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Can a 17 year old own a car in their name only?

It depends upon your state's laws if a 17 year old can own a car in their name only. Some states have laws regarding the minimum age at which one can solely title and register a car in their name while others states have no set minimum age in their laws.

For example the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) told us that their state does not have an age limit as to ownership of a vehicle as long as the owner can sign their name on the application of title. However a plate cannot be issued without proof of owner having liability insurance on the vehicle.

Insurance companies normally will require you to have a parent or guardian sign your insurance documents (contract) if you are under 18 years of age and thus still considered a minor in the eyes of the law. This is true in most all states and by most all car insurance carriers.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles a 17 year old can be an owner of a vehicle but if they register the vehicle they will need to have the minimum Virginia Liability insurance on the vehicle while the vehicle has valid license plates.

We asked the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles about the minimum age for being on a vehicle's title and their representative stated that in general when a person under the age of 18 wants to title a car in their name a parent or guardian must also be on the title with them.

The Texas Department of Transportation told us that Texas has no age restrictions in order for an individual to be recorded as the owner of a vehicle. They went on to say that insurance companies may impose age restrictions on persons they insure and may charge higher premiums for certain age groups. Since proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) is a prerequisite to obtaining Texas registration, an individual's ability to obtain this insurance may limit his ability to register his vehicle.

Keep in mind that in general 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.

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.

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). 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.

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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1 Responses to "Can a 17 year old own a car in their name only?"
  1. dad

    Can a 15 year old own and register a vehicle in the state of Texas?