Can You Buy a Car Without a License?

If you don’t have a driver’s license, don’t worry. You can still buy a car.

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Yes, you can buy a car without a driver’s license, but you’ll have to jump through some extra hoops to get it done.

There isn’t a law requiring you to have a driver’s license to purchase a car, but not having one could cause complications during the car-buying process, such as getting an auto loan or buying insurance. In addition, you may have to have conversations in person rather than doing everything online.

If you don’t have a driver’s license, you’ll need at least a valid form of identification, such as a state-issued ID card.

Reasons for buying a car without a driver’s license

Most people looking to buy a car have a driver’s license, but there are plenty of reasons someone who might not have one would still want to purchase a vehicle.

  • You’re purchasing a gift. You don’t have a license, but you want to surprise a friend or family member who will be the licensed title-holder.

  • You have a caregiver or a personal driver. You want to buy a vehicle for someone who has a driver’s license who will drive you around and help take care of you.

  • You’re learning to drive. You plan on getting your license, but you want to purchase a car to practice driving with a licensed driver.

  • You’re a business owner. You want to build out your company’s fleet of vehicles for your employees to use.

  • You’re a car collector. You want to purchase a car for your collection, but you don’t plan on driving it.

However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive or drive it back home after purchase unless you have a license.

Financing, insurance and registration without a driver’s license

Here’s the good news: It’s possible to finance, insure and register a car without a driver’s license.

Unless you plan on paying in cash, you may want to consider getting preapproved for an auto loan. Many online lenders don’t require you to have a driver’s license to apply.

If you arrange to finance at the dealership, you can present a different form of identification, such as a state-issued ID card, when you apply for the loan.

No dealer will let you leave without insurance coverage in place. Moreover, liability insurance is effectively mandatory in all states, and lenders typically require full physical damage coverage for financed vehicles.

Without a driver’s license, you will need to list a licensed motorist as the primary driver on the car. You would remain the “named insured,” or the person who owns the vehicle and makes decisions about insurance. The insurer may also require the primary driver to reside at your address.

If you’re an unlicensed driver, the insurer may ask to exclude you from coverage for damage that occurs if you are behind the wheel.

While state laws vary, registration typically requires proof of insurance and ownership but not a driver’s license.