What to Bring to the Dealership When Purchasing Your Used Car

When buying a used car, customers get swept up in the excitement of finding the right vehicle and often forget about the technicalities of the process.

There are several steps that need to be taken before completing a purchase, such as being approved for financing and test driving the car. Once a car has been selected, there’s paperwork to be added that is necessary to ensure the customer is fully aware of its costs and so the dealership can properly send in their paperwork to the DMV for registration. It can take the thrill of the search right out of used car shopping, but it doesn’t have to.

The Freedom

At DriveTime, we let customers make up their own order for the car shopping process. If a customer wants to be approved before they begin shopping, that is fine. We allow you to do this first so that there is no concern about finding the dream car and then not getting approved.

However, if someone would rather look around at our selection of used cars, trucks, vans or SUVs, that is also acceptable. We want the car shopper to make their car buying experience all about them.

The Requirements 

Once a car has been selected and a buyer is approved, there is a structure that sets in concerning the day of purchasing. To simplify the process, here is a checklist of items to bring when purchasing a vehicle from us (and most other dealerships):

  • State ID: This is not the day to leave one’s wallet at home. A valid driver’s license (or other accepted identification) must be shown at the dealership to purchase a car.
  • Proof of income: Either a bank statement or the stub of a paycheck will suffice. This verifies your employment and shows the dealership that monthly payments can be met.
  • Proof of residence: A buyer will need to offer a piece of mail from his current address in order to make the purchase. The best choices are a utility bill or your home’s lease or mortgage agreement. This shows that the monthly bills will reach the buyer at the address that was given in the paperwork.
  • Proof of insurance: This entails showing a valid auto insurance card. Insurance companies in some states allow car owners to make the transfer from the old vehicle to the new one in the few weeks after the car is purchased. Others may want to be alerted of the change immediately, and you will need to call the company while still at the dealership before driving off the lot. It is best to check with the insurance company before going to the dealership. If a customer currently has no insurance on a car, this too will require a phone call from the lot to set up insurance before a purchase can be finalized. DriveTime can help you obtain insurance if you don’t already have a provider.
  • Title for trade-in: If a trade-in is taking place, don’t forget to bring the certificate of title for the vehicle. Without it, the process will slow down while the dealership contacts the DMV for proof of ownership on the car.

Preparing for your trip to the dealership shouldn’t take long and can save you hours at the dealership or prevent you from having to make multiple trips. Get organized first, then enjoy the rest of your car buying experience!


  1. Marie   •  

    Does anyone know if a paystubs alone with my address on it is enough for proof of residence and income?

    • DriveTime   •  

      Hi Marie – Once you are ready to visit our dealership, we will require that you bring documentation to confirm your identity, as well as documentation that will allow us to verify the accuracy of the information provided during the online approval process (proof of residency, proof of income, proof of insurance, etc.) For a list of the closest DriveTime locations, you may visit our dealership locator page at: https://www.drivetime.com/dealership/find. This page will provide you with the dealership contact information, a list of inventory, and the option to schedule a visit.

  2. Thressa Norfleet   •  

    I only have a state ID will i still be able to get a car.I have check stubs and i was going to get the insurance from drive time

  3. Scott   •  

    This is a great list of things to bring to the dealership in order to make the process faster. I remember I spent hours waiting for the dealership to do all the paperwork when I bought my first car. However, this was only because I had to keep calling my parents to have them fax and email certain information over.

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