Can You Still Purchase a Vehicle With a Suspended License?

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If you have your license suspended temporarily, it could inhibit your ability to buy a car. Whether you will be able to buy a car while your license is suspended depends on how you will pay for the car and what the laws are in the state in which you reside.

State Laws

  • Some states require you to have a driver's license when you purchase a car and register it. Other states do not look at whether you have a valid driver's license when buying a vehicle. For example, in California, you do not have to have an active driver's license before you can purchase a car. Check your state law or call a local auto dealership to find out the requirements in your area.

Paying For the Car

  • If you do not have an active driver's license you may not be eligible to finance the car. In this case, you would have to pay cash to purchase the vehicle. Many auto lenders require you to provide proof that you have a valid license before you can get a loan. If you were to drive without a license and get arrested, you may then be ineligible to drive for some time. This increases the chances of default on the loan.

Auto Insurance

  • If your license is suspended you may not be able to get auto insurance. Most insurance companies will only provide insurance on a vehicle when you show your driver's license. If you do not get auto insurance, you may not be able to register the vehicle in your state. In this case, you will not be able to buy the vehicle until your license is active again.


  • If you are paying cash and purchasing the vehicle for someone else, you may not need to worry about whether you have a license. The dealership will not care who the car is being registered to as long as they get paid. For example, if your license is suspended and you are buying the car for your child, you could pay for it and then have the car registered in your child's name.



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