Buying a vehicle while your driver’s license is suspended complicates the process at best, and is impossible to complete at worst. Whether or not you’ll be able to do so depends on state law, dealership policy, the reason for the suspension and who the car is for. You generally don’t need a valid driver’s license to buy a car — but you do need one to register, insure and drive it.
Buying for Someone Else
You’ll have the best chance of purchasing a car with a suspended license if you’re buying the vehicle for someone else. If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle for a child or spouse, and register the vehicle in that individual’s name, you’ll likely be able to complete the purchase. You still won’t be allowed to drive the vehicle, of course, so if you’re purchasing the car for a minor child, someone else will need to drive it off the lot.
Purchasing for Yourself
Most state laws don’t prohibit the purchase of a vehicle with a suspended license. Many states even offer provisions that allow residents to drive with a suspended license in restricted circumstances, like too and from work, medical appointments or court-ordered activities. You still, however, have to fulfill the other state requirements, such as registering the car and getting it insured. Pennsylvania, for example, has no law that prevents it, though you have to provide proof of insurance. You might be able to purchase a vehicle, but registration and insurance is another matter. Florida won’t issue tags for your car with certain kind of suspensions.
Financing the Car
Financing a vehicle while your license is suspended can be a deal-breaker, depending on the policies followed by the particular lender and dealership. It can be a red flag for lenders, particularly if the suspension is the result of a serious motor vehicle offense and the lender is concerned that you may get behind the wheel again. Some banks may be willing to provide the loan, depending on your relationship with them. If your suspension is for something other than a major offense, note the reason and explain how you plan to correct the situation. If not, you have to wait until your suspension is lifted, or find another way to pay for the car.