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Buying a Car with a Suspended or Learner License: The Legalities

— August 31, 2021

Make sure to check with your local state administrations and car dealerships to get the most accurate information about whether or not you are eligible to purchase a car and carry car insurance.

Buying a new car is an exciting thing, and many people look forward to being able to upgrade their day-to-day life by buying a new car. However, cars are not purchasable by just anyone. Some rules must be followed, and one of those rules is that you typically need to have a driver’s license to be able to make a car purchase.

Can you register a car with a suspended license, or do you have to wait until your license is fully valid to be able to make this purchase? Many people wonder what having a suspended license or learner’s permit does to their car buying capabilities.

Let’s learn more about whether buying a car in these situations is permitted or not.

Buying a Car With a Suspended License

Can I buy a car with a suspended license?

Yes. It is possible to buy a car with a suspended license as long as you are able to meet all of the other requirements of buying a car. In some states, this may require that you have an active insurance policy, which can be difficult to obtain with a suspended license.

From electric cars to beat-up used cars, you are able to purchase a vehicle as long as you meet the usual requirements of the dealership.

Maintaining Car Insurance

If you do still have an active insurance policy, you can purchase a car. There are no laws that say you must have an active driver’s license in order to be able to own a car. You cannot, however, drive a car even if you purchase it. You are not permitted to drive any vehicle at any time until your license is unsuspended.

Whether or not your car insurance will remain active while your license is suspended is dependent on the type of plan, the state you live in, and what company your policy is with.

In some cases, the policy may remain active but will be considered inactive if you drive while your license is suspended. This means that any accidents that occur while driving in this way will not be covered. 

In other cases, your policy may automatically go into suspension when your license does. This means that you may not be able to purchase a new car until you have an active policy, but that would be up to your insurance company and car dealership to determine.

Registering a Car

If you already own a car or just bought one but are now on a suspended license, you might be wondering whether you can register your vehicle.

In most states, you can register your car even if you have a suspended license. Your driver’s license is only applicable to whether or not you can drive a car; the registration is something else entirely.

Even after registering your car, remember that you are not permitted to operate the vehicle. Any other licensed driver can drive a car registered in your name, but you cannot drive it just because you are able to register it.

In some states, like Florida, you may need to re-register your car after having your license suspended or unsuspended. This is done to ensure that drivers pay all applicable fines and fees that may be outstanding before they get back on the road.

Financing Problems

The final issue that you might face when trying to purchase a vehicle with a suspended license is financing. If you are hoping to buy a car on a financing plan with the dealership, a bank, or another lender, you might have to go through some additional hoops or pay higher interest rates.

Why is this?

These financial lenders may view you as a higher-risk investment due to the nature of your suspended license. Pending the reason for suspension, this may or may not be the case. The only way to be sure is to speak with the lender directly and find out.

Buying a Car with a Learner’s Permit?

Photo by Arvid Skywalker on
Photo by Arvid Skywalker on

Can I buy a car on a learner’s permit?

Yes. In most states, it is possible to buy a car with a learner’s permit. Some states require that you also have proof of insurance when buying a car, so you want to be sure that you have this through your parent’s insurance or your own insurance plan. If you do not have this, the dealership may not let you purchase a vehicle.

Getting your own coverage as a permit driver can be difficult if you cannot go onto your parents or guardians’ plans, and plans for learner’s permit drivers can be quite expensive. This is because there is a higher risk to insurance companies in insuring new drivers.

State Laws Vary

Just as the rules about taxes, energy sources, and other things vary from state to state, so do driver’s rule licensing laws.

It’s important to remember that state laws, not federal laws, control driver’s license rules and car insurance and car purchasing regulations. This means that while all information provided today is as accurate as possible, there may be slight differences in your state’s laws.

Make sure to check with your local state administrations and car dealerships to get the most accurate information about whether or not you are eligible to purchase a car and carry car insurance.

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