for a new vehicle, SmartFinancial's insurance comparison tool can help you get insurance coverage at the most affordable rates. Just enter your zip code below and answer a few questions, and you'll receive a free quote from an insurance agent in your area. You could save you up to 40% on your car insurance rates.

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