State laws vary so it will depend upon your specific state's laws if you can have sole ownership of a vehicle so that it is titled in your name at age seventeen (17). So you will need to contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles to find out if your state allows you to own a car in your name only at age 17, when you are still considered by law a minor.
In general though a juvenile cannot enter into a contract so thus cannot be a sole owner of a motor vehicle. A minor cannot normally actually own property. His or her parents technically own that property. If a parent will co-sign on a loan for a car, the juvenile can buy a car, but the parent will be the legal owner.
There can be exceptions to this generalization depending again upon state laws. For example Arizona has an emancipation statute for minors over 16 who can show they are sufficiently mature to handle their own financial and health-related affairs. Here a minor to petition the court for an order of emancipation. If the order is granted, the minor would then be able to enter into legally-binding contracts for the purchase of property, including cars.
Even those states that will permit a teenager to register a car will normally require a parent or guardian to sign on any legal documents or contracts since they are still a minor. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) states if you are under 18 and want to title a vehicle, your parent or legal guardian must complete a minor consent form. A parent or legal guardian must also accompany you when you appear in front of the Clerk of Courts title office staff to have a vehicle titled in your name in Ohio if you are a minor.
In most states if you are 17, and thus still a minor, you will also need a parent or guardian to sign on any legal documents such as a title to a car or an insurance policy. Most insurance companies will not allow you to sign by yourself on a policy until you are 18 and considered an adult. So the insurance policy may be in your own name at 17 but with the consent of an adult since they may be held liable for your actions as a minor if you fail to fulfill your obligations.
To find out for certain what your state's laws are regarding the minimum age requirements for owning a vehicle check with your Department of Motor Vehicles or like state agency. If you can place a car in your name solely at age 17, without any parents on the title or registration with you, in your state you may still need a parent or guardian to sign on your insurance documents for the auto insurance you place on the vehicle.
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