Can I Finance a Car Without a License?

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There is no law that prevents you from buying a car without a driver’s license, but the reality is that you’ll likely have trouble getting financing, insuring the vehicle, and registering it with the DMV.
If you do end up financing a car without a driver’s license, you’ll definitely need car insurance for your new ride. With Jerry, you’ll be able to find a robust car insurance policy at an affordable price. Just sign up in less than a minute, and then this car super app uses your previous insurance information to generate more than 50 competitive quotes for you to compare.
Now, if you want to find out why getting financing for a car without a driver’s license can be difficult, keep reading!

Why buy a car without a driver’s license?

Here are some common reasons why you, as an unlicensed individual, might want to buy a car:
  • You’re buying the car as a gift for someone
  • You’re learning to drive but haven’t yet qualified for your full driver’s license
  • You have a driver or chauffeur and are purchasing the car for their use (and your conveyance)
  • You’re buying a car for your recently-licensed teenager who can’t arrange financing independently
  • You’re disabled and are purchasing the car so a caregiver can drive you to appointments, errands, etc.
  • You’re a business owner and are buying a car (or several) for your staff to drive on company business
  • You’re looking to buy a collectible car that you don’t plan on driving
While all of these reasons are valid, you still will have to overcome some obstacles if you want to buy a car without a valid driver’s license.
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Can you legally buy a car without a driver’s license?

Technically, you can—there are no laws in the U.S. saying you can’t buy a car without a driver’s license, but finding insurance, securing financing, and registering the vehicle may be difficult.

Can you insure a car without a driver’s license?

It may be very expensive to buy insurance for a car if you don’t have a driver’s license, and traditional insurers may flat out refuse to even consider you for a policy. Why? Without a license, insurers see you as high-risk even without driving the car. 
High-risk drivers usually get stuck with the steepest insurance premiums.
It might be a good idea to work with a private insurance agent if you are unlicensed. Private insurers know the industry and will be able to point you towards a carrier that will consider insuring you.
You can also add a co-owner (a spouse, family member, trusted friend) into the buying process, and they can be designated as the primary driver. They can apply for the insurance, as well, but make sure they have a good driving record in order to get a better rate.
Key Takeaway If you’re unlicensed and buying a vehicle, consider making a fully-licensed close family member or friend a co-owner, and they can be listed as the primary driver for insurance purposes.

Can you finance a car without a license? 

You don’t technically need to be licensed to arrange financing for a car, but you’ll need a valid photo ID at a minimum. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you won’t be able to prove your identity to the lender unless you have another form of government-issued identification, such as a passport.
You can also apply for a state photo ID, and, when acquired, present this to the lender in order to help secure financing for a vehicle.

Can you register a car without a license?

Some states require you to be licensed in order to register a vehicle, so check with your state’s DMV. Other states will allow a person to register a vehicle with another form of government-issued photo identification—again, check with your state’s DMV to be sure. 
If a license is required for registration in your state, you may need a co-owner to register and drive the vehicle.
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How you can buy a car without a driver’s license

The easiest way to buy a car without a driver’s license is to name a co-owner (again, a spouse, trusted family member, or trusted friend work best) for the purposes of insuring, financing, and registering the car.
List a household member as the primary driver for the insurance. A spouse works best and is much better than an adult child and definitely better than a teen driver. The younger you are, the higher your premiums will be.
Be sure to shop around and look for insurance carriers willing to cover a vehicle owned or co-owned by someone without a license. Again, work with a private insurer to steer you towards providers that will work with you.

Alternatives to purchasing a vehicle without a license

There are many reasons why someone might not want or can’t get a driver’s license—here are some alternatives if you don’t have access to a set of wheels.
  • Rideshare: Use Uber or Lyft and you won’t have to worry about paying for gas, maintenance, or insurance on a vehicle.
  • Public transit: If you live in a big city, look into public transit options. This option is less viable if you live in a smaller city or rural area.
  • Bicycle: A great way to get around town, lessen your carbon footprint, and get in better shape!
  • Walk: If you live in a big city, you might be able to walk most places.
  • Get your license: If you can, it might be worth it to get your license in order to get yourself where you need to go—in your very own car, no less.

Insure your car with Jerry—whether you drive it or not

If you own a vehicle, you need to insure it, and buying car insurance with Jerry is the easiest way to do so.
Sign-up takes just 45 seconds, and then this car super app uses your previous insurance information to bring more than 50 competitive quotes straight to your smartphone screen. After that, let Jerry do all the administrative work before you’re set to drive. No forms, no phone calls, and no hassles!
Best of all, Jerry users save an average of $879 per year on car insurance!
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