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We are planning a 21 day road trip around Nevada, California, Utah and Arizona. As we are under 21 we cannot hire a car so our only option is to buy a second hand one and sell it again at the next of the trip.

  1. Can we buy a car in Nevada with a UK license?
  2. Do we have to register the car if we will only own it for 20 days?
  3. Can we get insurance online and drive it the same day?
  4. If we do not need to register it, do we need any permits instead?
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    "As we are under 21 we cannot hire a car" - Check out Turo - peer to peer hosts can rent cars to drivers 18+
    – Midavalo
    Jan 12 at 14:43
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Take a look at https://dmvnv.com/nvregreq.htm

Can we buy a car in Nevada with a UK license?

Yes. Sellers don't care about your license, they just care about whether you can pay what they want

Do we have to register the car if we will only own it for 20 days?

Yes. A car must be registered and insured to be legally driven

Can we get insurance online and drive it the same day?

Maybe. You probably need to have the insurance worked out upfront and a good insurance broker may be able to handle the transaction in a single day.

If we do not need to register it, do we need any permits instead?

You need to register it.

Buying is easy, registering and insuring is hard. For registration you need a physical Nevada address and it's unclear (to me) whether you need a Nevada license or not. Covid further complicates matter: some DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) locations may have restrictions, modified opening times, require appointments and/or are closed altogether and this can change on short notice.

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    The link states under the "Private Sales" section that the "Vehicle must be registered within 30 days of the purchase... The buyer must obtain insurance prior to driving the vehicle on any public street." This suggests that you can drive the car for the first 30 days without registration so long as you have insurance. If you sell the car before the 30 days is up, I'm not sure registration is required - you don't have to register it before 30 days, and I doubt you could register it after selling it. Either way, it is possible to legally drive a car with no registration. Jan 12 at 15:20
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    @NuclearHoagie Technically that may be true, but imagine how to answer this question when pulled over "License and registration please", and what the ramifications of not doing so may be. Some LEO seem ignorant of the law and also dislike their ego being challenged when confronted with facts.
    – Peter M
    Jan 12 at 15:49
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    @PeterM Seems simple enough - "I bought the car recently and am still within the 30-day window to register it. Here's the bill of sale with the purchase date." I guess you could get some hassle, but are legally in the clear. Jan 12 at 16:08
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    @NuclearHoagie If by hassle you mean handcuffed, potentially arrested and spending time in jail until you manage to post bail, sure .. go for it. (And I am not exaggerating with that list of possibilities. There are many examples on youtube of simple stops turning into horrendous messes. As a collection of examples, check out the Audit the Audit channel)
    – Peter M
    Jan 12 at 16:15
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    @NuclearHoagie, You can only drive an unregistered car if you have a movement permit (which is only valid for driving in Nevada). The section that says you have 30 days to register the car also says you have only 3 days to get a movement permit, so you aren't really free to drive the car anywhere you want for the first 30 days. The 30 days is to allow you time to pass an emissions test and get a VIN inspection if you need to for registration, the movement permit lets you drive the car to get those done.
    – Dennis
    Jan 13 at 2:06

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