There is no minimum age limit when it comes to buying, titling or registering a vehicle in Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue. However, you must be at least 16 years old to drive a vehicle, and you can’t apply for an auto loan until you’re 18.
While there is no legal age to own a vehicle in the state, the Missouri Department of Revenue states the legal age of competency to contract is 18 years. Even though a 16- or 17-year-old can have a car titled in their name, a contract to purchase a vehicle signed by anyone younger than 18 isn’t legally binding.
As a minor, a teen can release themselves from the sales contract, return the vehicle and recover the purchase price paid, even though the vehicle has been used and deteriorated in value. For this reason, most dealerships or private parties selling a vehicle to someone younger than 18 will require a parent or guardian to sign the contract along with the minor.
If you are under 18 and trying to get a teen car insurance policy, you will normally run into the same problem since the auto insurance policy is also a contract. When purchasing your policy, the car insurance company will want an adult to sign on the policy with you, a minor.
Get a co-signor for an auto insurance policy
If you want a car insurance policy in your own name as a teen, be prepared to have a parent or guardian sign on the policy with you. There is one exception: If you’re a 16- or 17-year-old minor under the legal custody of the Missouri Children’s Division under a court order, you can purchase a Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan policy without a co-signer.
Navigating teen car insurance can be complex. By learning more about what type of car insurance coverage you need, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when the time comes.
You can also explore free auto insurance quotes — whether you’re a teen buying their first car or a parent shopping for better rates when adding your child to your policy as a licensed driver — to find options that fit your budget and situation.
— Katrina Raenell and Michelle Megna contributed to this story.
Resources & Methodology
- Missouri Department of Social Services. “Frequently Asked Questions: Owner Policy for Youth.” Accessed January 2023.
- Missouri Legislature. “431.055. Persons competent to contract when eighteen years of age.” Accessed January 2023.
- Missouri Department of Revenue. “Buying a vehicle.” Accessed January 2023.