Key takeaways

  • You can buy a car without a license in most cases.
  • Buying a car when you don’t have a driver’s license will require you to use an alternative form of ID.
  • Getting car insurance for your newly purchased car may take more work if you do not have a driver’s license.

Yes, you can finance a car without a license. But to make the purchase, get insurance and register the car, you may need to provide extra documentation.

There are several reasons why buying a car without a license may make sense. Here are a few common ones:

  • You will eventually get your license.
  • You need the car for business purposes and someone on your team will drive it.
  • You will hire a professional driver to drive you around.
  • It’s a gift for someone that does have a license.

FAQs about buying a car without a license

While you can buy a car when you don’t have a driver’s license, you may face certain limitations. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to note that you can’t drive any vehicle without a driver’s license.

Every state has different rules and laws. Narrow your research to the state you’ll be purchasing and registering the vehicle in.

Can you finance a car with a license?

Having a driver’s license isn’t technically required to get an auto loan. However, you usually need some form of photo identification. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you will need to have another type of government-issued photo ID to apply for loans.

Can you register a car without a license?

When you buy a vehicle — either new or used — you need to register the vehicle and have the title transferred to your name. This process may be more difficult if you don’t have a license.

For one, registering a vehicle requires a photo ID. Typically, a license serves this purpose, but if you don’t have a license you will need to have another type of identification. Common options include:

  • U.S. passport
  • State identification card
  • U.S. Armed Services/military card ID card
  • U.S. visa

You may also be required to have insurance to register.

Additionally, some states may require a different registration process for vehicle owners without licenses. You may have to go to the registration office to complete the process.

Can you get car insurance without a license?

Most states require every car owner to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. And getting car insurance may be more difficult if you don’t have a license.

If a car insurance company agrees to insure you without a license, you must list a primary driver on the insurance plan. Insurance premiums could be higher if this person has a less-than-favorable driving record.

4 steps to buy a car without a license

The process of buying a car without a license is quite similar to what it is if you do have a license. Just make sure you understand the requirements in your state.

1. Pick your purchase method

There are a few different ways to buy a vehicle. You can buy a brand-new car from a dealer. Or, you can buy a used car. A used car can be purchased from an individual or a used car dealership. Decide what type of vehicle you want to purchase and where you will look for options.

2. Determine how you will pay for it

When purchasing a car, you can either pay for the vehicle in cash or finance the purchase with an auto loan. Auto loan pros include spreading the cost of the vehicle over time and letting you afford a more expensive car. However, taking out a loan means you will also be responsible for interest and loan fees.

Make sure to compare auto loan rates so you don’t pay more than you must.

If you pay for the car in cash, you may not be able to afford the same options. However, you won’t have any additional financing fees to cover. You also don’t have to worry about making loan payments in the future.

3. Find a vehicle

Once you know your budget and where you want to look for vehicles, you need to find a vehicle. Private sellers list cars on platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and car-buying apps.

If you want to use a dealer for a used or a new car, look for dealers in your area who sell the type of car you want. Shop at multiple dealers to find the best deal.

4. Transfer the title

When you find your car, you will need to transfer the title to your name. When you buy from a dealer, they usually handle this process. If you buy from an individual, you will both need to visit the registration office to transfer the title. Just remember, that the title requirements for purchasing a car without a license differ in each state.

The bottom line

Buying a car without a license is possible. But you need to know the regulations in your specific state. Knowing all of your options will help you decide the best way to proceed.