Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2022

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The Short of It

  • You may be able to register a car without a driver’s license, as long as you have another photo ID
  • You’ll need proof of insurance to register your car, which may require a license
  • You’ll also need to prove that the car is legally yours, either by transferring a title or by buying it off the lot

Can you register a car without a license? What is the difference between a license and a registration? If you’ve recently purchased a new vehicle, you should determine how to get it registered in your name. For starters, you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper documentation and liability auto insurance before you even attempt to register your vehicle.

Since you can register a car without a license, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to discover what you could pay for a policy without a license today.

Can you register a car without a license?

Do you need a license to register a car? If you’re curious about how to register a car without a license in the U.S., it may depend on your state.

Most states will allow you to acquire a car registration as long as you have proof of insurance and a valid photo I.D., which doesn’t have to consist of the photo on your driver’s license. However, the real issue may involve obtaining car insurance without a license.

You may have an opportunity to insure the vehicle if you list yourself as an excluded driver. In other words, someone with a license would also need to be listed on the policy. This would be ideal for someone who doesn’t want to acquire a license but is willing to pay for insurance on the car.

Another option for obtaining car insurance for registration purposes would be to acquire parked car insurance. This policy will help you to ensure that your car is protected against damages without proof of a license. With this policy, the vehicle will need to remain parked for the contract duration.

What is a vehicle registration?

A vehicle registration connects you to your vehicle. It can serve as proof that you’re allowed to be on the road or to maintain state residency. In most states, your registration will expire every year and will need to be renewed at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In regard to acquiring your license versus a registration, you should attempt to get your license first. This will make obtaining insurance and registering the car more feasible.

When you attempt to register your car, you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper documentation. The DMV will want to know that you acquired the car legally. To do this, you’ll need to disclose the following documents:

  • Driver’s license or other photo I.D.
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of taxes paid on the car purchase
  • Car title
  • Proof of having passed a safety inspection (where required)
  • A completed vehicle registration application

Registering the car in your name means that you’re responsible for whatever that vehicle is used for. For example, if the car is found at the scene of an accident, you’ll be the first person that authorities will want to speak to about it. In addition, the police can return your car to you once it’s discovered after a theft.

Because it’s registered to you, you’ll need to prove that you lawfully purchased or were given the vehicle. The DMV will register your car without issues by establishing your identity and right to the vehicle.

How much does it cost to register a new car?

Each state sets its limits on how much a driver will pay when registering their car. This rate can be anywhere from $25 to $150 merely for registration. Some fees vary depending on the vehicle’s weight, price, and location. You’re not likely to receive any discounts on this price, either, so you should be prepared.

It’s wise to research how your state charges for vehicle registration, as it could have a significant impact on whether or not you’re able to register your car. It’s better to be financially prepared instead of being unpleasantly surprised when you discover that you don’t have sufficient funds to transport the car to a better place.

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Can you buy a car without a license?

Do you need a license to buy a car? According to J.D. Power, there are no federal laws about needing a valid driver’s license to purchase a vehicle. The real issue will arise when you need to transport it off the lot, as you won’t have a valid driver’s license. Another problem is that you’ll need car insurance before you can remove it from the lot.

Can I purchase a car without a license? While you can buy a vehicle without a license, you’ll likely face issues when you attempt to transport it off the lot. The dealer won’t let anyone drive a car off the lot that isn’t insured. Likewise, you’ll have a difficult time finding a towing company that will transfer the vehicle without any insurance on it.

Can you buy a car with a permit?

As mentioned, a driver’s license is not required to purchase a vehicle, and a permit won’t keep you from it either. However, you’ll also need to have insurance on the vehicle and someone else to transport it if you don’t have a valid driver’s license.

Can I buy a car without a license? You don’t need a driver’s license to purchase a car since you can have someone else drive it or transport it home. You will need to have insurance and a valid driver to remove the car from the lot, though.

How can I register my vehicle if I’m missing other documents?

Getting your car registered in your name is an essential first step in vehicle ownership. However, if you’re missing documents, you may not be able to register the car. If you’re unable to prove that the vehicle is legally yours, a rejected registration might be the least of your worries.

What are the different ways to register a car without a title?

If you’ve yet to do so, you should have the previous owner sign over ownership of the vehicle to you. Then, you can prove to the DMV that the previous owner willfully gave you a car with a signed transfer document. However, you will likely have to pay a title fee in addition to the registration fees on your vehicle.

You will need to ensure that you can meet this financial obligation before you attempt to transfer the title in your name. Transferring the title to your name is necessary in order to insure the vehicle and drive it on the road. If your car isn’t registered with your local DMV, you can’t legally drive it in most places.

If you’re trying to register a vehicle without a title, you need to get it signed over to you. Otherwise, you might be found in possession of a car that isn’t in your name.

What are the Different Ways to Register an Uninsured Vehicle?

While not every state will require proof of insurance, it’s wise to have it. Otherwise, you will need to prove that you have the financial means to pay for an accident. If you can’t prove that, you can end up paying for an accident out of pocket. But if you can’t afford to pay for an accident yourself, you’ll need to have proof of insurance.

If you’re trying to register a car without insurance, you’ll likely have difficulty getting it covered. 

Registering Your Car Without a License: The Bottom Line

Are you wondering how to register your vehicle without a title or insurance? If you don’t have the necessary documents to register your car, you won’t be able to drive it on the road. Make sure that you have a photo ID, the title, proof of insurance, and the paperwork to transfer the title.

If you don’t have a license, you may be able to get your car registered if you can prove that you have insurance, the title, and a valid photo identification.

Now that you know you can register a car without a license, enter your ZIP code to discover what you could pay for a policy without a license today.