Can I Drive A Car Without Plates If I Just Bought It? Here’s The Truth

So you have just bought a new car (used car) and are wondering whether you can drive it through without number plates or not? Let’s find out

Chances are your new car’s number plates are pending or the used car you purchased has its plates registered to the previous owner.

In both cases, you can drive your car for a few days, weeks, or even months but all this solely depends upon where you live and the laws. Continue reading to know more about this.

Can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it?

Vehicle registration rules vary from state to state. While some states permit driving a just bought car for a fixed time before the registered plates, other states may not allow the same.

Hence, depending upon your location, the authorities may allow you to drive your just bought car for a few hours or days without registered plates.

Or while you wait for your official plates to arrive, you can apply for temporary plates through the DMV or local transportation agency.

In fact, having temporary plates is a better option instead of having none. Once your final number plates arrive, you’ll have to register them with your state’s DMV or local transportation agency.


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Does the ‘TEMPORARY CERTIFICATE’ work?

Yes, the temporary certificate or temporary number plates do work for driving your just bought car without permanent plates.

However, the validity of a temporary certificate is just one month.

That is, you can just take your car out for one month without its number plates and would need to complete its final registration within the stipulated time frame.

If you’re unable to register your car for permanent plates during its stipulated time, you also have the option to extend the period by following your state’s process for the same.


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Driving cars without plates after purchase in different states

The following table encompasses the laws of different states regarding driving in the state without number plates if you’ve just bought it.

State Law for driving the vehicle without plates if just bought
Alabama You can drive the car with a valid sales bill and register for the plates within 20 days of purchase.
Alaska You can drive your car with a trip permit issued by the Alaska Department of Administration (ADA). Register for the plates within 30 days.
Arizona You will require a 30-day general use permit to drive your car for 3-days without plates.
Arkansas No permission to drive without valid temporary tags with a validity of 30 days.
California You can drive your car for 90 days without permanent plates but with a temporary registration, tag attached to the windshield.
Colorado With the bill of sale, you can drive your car for 60 days.
Connecticut Drive your car without plates at $21 per 10 days.
Delaware With a temporary tag costing $20, you can drive your car for just 5 days.
Florida With proof of insurance and a sales bill, you can drive your car for 30 days.
Georgia With proof of insurance and a sales bill, you can drive your car for 7 days.
Hawaii In Hawaii, you can drive your car without permanent number plates if you own the car’s shipping papers, insurance bill, and a temporary registration tag provided by the car dealer.
Idaho If you’re an old resistant, you have 30 days to drive without plates and it’s 90 days for new resistants.
Illinois With TRP (temporary registration permit), you can drive for a minimum of 7 days to up to 90 days.
Indiana You need a 3-day valid TRP if you own the car. Else, you cannot drive without plates.
Lowa With a temporary tag, you can drive for 45 days.
Kansas 60 days temporary permit and then 30 days temporary plates.
Kentucky Before registration, the driving period is 30 days with a temporary tag and 15 days after registration.
Louisiana A 60 days temporary tag is a must.
Maine You will need a tag for 10 days and after 10 days, there is a fine.
Maryland Drive for 30 days with a 30-day temporary registration tag.
Massachusetts In Massachusetts, no temporary tags or registration is considered valid for the residents. If you are from another state, you can use that state’s temporary registration to drive.
Michigan With proof of insurance and title, you can ask for a 30 or 60-day validity temporary registration.
Minnesota A 21-day Minnesota TVP (temporary vehicle permit) is a must.
Mississippi Old residents can drive for only 7 days and new ones drive for 3 days.
Missouri 30 days of registration is a must.
Montana A 40 days TRP is a must.
Nebraska Need the title of the car to drive for 30 days with a temporary permit.
Nevada Either 30 or 60 days with the movement permit and active insurance.
New Hampshire 20 days temporary permit to drive for 20 days without plates.
New Jersey Can drive for 30 days if the car is new with a temporary tag.
New Mexico Can drive for 30 days if the car is new with a temporary tag.
New York Can drive for 30 days if the car is new with temporary registrations.
North Carolina Before registration, you can drive for 3 days and past that, only for 10 days without plates.
North Dakota Before registration, you can drive for 5 days having the ownership proof, and past that, only for 30 days without plates.
Ohio Can drive for 45 days if the car is new with a temporary tag.
Oklahoma Can drive for 30 days if the car is new with a temporary tag.
Oregon Can drive for 30 days with temporary permits.
Pennsylvania Can drive for 90 days with temporary plates issued by the PennDOT or local DMV.
Rhode Island You can drive your car without plates for only 20 days without plates.
South Carolina 45 days driving period on the purchase bill.
South Dakota Can drive for 45 days with a 45 days temporary permit.
Tennessee Can drive using the temporary operating permits.
Texas Can drive your car with temporary permits for 3, 5, 6, or 30 days.
Utah Can drive from 96 hours to 60 days on the temporary permit.
Vermont Can drive for around 10 days without plates and permits.
Virginia Can drive for 3 days to 30 days (if you pay 1/12th of the motor vehicle fee).
Washington Can drive from 3 to 60 days with a temporary permit.
West Virginia 60 days is the maximum time for driving without plates.
Wisconsin 2 to 60 business days without plates and with a temporary tag.
Wyoming You can drive your car for 30, 60, and 90 days with a temporary tag from the treasure’s office.

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Conclusion

So, it’s possible to drive your car even if you don’t have its permanent registration or plates. However, each state has its own set of time frame for driving.

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