While you do need a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle, there’s no law in the U.S. that says you need to have a license to buy a car.
In fact, with a valid, government-issued ID and proper financing, you can legally purchase a vehicle.
Why would you want to buy a car without a license?
It may seem counterintuitive, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons you might want to purchase a vehicle without a license. Here are a few reasons:
- Business: If you need a single vehicle — or even a full fleet — for your business, you can purchase as many cars or trucks as you need. (That is, of course, as long as licensed drivers operate the vehicle(s).)
- Caregiver: You may be unable to drive due to a disability, but you want to purchase a vehicle for your caregiver to transport you in.
- Collection: If you’re a car collector without a license, worry not. You can still purchase vehicles for your collection without a driver’s license.
- Driver: If you have a licensed driver or chauffeur on staff, you can purchase a car for them to drive.
- Gift: If you want to give a family member or loved one the gift of a vehicle, you’ll be able to do just that, provided the title is in the giftee’s name.
- Minor: Similarly, if you want to give a vehicle to a licenced minor, you don’t need a license to do so.
While you can purchase a car without a driver’s license for plenty of valid reasons, there will be a few potentially tricky areas you’ll need to navigate during the purchase. Those things include:
- Car insurance
- Car loan or financing
- Vehicle registration
We’ll cover how to acquire all of these things without a driver’s license below.
HOW TO GET CAR INSURANCE WITHOUT A LICENSE
In most states, you need proof of insurance in order to legally operate a vehicle (even when it’s driven by someone else). But when you don’t have a driver’s license, obtaining car insurance can be challenging.
When you need to get quality car insurance without a license, you have two options:
- Insure someone else: When you gift a vehicle or purchase a car for a caregiver, one option is to put the insurance policy under the name of the insured driver. They’ll need to provide all their information, along with their driver’s license, to the insurance carrier.
- Find an understanding carrier: There are insurance companies that are understanding when it comes to insuring unlicensed drivers. Do your research with a trusted car insurance broker to find the right policy that fits your unique needs.
In this case, you’ll likely still need to provide the name(s) of the licensed driver(s) who will be operating the vehicle. You’ll simply be listed as a non-driver on the policy.
Consider the driver wisely, as your insurance premium will be based on their driving history, location, and other driver-specific factors.
HOW TO GET A CAR LOAN OR FINANCING WITHOUT A LICENSE
Auto loans take a number of factors into account, including credit score and history . Depending on your unique situation, you may be the best person suited for acquiring the loan; but if you aren’t paying for the vehicle with cash and need financing, this could be another barrier to purchasing your car.
Here are a few ways you can acquire car loans without a driver’s license:
- Dealerships: You may find it challenging to work directly through a dealership, as they’re typically wary of unlicensed drivers, since it means that there will undoubtedly be a (potentially unknown) licensed driver responsible for the vehicle. However, you may find a salesperson or dealership who will sympathize with your unique situation.
- Third party: You can acquire a loan for your vehicle through a third party or personal loan, but know that they may require proof of insurance prior to approving the loan. (Refer back to the car insurance section for ways to acquire insurance for the vehicle.)
- Cosign with the driver: While this may not be ideal in every situation, if the driver of the vehicle will be your spouse or close family member, simply cosigning the auto loan can be a great solution.
HOW TO GET A VEHICLE REGISTRATION WITHOUT A LICENSE
Before a car can be driven legally on the road, it needs a registration from your state’s DMV. However, laws can vary state to state, so it’s important to check the applicable laws in your own state before moving forward.
Here are two options when it comes to getting a vehicle registration without a driver’s license:
- Name another driver: By adding another (licensed) driver as a titleholder (or co-owner) on the vehicle, the registration can be in their name. This option is similar to adding an additional driver on your insurance plan; so as always, be sure this driver is someone you trust.
- Your state doesn’t require licensed drivers: Some states don’t require that the vehicle registration is with a licenced driver; instead they simply require a valid photo ID. Double check whether your state requires a driver’s license or not.
Purchasing a vehicle without a driver’s license may seem difficult, but there are certainly ways around it. Start by learning what your state requires when it comes to vehicle registration and insurance, then get the help from a driver you trust to help you through the process.
If you need help finding the best auto insurance coverage for the best price, start by speaking to a SimplyIOA agent at 833.872.4467 or get an auto insurance quote online now.