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Can I Buy a Car With a Suspended License

Can I Buy a Car With a Suspended License

Can You Buy, Register, and Insure a Car with a Suspended License?

Yes, it is possible to buy a car with a suspended license, but registering and insuring it can be more complicated. More details below.

Buying a Car with a Suspended License

There is no specific law or requirement that you must have a valid driver’s license to buy a car. In fact, I bought my first car with saved money at 15 when I didn’t have a license at all!

That being said, getting it registered is an entirely different story.

Registering a Car with a Suspended License

Most States Require Insurance

In most states, you definitely must have a valid auto insurance policy to register a new vehicle, which is what you will need if your goal is to drive on a public highway.

Since insurers generally won’t cover you if you don’t have a driver’s license, this is your major roadblock.


There are a few exceptions where you can register an uninsured vehicle:

VirginiaPay $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee
New HampshireDemonstrate ability to cover liability
MississippiNot required for registration, but insurance is required to drive
North DakotaInsurance not tied to registration
Exceptions to car Insurance Requirements

Options if Required to Have Insurance

If your state requires insurance for registration, you have a couple of options:

  • Get a restricted license: Some states allow suspended drivers to obtain a limited license for essential travel like work or school. You could then get insurance for this type of use only.
  • Add another driver: Have the vehicle registered and insured under the name of a licensed household member who will be the primary driver. But remember, if your license is suspended, you re still not legally authorized to drive the car.

Getting Car Insurance with a Suspended License (SR-22)

Most major insurers will deny coverage if your license is suspended because they have no desire to have any potential for liability if you decide to drive and end up hurting someone.

Your options are limited to “non-standard” high-risk insurers.

Even then, your rates will likely be very high. The insurer may also require an SR-22 certificate proving you maintain state minimum coverage.

Impact on Rates After Reinstatement

Once your license is reinstated, your previous suspension will still impact your insurance rates for 3-5 years, as insurers will continue to see you as a higher risk.

But let’s be honest, they’re always looking for an excuse to raise rates, so try not to give them one.

To minimize rate increases:

  • Shop around for quotes from multiple insurers
  • Take a defensive driving course (some insurers offer discounts)
  • Increase your deductible
  • Remove unnecessary coverage like comprehensive/collision

Additionally, dealerships won’t hesitate to sell you a car, no matter what the status of your license is.


you won’t be able to test drive the vehicle or drive it off the lot yourself.

Someone with a valid license will need to handle those responsibilities.

The Bottom Line

While you can purchase a vehicle with a suspended license, and belive me no car dealership will refuse to sell anyone a car, it will still not be possible to legally drive it on any public highway.

Your most feasible options are likely obtaining a restricted license or having the vehicle registered/insured under another driver’s name.

Even after reinstatement, expect to pay higher insurance premiums for several years due to your license suspension. Shopping around and taking advantage of discounts can help reduce costs.


Legal Disclaimer: This article, “Can I Buy a Car With a Suspended License,” by Steve Momot, is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice. Laws and regulations regarding vehicle purchase, registration, and insurance can vary by location and are subject to change. It is recommended to consult with a legal professional for advice specific to your situation.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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