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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 118750
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I recently purchased a car without a drivers licence in the

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I recently purchased a car without a driver's licence in the state of Indiana. The dealership knew that my licence had been expired for over a year but they allowed me to drive off of the lot with it. After purchasing the vehicle I learned that I got completely ripped off, but figured it was my own fault and there is nothing I can do. However, the dealership has contacted me and said that it is urgent that I get a valid driver's licence. I know that it is illegal for a dealership to allow me to purchase a car and drive it off of their lot without a valid driver's licence, but are the legal consequences significant? I would like to use this as leverage to negotiate a better deal.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

It is actually not illegal to purchase a vehicle without a valid driver's license, it is illegal for them to let you drive off the lot without a valid license and it violates the loan agreement regarding having a valid license and insurance, which means you can be in breach of the finance agreement. The legal consequences are not really significant, since this is a contractual issue with the lenders they do business with and not a state or federal law violation.

The right to buy and own a car has nothing to do with your driving privileges. Thus, they made a mistake on the financing to allow you to drive off without a valid license, but the fact is that once you signed the contracts, you bought the car and they should have insisted you have a licensed driver drive off the lot.

Under the law, a used car sale is considered "as is" and without any warranty unless they gave you a written warranty to the contrary. A new car has a warranty for defects which the seller must repair or if it cannot be repaired they would have to replace or refund. However, the courts hold that once you signed that contract of purchase, you became bound to the deal and the dealer is under no legal obligation to renegotiate I am afraid.

What can happen if you do not correct the license issue is the lender can call the loan in default and seek to collect the loan in full or repossess the car until you comply and provide either a valid license or proof that the car is driven by and insured to a legally licensed driver. Thus, actually the potential consequences are on you and not the dealer for you not having the valid license I am afraid.

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