Car Laws & Safety

Buying A Car With A Permit | Can You Do It?

As you transition from a learner driver to a licensed driver, you may wish to move forward and purchase a vehicle. This may prove challenging, if not impossible, for you if you live in some states. However, over 25 states make it a little easier for you. 

The act of purchasing a car has multiple steps. Each could affect your journey to buying a vehicle with a learner’s permit, including financing a vehicle through a dealership, insuring your new vehicle, and registering your vehicle with the state.

While some restrictions depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy a car with a learner’s permit 

  1. if you plan to pay with cash at a dealership
  2. Plan to purchase from an individual
  3. Have a third party with a valid driver’s license who can transport your vehicle home

Even though it is possible to purchase a vehicle with a learner’s permit, buying a car has many steps. You could be stuck at any one of these steps if you attempt to buy a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. 

Several things will affect your ability to purchase a vehicle with only a permit. The biggest of these factors is which state you live in. 

What Is the Difference Between a Permit, a License, and a Non-Driver’s ID? 

A driver’s license is a state-issued ID that serves as your proof of ability to drive a vehicle. There are several state-issued IDs; however, only a driver’s license proves you can operate a motor vehicle.  There are rare cases where you can buy a car with a suspended license

A driving permit is a state-issued ID that designates you as a learner driver and cannot be used to operate a vehicle independently of a third party.

Any adult over the age of 18 with a valid driver’s license can be used to monitor a permit driver. While you cannot drive alone, your driver’s permit can serve as a state-issued photo ID, which you will need to buy and register your car. 

All states offer residents the option to have a non-driver identification card which is obtained at the DMV. You will have to submit your proof of identification, including your birth certificate, social security card, and proof of residence in the state.

After filling out an application and a small application fee, you will get your photo taken. Then, they will print you a photo identification card. This is not a valid driver’s license. However, it can serve as a photo ID. 

How Do You Get a Permit? 

All states have different requirements for getting a permit. You will need to provide proof of identity, which will include your birth certificate, social security card, and other documents. 

You will also be required to pass the written driver’s test. This test is controlled by each state. You can find study guides for your state’s driving test online or at your local DMV. 

Once you pass the written test, your state will print you your permit. 

In addition, some states require you to take a driver’s education course. Many public schools offer this class to students over the age of 15. You can also find driving schools outside of the public education system. These classes often last four to six weeks, with three driving days a week.

At the end of the course, you will get a certificate of completion from your instructor. Your driver’s certificate from your driver’s ed course can also be sued to reduce your insurance premiums. 

Buying A Car With A Permit 

There are two ways to buy a car: either from a dealership or an individual. If you plan to buy a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, it may be easiest to buy your car from an individual. However, if you can find a dealership that will work with you, it could be the fastest option. 

1.Buying a Car at a Dealership

Dealerships are often the preferred place to go when buying a vehicle because they have streamlined the process. 

  •  They can often offer you the best deals on previously owned vehicles 
  • provide financing on new or used vehicles
  • fill out registration paperwork same day 
  • connect you with insurance policies 

Most dealerships will claim they need to photocopy your ID when you go to purchase a vehicle. However, they really need proof of your identity, which can be guaranteed using any government form of photo id.

If you are not intending to take the vehicle for a test drive, you do not have to present your driver’s license to the dealership. However, it is not recommended to purchase a car you have not driven.

Have The Car Delivered By The Dealership 

Also, many dealerships will not release your vehicle to you without a driver’s license. One way around this is to have your car delivered to your address after purchase. Another option is to bring someone with a valid driver’s license to drive the vehicle after you purchase it.  

Plan to purchase from a dealership without a valid driver’s license. You should be direct with the salesperson, who can then explain the process of buying a car without a permit at their establishment. They may also have other policies preventing them from selling you a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Still, there are typically different ways around them. 

Also, remember that dealerships are businesses, each with its own set of procedures and policies. If one says they cannot sell to you, it doesn’t mean another one cannot. So shop around and find the business that will work with you. 

Pay Cash To Avoid Complications 

The simplest way to purchase a car with a driver’s permit or state ID is to pay in cash. However, you will still have to show proof of insurance, and you will still be required to register your vehicle with your state before you can drive away with your new car. 

One of the most significant benefits of paying cash for your car is saving money overall. And you do not have to jump through hoops to get a loan without a valid driver’s license. You will also have more leverage to reduce the cost of your vehicle by offering cash. 

Even if you are paying cash for a vehicle, you will have to show proof of insurance. If you already have insurance, you simply offer your existing policy, updated quickly to cover your new vehicle. However, if you do not and only have a permit, you will need to procure insurance on the car you intend to purchase before leaving the dealership. 

Even if you plan to pay in cash for your car, you will have to have a licensed driver deliver your vehicle to you after your purchase. 

How to Get a Loan With a Permit

Some dealerships will disqualify you for an auto loan without a valid driver’s license. However, so long as you have excellent credit and are a cosigner, you may be able to qualify for the loan regardless of the driver’s license.

In either case, you will have to have a valid government-issued ID. Some will allow you to use your permit. Others will require a different state ID. 

What you need to get a loan at the dealership

  • Paystub for the year to date or a W2
  • A down payment
  • cosigner
  • proof of insurance
  • a person with a valid driver’s license to take possession of the car

Some dealerships will not grant you financing for your vehicle without a valid driver’s license. In this case, you can also apply for an auto loan through a bank or other establishment.

Some may be willing to work with you, so long as you can provide a valid state ID and excellent credit history, and a year’s pay stub to prove your income. Dealership auto loans must have excellent credit for this.

What you need to apply for a loan through a bank 

  • Paystub for the year to date/ or w2 from last year.
  • Have a down payment even if it is not required
  • cosigner.
  • Proof of insurance

2.Buying a Car From an Individual With Cash

When purchasing a vehicle from an individual, you are required to validate the identity of each party. This will authenticate the bill of sale, which you will use to transfer the title to your name. 

You must have the title in your name before you can register the vehicle. In addition, you cannot drive a car until it is registered with the state and has valid tags. After purchasing a vehicle from an individual, you typically have a grace period of 60 days to get the proper paperwork. After that, you will be in violation and could face expensive penalties. 

Most people who are purchasing a vehicle from an individual will buy it with cash. However, if you buy with cash, little prevents you from buying a car without a license. 

When exchanging the money for the bill of sale from the seller of the vehicle, you will have to use the services of a notary, who will sign the paperwork, validating the signatures of both parties. To validate the signatures, you will have to show a government-issued ID. Your permit or a non-driving state ID card can be used for this process. 

Some individuals may not be comfortable selling a vehicle to someone without a valid driver’s license. This is due to the possibility of liability issues. So be upfront about having only a permit and the time frame of when you will acquire your driver’s license. 

3.Buying a Car From an Individual With a Loan

If you buy a vehicle from an individual and intend to use a loan, you will have to acquire your loan first and get the cashier’s check. Most loan establishments will allow you to use any government-issued ID to receive your loan. However, some may request a valid driver’s license. If you are told you must have a valid driver’s license to acquire the loan, you can always apply for your loan from another bank or institution. Each has its own policies and procedures for the loan application process. 

Registering Your Car With Permit 

Many states will allow you to register your car if you have a state-issued id other than a driver’s license, a permit included. You cannot drive your new vehicle until you have a valid driver’s license, a third party with your permit, And a registered vehicle. 

All states have different requirements for registering your car. The basics include a state-issued ID, proof of residency, insurance, and title or proof of ownership. When purchasing a vehicle in a dealership, they provide your documents to the DMV.

Your license plate, tag, and registration will then be delivered to your home. However, if you do not have a valid driver’s license, they may require you to submit your paperwork separately. 

What you Will Need to Register Your Vehicle.

  1. Driver’s license or identification card
  2. Proof of insurance
  3. Proof of sales tax payment 
  4. Car title or signed lease agreement.
  5. Evidence of a passed safety inspection is required in your state.

Some states require a valid driver’s license to register your vehicle. In this case, you may purchase the car, but you will have to wait to get registration and tags until you get your driver’s license.

However, some states will use any state-issued id card to register a vehicle. Therefore you may be able to purchase your car and register it with your permit. 

The following states will allow you to register a vehicle using any proof of ID. This means that they should allow you to register your car using a non-driver’s ID card or a driver’s permit.

However, you should check with your local DMV to see what other documents they may need to register your vehicle. 

States That Do Not Require a Driver’s License to Register a Vehicle

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana 
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi 
  • Missouri 
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey (but you must include 6 points of id)
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania 
  • South Carolina 
  • Texas 
  • Utah 
  • Vermont 
  • Vergina
  • West Virginia 
  • Wisconsin 
  • Wyoming 

Getting Insurance While In Permit Status 

Another item you must acquire to purchase a vehicle is Proof of Insurance. You will also need this to register your vehicle. If you are not a registered driver, you can buy learner driver’s insurance for your personal car, although it can be more expensive. 

If you get your driver’s license within 30 to 45 days of purchasing your insurance, you can get regular driver’s insurance for your vehicle. However, if you fail to provide your new driver’s license information within 45 days, you may lose your insurance. 

Most of the larger insurance companies will not provide policies for non-licensed drivers. Therefore, you will most likely have to get your policy from a smaller regional insurer. Unfortunately, these policies are often more expensive. And you may be required to have a cosigner for your insurance policy as well. 

Most dealerships will also work with you to get your insurance purchased or updated before leaving the dealership. However, when purchasing insurance with only a driver’s permit, you should not leave it up to the dealerships.

They often work with the largest companies and may not be able to help you find an insurer who will cover you. So get your insurance policy first to reduce the difficulty of buying your car. 

Whether buying a car with cash or financing with a loan, you must show proof of insurance to buy a car. 

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