Is it possible to buy a car with an international driver’s license in the U.S.?
You may be an international student, expat or professional who has recently moved to the U.S. or is thinking about moving to the U.S. As such, you’re deciding on whether or not to buy a car to get to work or school. We have helped many foreigners buy a car in the United States. One of our most frequently asked questions is: Is it possible to buy a car with an international driver’s license in the U.S.? Can I register a car with an international driver’s license? We can answer that question for you!
Here’s the short answer: you don’t need a license to buy the car, but you need a license to drive it.
Can I buy a car with an international driver’s license?
Technically, you can get a car in the United States with an international driver’s license. Additionally, at this point and time, it is not legally required for dealerships to ask for your Social Security Number in order to sell you a car. Many of them choose to do it because they want to check your credit history. Or because they want to be selective about the people they sell cars to.
The most important thing is that your international driver’s license has to be valid, it cannot be expired. Lenders who specialize in providing car loans for internationals in the U.S., such as Lendbuzz, require a driver’s license for identity verification purposes. In order to secure your car loan, you are able to provide your international driver’s license. (Remember that it can’t be expired.)
What about registering the vehicle? Can I register the car with my international license?
Well, every state has different laws and legislation. So, it’s important for you to research the details regarding the state you will be moving to. However, there are definitely states where you can register a vehicle if you have an international driver’s license. In New Jersey, for example, you need to provide a form of identification to register a vehicle to your name. And that can be your passport.
Can I drive the car with an international driver’s license?
While the answer varies from state to state, you will normally need to obtain a state driver’s license if you want to drive legally as a resident. Additionally, some states require that expats possess both an International Driver’s Permit and a valid license from their home country. If you don’t have both, then you may need to apply for a US driver’s license.
Detailed information about driving as an international in the United States can be found on the US government’s website.
You can also read our previous post to learn how you can get a U.S. driver’s license as an international.
Finally, can I get car insurance with an international driver’s license?
Most car insurance providers require a U.S. driver’s license. So, you’ll definitely want to get a U.S. driver’s license in order to get insurance. And car insurance is mandatory in most states. We previously wrote a thorough guide on how to get car insurance in the U.S. as an international. Be sure to read that before finishing your research and car purchasing process.
What’s the verdict?
While it is possible for you to buy a car with an international driver’s license, and it’s definitely possible to get a car loan without a U.S. license, we recommend starting the process of getting a U.S. driver’s license. You will need it eventually to get insurance and to legally drive the car in most states.
A good idea would be to start the process of getting a U.S. driver’s license as you are researching which car to get. Or even before that. That will make the process quicker and easier for you. Depending on your country of origin, you may be able to just transfer your international driver’s license and get a U.S. license without taking a driving test.
We hope this cleared up your questions and has helped you in the process of getting a car in the United States.
We know that moving to the U.S. can be hard, but buying a car doesn’t have to be. Applying for a loan with us is quick and easy, and we’re here to help you. Click here to start an application and quickly get your rates.