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In Michigan, do you need a license to register a car?


The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) site does not state that a driver's license is needed to register a car, only that identification is needed.

The MI SOS notes that for registration of a vehicle, you will need:

  • Identification of who you are
  • The vehicle title
  • Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance. You must have Michigan no-fault insurance to register a vehicle in Michigan. Out-of-state policies will not be accepted. (Motorcycles must also be insured, but do not require no-fault insurance.)

Per Michigan law there is no age requirement for titling a vehicle in Michigan and no minimum age for obtaining insurance, in case that is the reason you do not have a license in which to show when registering a car due to being young to obtain a license or are still in the graduated driver's licensing stage.

However it is unlawful to knowingly sell a motor vehicle to an unemancipated minor without written permission from a parent or guardian. The seller must have a consent form completed by the parent or guardian of the minor at the time of the sell. By law, the seller is required to keep this consent form for 3 years.

The form needed to be filled out is titled Parental Consent to Sell a Vehicle to a Minor. It states right on this form that Michigan law requires an owner to obtain parental permission before selling a motor vehicle to an unemancipated person under the age of 18. The seller may comply by having one parent or the legal guardian complete this form. The seller retains this form for three years. The form also comes with a warning stating that this form does not change the contractual liabilities with respect to the sale of a motor vehicle to a minor.

If you are a minor you will also need a parent or guardian to sign on any other legal documents such as an insurance policy since insurance companies normally will not allow you to sign by yourself until you are 18 and considered an adult and require a licensed driver to be on the policy with you.

If you are 18 years or older and want to register a car but do not have a license than you should be able to do so however auto insurance will be required. It typically is difficult to get insurance without a driver's license since a driving record is a key rating factor to an insurance company.

A Michigan insurance law called the Essential Insurance Act however guarantees that auto and home insurance will be available to all eligible Michigan citizens. The law says that you are eligible for auto insurance if you have a car registered in Michigan OR has a valid (not suspended or revoked) Michigan driver's license. So while typically an insurance company does not allow you to obtain insurance without a license MI law permits this though insurance companies' guidelines can vary and they want you to have a licensed driver on the policy with you so as we mentioned earlier they have a driving record to rate on.

Get MI auto insurance low cost quotes here.


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