Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Bernard Juchli
You just bought a new car or a used car and wondering if it is possible to drive a used car home without plates or papers. Depending on your state, you can drive a new car home without plates in some states, while in others, you can get some other smaller requirements before you drive it home. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process to drive a new car home without plates, so you can enjoy your new ride with peace of mind. Whether you’re picking up your car from a dealership or a private seller, this guide will help you navigate the process safely and legally. Let’s get started.
You can drive a new car home without license plates. But most states allow you three days to drive the vehicle to your home, and you must have proof of insurance and an assigned title.
However, it varies by state because not all conditions permit you to drive home a new car with no license plate. Typically, every state expects you to register a vehicle with the DMV before moving around legally.
By registering, you will get a license plate. You can also get a temporary plate before driving a new, used car home. But while you wait for the license plate to arrive, typically by mail, you could go or tow the vehicle home if the state offers a temporary provision for plates or permits.
I have collected information regarding the laws governing how to drive a new car home without plates for each state. Simply scroll down for your condition and the applicable law.
How long does it take to drive a Used Car without registration?
3-60 Days. Usually, 60 days is the maximum number of days you can drive a car you bought without registration if you live in a state that allows this duration, and most other states will give 30 days. You should drive the vehicle directly to your storage place, and you must have proof of insurance and a properly assigned title.
You shouldn’t use the seller’s license placed on the vehicle while you drive it home, and the seller should retain their license plate.
In this section, I will cover all states and the respective laws to drive a new car home without plates. So if you are looking for a specific condition, just scroll down to the state and get more information regarding how long to drive a new car without registration.
The questions we have answered are:
- Can you drive a used car without license plates?
- How long is a temporary plate valid?
- Cost of temporary tags
Different State Laws to Drive a Used Car Home Without Plates
Below are what each jurisdiction has to say regarding how to drive a new car home without license plate:
Yes, you can drive a car without plates in Alabama with a bill of sale.
You are expected to obtain a license plate for a new or a used car within 20 days.
The 20-day tag in Alabama costs $2.25 and you will obtain the tag from a qualifying dealer.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in Alaska with a trip permit according to the Alaska Department of Administration.
You must obtain a full registration plate within 30 days. You may refer here for confirmation.
You can drive a new car home without plates in Arizona within 30 days after registration.
You require the 30-Day General Use Permit to drive a new or used car in Arizona. Of course, the permit lasts for 30 days, and you would have obtained a license plate within 30 days.
The permit costs $15. Visit here for information.
You can drive a used car home without license plates but with temporary tags in Arkansas. I advise you to check in with the local DMV because you can only drive with temporary tags in Arkansas for 30 days.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in California for up to 90 days under the current law.
However, you needed a temporary registration which you are to attach to the corner of your windshield.
If you buy a car from a licensed dealer, you can drive in Colorado without plates for 60 days.
You also require the bill of sale.
You can drive a new car home in Connecticut without a temporary registration, that costs $21 per 10 days to move a car in Connecticut without plates. You will pay $27 for a commercial vehicle with GVWR of 6000lbs or less.
Note that you will be charged 6.35% of sales tax for a new car less than $50,000 and a sales tax of 7.75 for a car higher than $50,000.
You can move or drive a car in Delaware without plates for 5 days. However, you will buy the temporary tag at any DMV office for a fee of $20.
You will present your bill of sale or vehicle title, Delaware liability insurance, vehicle identification number (VIN), and vehicle model/year.
You can drive a car in Florida without license plates for 30 days, but with a bill of sale and proof of insurance.
You may also buy a temporary plate for a fee of $15 and use it alongside your proof of insurance to drive in Florida without plates.
You can drive a new car without plates in Georgia for 7 days.
You need, however, your bill of sale and proof of insurance. You can as well secure up to 30 days upon contacting the DMV.
You can drive a new car you just bought in Hawaii without plates if you have the shipping papers, Hawaii insurance, and a temporary registration issued by the dealership.
If you are pulled over for no plates in Hawaii while driving to the inspection station, you will be issued a ticket that informs you to obtain license plates.
Yes, you can drive a new car home in Idaho without plates.
You have 30 days to move a new car without plates in Idaho and you will be fined $20 if it exceeds 30 days.
However, if you are a new resident in Idaho, you have 90 days to obtain permanent license plates at the DMV.
Can you drive a new car without plates in Illinois? Yes, you can drive a new car without plates in Illinois for 7 days and up to 90 days.
You need the Temporary Registration Permits (TRP) and you will remove the TRP when license plates have been issued.
The temporary registration permit in Illinois costs $10 each.
No, you can’t drive a car without plates in Indiana. It is advisable to drive to the DMV for plates in another car.
However, you may collect the 96-hour temporary delivery permit valid for 96 hours. And if you own a vehicle, you can apply for a 30-day temporary registration permit to drive the new vehicle home in Indiana without plates.
Temporary registration plates in Indiana costs $3 each.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in Iowa for 45 days. After 45 days, you will be charged 15% for late payment.
State laws in Iowa allow you to drive for 45 days without license plates in Iowa and you need a temporary tag to avoid being pulled over.
The cost of a temporary permit in Iowa is $10.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in Kansas. You require the 60-day permits applicable only to new vehicles that are not yet registered.
After registering your vehicle, the 60-day permit is no longer valid. You will need a 30-day temporary license plate to drive a new car in Kansas without license plates.
The cost of a temporary permit in Kansas is $13.
Yes, you can drive a new car home in Kentucky with a temporary tag valid for 30 days.
However, after registrations, you can only drive the car without plates in Kentucky for 15 days.
The cost of tags in Kentucky is $2.
You can drive a new car home without plates in Louisiana and you need the 60-day Louisiana temporary tag, which lasts for 60 days.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without license plates in Maine for 10 days with the 10-day transit plate. Maine transit plate costs $25 and you must carry the transit permit in your vehicle.
Also, you may not drive the car outside the routes specified in the transit permit, or risk a fine not less than $25 and not higher than $200.
Yes, you can drive a new car home in Maryland with the 30-day temporary registration that lasts for 30 days. The fee for temporary registration in Maryland is $20 and you may not drive the car without plates after 30 days.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in Massachusetts for 10 days after vehicle registration. You can drive without plates for 10 days if the registration is transferred. Moreover, temporary tags are not issued or recognized in Massachusetts.
Nevertheless, there is an exception; a non-resident of Massachusetts is allowed to drive without license plates using the temporary tags/plates issued in another state.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without license plates in Michigan, but within 3 days. And you must have proof of insurance and title in the car.
You may as well purchase either the 30-day or 60-day temporary registration permits to drive a car in Michigan without license plates for 30 and 60 days respectively.
The 30-day permit in Michigan is $20 while the 60-day permit in Michigan is $40.
You may not drive without plates in Minnesota unless you obtain the 21-day Minnesota temporary vehicle permit, which lasts for 21 days.
The cost of a temporary Minnesota registration trip permit is $15, plus a filing fee of $11 valid for 5 days.
Read also: no license required to register in your name
Yes, you can drive a new car home in Mississippi within 7 business days. New residents of Mississippi have 30 days of grace period to obtain their license plates.
The temporary tag cost $5 in Mississippi.
You, you can drive a new car home without license plates in Missouri within 30 days from the day you buy the car.
If you do not obtain your license plate after 30 days, you will be fined $25 on the 31st day.
Note: You can purchase a 60-day or 90-day temporary permit from a car dealer in Missouri if they are qualified, and specific conditions are met.
The temporary license plate costs $11 in Missouri.
There are ways to drive without license legally. And for Montana, you can drive legally for 40 days without license plates by displaying the 40-day temporary registration permit.
The temporary license plates cost $19.50 in Montana.
Yes, you can drive a new car home in Nebraska, and the grace period lasts for 30 days from the day of the issuance of the 30-day plates.
You need the title of the car to obtain the 30-day permit for driving without plates in Nebraska.
Note: Non-residents are to pay $20 for the 30-day permit in Nebraska.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without license plates in Nevada within 30 days with the 30-day movement permit and active insurance.
Moreover, you can obtain the 60-day permit that allows you to drive in Nevada for 60 days without plates. However, out-of-state commercial vehicles of 26,000 pounds or less may obtain a driving permit within 10 days of operating in Nevada. The permit costs $2.
Can you drive a new car home without license plates in New Hampshire? According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Yes, you can drive in New Hampshire without plates but you require a 20-day temporary plate that is valid for 20 days.
The temporary plates go for a fee of $10 in New Hampshire.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without license plates in New Jersey within 30 days if you purchase the car from a dealership. If the vehicle is not new, you are required to get a tag from the local DMV; otherwise, the police will issue you a citation if you are pulled over without license plates in New Jersey.
The temporary tag from dealers in New Jersey is valid for 30 and it goes for a fee of $5.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without license plates in New Mexico within 30 days with the 30-day temporary tag or license plate. If you buy the car out of state, you require insurance coverage and tile of the car.
The temporary tag in New Mexico costs $5 for every 2 days.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without license plates in New York within 30 days. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, you need 30-day in-transit vehicle permits (temporary registrations) to drive in New York after registrations. You may not drive without registering the car.
Also, if you purchase the new car in another state, you need the temporary registrations from that state to drive to New York and complete registrations.
The in-transit permits in New York cost $12.50.
Read also: a car can go in your name even with no title
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in North Carolina within 3 days before registration. After registration, however, you need the 10-day temporary tag in North Carolina to drive without license plates and it is valid for 10 days.
This cost of a temporary tag in North Carolina is $10.
Kindly refer to this official website https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/title-registration/emissions-safety/Pages/frequently-asked-questions.aspx
When the webpage loads, scroll to the FAQ that reads, “If the registration cannot be issued until it is inspected – and I can’t drive it to the inspection station – how do I legally get the car in compliance?” Click it for drop-down information. Trust sanedriver.com to provide updated information only.
You may further navigate to https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/locate-dmv-office/Pages/dmv-offices.aspx to make an appointment with the NC DMV for your temp license plate, which allows you to register the vehicle or smog it.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in North Dakota within 5 days without registrations with proof of ownership. After registrations, you need a 30-day permit to operate the new car in North Dakota without being pulled over according to the North Dakota DMV.
Meanwhile, if you’re driving the new car from North Dakota to another state, you will buy the 30-day permits for a cost of $5 at the local DMV.
Of course, you can drive a new car home without plates in Ohio within 45 days using the 45-day temporary tag.
The print-on-demand temporary tags in Ohio is valid for 45 days and may be issued by the dealership.
Dealerships buy the tags at the cost of $15 and may not sell at a cost higher than $20.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in Oklahoma within 30 days if you buy the car from a dealership that’ll issue you the 30-day tag.
If you buy the car from anyone other than the dealership in Oklahoma, you can only drive the car for 5 days without license plates.
You can drive a new car home without plates in Oregon within 30 days after registrations using the 30-day trip permits.
Note: The cost of the temporary permit in Oregon varies by the type of car. You may refer to Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without license plates in Pennsylvania within 90 days using the temporary plates issued by the local DMV or Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
However, if you buy a new or used car in Pennsylvania to be taken to another state, you need the 60-day Intransit Tags to drive the car from Pennsylvania to another state.
The cost of intransit tags vary in Pennsylvania; you may refer to Pennsylvania DMV for extended information regarding the cost of the intransit tags.
You can drive a new car home without plates in Rhode Island within 20 days from the date on the bill of sale after purchasing the car from a dealer in Rhode Island.
If you buy a car in Rhode Island from an out-of-state dealer, you have 3 days (72 hours) from the date on the bill of sale to drive the car without license plates.
If you buy a car in Rhode Island from a private party, you have 2 days (48 hours) from the date on the bill of sale to drive the car without plates.
According to the DMV of Rhode Island, the cost of temporary registration is $12 50.
Yes, you can drive a car you just bought from a dealer without plates in South Carolina within 45 days from the date of purchase on the bill of sales.
The cost of a temporary license tag in South Carolina is $5.00.
According to the South Dakota Department of Revenue, you can drive a newly acquired vehicle in South Dakota without plates within 45 days from the day of purchase using the 45-day seller’s permit.
After 45 days, you may obtain a 5 to 15-day permit from the county treasurer in South Dakota for a fee of $1 per day to drive if you have no license plates. You can only buy the permit for 15 days.
Yes, according to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, you can drive a new car home without license plates in Tennessee using the Temporary Operation Permits (Red Tags). Submit your application to the local county clerk.
Tennessee’s temporary operation permits cost a fee of $10.
Yes, you can drive a car you just bought in Texas within days using any of the temporary permits in Texas.
Texas offers the following temporary permits:
- 3-day (72 hours) and 6-day (144 hours) permit – $25 and $50.
- One trip permit: Valid for 25 days.
- 30-day permit: Valid for 30 days.
- Transit permit: Valid for 5 days.
The cost of Texas temporary permits varies. See official cost of Texas permit according to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in Utah within 96 hours to 60 days depending on the duration of the temporary permit you purchase.
According to Utah.gov, a temporary permit costs a fee of $6.
Of course, according to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, you can drive a new car home without plates in Vermont within 10 days inside Vermont using the intrastate intransit plates/permits and within 30 days for out-of-state using the interstate intransit plates.
Note: Intransit plates cannot be renewed in Vermont.
Yes, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, you can drive a car home without plates in Virginia when you purchase either the Standard Trip Permit or Prospective Purchaser’s Trip Permit valid for 3 days.
However, if you pay 1/12 of the fee of the motor vehicle, validity becomes 30 days.
The cost of the Virginia trip permit is $5.
Yes, you can drive a new car in Washington without plates within 3 and 60 days by applying for the respective permit from the Washington State Department of Licensing.
You can drive a new car home without plates in West Virginia within 60 days.
The cost of temporary plates in West Virginia is $5.
Yes, the state law allows you to drive a new car home in Wisconsin without plates for 2 business days before registration and up to 90 days with temporary tags after registration.
Yes, you can drive a new car home without plates in Wyoming within 45 days with the bill of sale and within 60 days with the title of the car.
You can as well obtain temporary plates in Wyoming that are good for 30, 60, and 90 days from the treasurer’s office.
Buying a Car and Driving it Home Without Plates
Sometimes, the law may differ between buying a car without plates within a state and out of state. In some states, you need special permits, such as in-transit permits to drive a car to another state, while some states provide grace days to drive out of the state without a temporary license.
A common thing is that all states recognize temporary tags, permits, or plates issued in the state you purchase the car.
The laws of each state also accommodate non-residents who enjoy more days to drive in a particular state without license plates.
When you buy a car from a person other than a certified dealer, you may not be allowed to drive unless the state laws allow an unregistered vehicle to legally be on the road for a limited number of days. How do the police know how long you drive without plates? They will determine the days using the date of purchase on the bill of sale.
Moreover, it is illegal to drive with the license of the person you purchased a used car from. You may use a different car to obtain temporary registration or obtain permits from the local DMV.
What Do You Need to Register for License Plates?
Depending on the states, the common requirements to register for permanent or temporary license plates are:
- Title of the car
- Proof of insurance
- Drivers license
- Report of vehicle inspection
- Bill of sale
- A stipulated registration fee (plus taxes)
To legally drive a car in any state, you must register the car. However, state laws provide exceptions that accommodate newly purchased vehicles.
For instance, some states allow you to drive for a number of days before registration for license plates while some others only permit you to drive the car from point of sale to the DMV or your home.
After the grace days, do not hesitate to obtain a temporary tag or permits or temporary license from the local DMV. I have listed the updated number of days temporary permits are valid in each alongside the costs.
Meanwhile, endeavor to drive the vehicle for inspection (not required in all states) before you register according to the state laws.
Do not attempt to drive your car without plates after you exceed the registration period or when your tag expires. Otherwise, you will be pulled over by the police and fined, typically in the region of $100 to $600 depending on the state laws.