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Buying Your Next Car Without a License

Can I Buy a Vehicle Without a License?

Under the right circumstances, you can buy a vehicle without a license. If you’re considering a vehicle purchase without a license, you must prepare for a few obstacles. You don’t legally need a license to buy a vehicle you won’t drive. Not driving is the critical factor here. You mustn’t mistake your driver’s license for a typical government ID or vice versa. You can own a valid ID without having the right to drive on public roads. Whatever you do, don’t confuse your car ownership with the right to operate it. 

With the Right Money and a Government ID

The car dealer you choose is more concerned with your payments than all else. You’re required to have the capital to buy a vehicle and something you can verify your identity with. Your public ID must be valid and possess your name, address, and a clear photograph. In some cases, additional documents like utility bills are required. However, this isn’t always the case since your government ID is produced after verifying your residency, name, and DOB. The car dealer, ultimately, won’t turn down cash or stop you from buying a car. 

Registration

A driver’s license, likewise, isn’t needed when registering a vehicle you bought. In all 50 states, you have the right to register a vehicle without showing your right to drive that car. This doesn’t mean you have the right to operate the car afterward. Though you can purchase a vehicle without a license, you can’t own it in the state you’re in without registering it. Vehicle registration enables your local government to identify a car model, its owner, and its identification number. Lastly, your vehicle won’t receive license plates without you first register it. 

Insurance

You could face legal penalties when you own a car that is not insured. Not only must it be insured, but without insurance, your car dealer isn’t going to let the vehicle leave after you purchase it. Having a license makes getting insurance easier. However, insurers are private agencies, so you can get insured without a license, but you must, when applying, show why you aren’t licensed. If your license is revoked, prepare an SR-22, which is required for high-risk drivers. This document does not give you any guarantees or advantages. It simply states your driving history. 

Another option includes listing someone else as the primary driver of your vehicle. You can also list yourself as the excluded driver, meaning you verify that you won’t be operating the vehicle. Your statement here is that you’re not buying a car to drive it. Listing a co-owner is another option, but this requires another person to be a licensed driver. How you and that person manage your finances and insurance is up to you. Parked-car coverage is also available and obtained without a driver’s license demand.

Financing

For most vehicle buyers without a license, verifying their identities is the biggest challenge. You don’t need a driver’s license to qualify for financing. However, every agency, dealer, and loan holder is different. As long as they have another form of identification, most lenders are open to qualifying car owners who don’t hold licenses. All of the application rules, however, still apply. Good credit, a reasonable down payment, and a steady income are still important factors. 

For What Reasons or Why?

Your reason for not holding a valid driver’s license is a precursor to being qualified for purchase, insurance, or financing. In the case of insurance, for example, a poor driving history, with or without a license, will make getting coverage difficult. If you’ve never had a driver’s license before, you might be questioned heavily on why you’re trying to buy a vehicle now. There are several reasons why one would buy a car without a license. You might fall under one of these categories, so be sure to see the content brief below:

buying a car without drivers license

1. A car for someone else

Buying a vehicle for someone doesn’t require you to present a driver’s license. You can even register the vehicle in that person’s name. This will include state registration and insurance. Being the buyer, you decide on how much financial responsibility is yours versus the person receiving the car. Buying cars without a license is often a gift for someone else. 

2. Driver’s education

If you bought a car with the hopes of learning how to drive, then, as long as someone joins you, you can drive the vehicle as you work toward a license. This is often done when drivers learn about a specific vehicle type. Manual transmissions, for example, require a bit more skill than automatics. However, learning how to use a stick in a new car only makes sense when you have someone with experience to accompany you. Otherwise, the car isn’t legally allowed to leave the dealer where you bought it from. Both you and the dealer become liable. 

3. For a chauffeur or assistant

Some vehicle owners have professional drivers to operate their cars for them. A chauffeur or other assistant should be registered as the primary vehicle operator in these cases. If you need to build a fleet of vehicles for being driven, then you can purchase vehicles without limit. Remember that this doesn’t grant you the right to operate any of those cars unless you ultimately obtain the right license. Third-party services, similar to Uber, even offer drivers. 

4. As a business vehicle

Business vehicles cover various types, models, and intended uses. Be it for commercial trucking or for delivery services, purchasing a vehicle for a business doesn’t require a license. Business vehicles consist of large 18-wheelers, public buses or construction vehicles. These all require operational licenses and approved training. However, the owners of such vehicles and machines don’t need licenses to be owners. Buying without a commercial license is legal. 

5. Regarding car collectors

In other cases, a car collector, though enthusiastic about rare cars, buys collectibles without driving them. These vehicles are kept away in a garage or storage facility. These are ideal cases when registering for parked-car insurance makes sense. This insurance covers collectibles that people own but don’t see on public roads. In preserving vehicles this way, it’s unlikely that such an owner will drive. They can, therefore, bypass the need for holding a license to drive. 

Listing Others as Your Primary Driver

If you have the benefit of listing someone else as the primary driver of your own vehicle, then its registration, plates, and insurance can be obtained without a driver’s license. When listing another as the primary driver, remember that they are not the vehicle owner; neither do they possess most of your liability. This is because your insurer has to examine who you choose as the primary driver. That person’s driving history matters; not just any candidate will work. When being underwritten, tickets they haven’t paid or the violations they’ve made the count. 

A Few Steps to Remember

When you don’t have a driver’s license but are buying a car, be sure that you’ve prepared the proper identification. Driver’s licenses grant you the right to operate a car, but they also verify the identity of a driver. Be sure to determine your reasons why you don’t have one. You’ll be asked about your license from the dealer, insurer or when registering a vehicle. Though you can take these steps without a license, you need to anticipate a little push back. If you’re a business, simply show your business credentials and why buying a vehicle is important. 

If you’re buying a car to learn how to drive, work to get a learner’s permit before your purchase. Everything you can do to verify that you won’t operate a car or will with the proper credentials is necessary. In no case do insurers have to accept your request for vehicle coverage? When you have someone listed as your primary driver, be sure they have a clean record and can be trusted for responsible driving. In either case, take your time, and practice due diligence. Across all 50 states, anyone can buy a car without a license.

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