Can I Drive a Car Without Plates If I Just Bought It 1

Whether you purchase a car from someone independently or from a dealership, chances are that you’re looking to save as much money as possible. If you choose to buy one from someone personally, though, you’ll have more to consider than the price. If the seller doesn’t want to include their old license plates with your purchase, you may be left wondering if you’re even legally allowed to drive it. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to answer ‘can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it.’

Can I Drive a Car Without Plates If I Just Bought It 2

So, Can I Drive A Car Without Plates If I Just Bought It?

Put simply, it depends on a handful of factors.

While it’s common knowledge that you have to follow your state’s DMV regulations for your vehicle, not everyone is aware of the fact that recently-purchased vehicles are often an exception.

To what extent this exception is made, though, depends on the state. You can use this tool to find out more info based on where you live.

If your seller doesn’t include plates with the vehicle, you’ll have to apply for temporary plates by contacting your local DMV.

What If I Haven’t Gotten My Temporary Plates Yet?

If you do need temporary plates, you’ll often have to visit the DMV yourself if you don’t want to wait for them to arrive in the mail.

While some people may be apprehensive about driving their newly-purchased car to this facility if they can’t find a ride, it’s not something you need to be too concerned with at first.

Depending on the state, you have a short window of time where you’ll be able to legally drive your car as long as you carry the proof of purchase paperwork with you.

This is meant only as a short-lived solution before you get your temporary plates, as you’ll need to apply for your temporary and permanent plates as soon as you can. 

Some states only allow you to drive without temporary plates for as little as 24 hours, so be sure to stay updated on your local laws!

Is There Anything Else To Keep in Mind?

Other than acquiring the proper plates, you’ll want to have a trusted mechanic take a look at the vehicle if you’ve purchased one from an independent seller.

So, keep an eye out for a reputable car repair professional in your area to ensure there aren’t any outstanding issues.

Understanding The Legality Behind This Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information in mind, you’ll be well on your way to putting the ‘can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it’ question to rest.

Want to learn more info about cars that can help you out in the future? This article has plenty of useful information.