Purchasing your own car is both an exciting and serious matter. While you are free to hit the open road, there is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a car owner. It’s not all about newfound freedom and independence. In order to actually use your vehicle, you will need to register it with your state and have it approved. Vehicle registration allows you to legally drive the vehicle on public roads. However, your car registration can easily be taken away should you commit a traffic offense. Dealing with a suspended car registration can be frustrating and overwhelming. This guide provides insight into what a suspended vehicle registration means and how to get it cleared.
What is Vehicle Registration?
In order to legally drive, your vehicle needs a license plate. To obtain license plates, you must complete vehicle registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Your license plates essentially mean that your vehicle has been successfully registered with the state. This is required for any car on the road, no matter what. States use car registration as a means of determining vehicle ownership. Your vehicle registration is crucial, and you must keep a record of it on hand at all times. Police will typically ask to see your car registration when pulled over.
What Happens When Your Vehicle Registration is Suspended?
When you have been notified that your vehicle registration is suspended, it means no one can drive that vehicle. Neither you nor any other member of your household can legally hit the road in it. You are being banned from driving your car due to the vehicle registration no longer being acknowledged by the DMV. Do not be surprised if you have to turn in your registration and license plates to the state following the suspension so you are not tempted to drive the car. This is not an unusual request by states, but full requirements may vary. If you choose to ignore the suspension notice and continue driving your vehicle, you may face fines, imprisonment, suspension of your driver’s license, and other severe penalties.
Reasons Why Registration May be Suspended
Your car registration can be suspended by your state for a number of reasons. It usually follows a traffic violation like outstanding parking tickets or failing to pay registration fees. However, the two most common reasons a DMV suspends a car registration is due to:
If you are caught driving without the proper car insurance or a license, the DMV will typically suspend your registration immediately. But you do not have to be convicted of a traffic violation to get your vehicle registration suspended. If you let your car insurance lapse, your car insurance provider has a responsibility to notify your DMV of the gap in coverage. This can happen, for example, after you fail to keep up with your car insurance premiums.
If you fail to provide proof of insurance within 30 days following the issuance of a registration card, the DMV is generally required to suspend it. Likewise, if you do not purchase car insurance within 45 days after the DMV has been notified, your coverage lapses, and the DMV is required to suspend your car registration. To avoid this, you would have to provide proof of car insurance. If there is an issue with your driver’s license, then you would have to show proof of license to keep your vehicle registration active. While these are common reasons for vehicle registration being suspended, they are not the only ones. Failing to upkeep your vehicle, like not fixing a broken headlight or refusing to obey traffic laws, can land you in an unfortunate situation with the DMV.
Can You Drive Following a Registration Suspension?
In short, your driving eligibility can depend on a couple of things. You still have the capability to drive. However, you just can’t use your specific vehicle. So long as your license was not suspended with your registration, feel free to borrow a friend’s or family member’s valid and insured vehicle in order to get where you need to go. The suspension applies to your car itself, meaning that no matter how valid anyone’s license is, the car is out of commission in the eyes of the DMV. The only instance where you are no longer a legal driver would be if your license was suspended on top of the vehicle registration.
Trouble With New Vehicle Registration
Some people think they can be clever about a vehicle registration suspension by attempting to register the vehicle under someone else’s name. For example, you may try to register the vehicle with your sibling, so it can be revalidated by the DMV. However, pretty much any state DMV will deny this new car registration filing if they flag it as being suspicious.
The DMV will not renew a car registration if they notice the following about the new applicant:
- Has the same last name as you
- Resides at the same address the DMV has on file for you
Either of these indicators will raise red flags at the DMV when you go to try to transfer a vehicle to another person in order to sidestep the suspended car registration. Typically, when trying to transfer a vehicle, you are required to sign a form stating you are not trying to avoid a suspended registration.
What the penalties are for attempting to avoid a suspended registration is unclear, but it most likely does come with serious consequences. Your best bet to get your vehicle registration cleared is by providing the DMV with any car insurance information and fees they request.
How to Clear a Suspended Car Registration
The smartest, easiest way to clear your suspended registration is to find out why your vehicle registration was suspended in the first place. From there, the DMV can advise on the steps you need to take to reinstate the revoked registration. In most states, reinstating your car registration will require you to either provide proof of car insurance and/or pay a reinstatement fee. For example, if your registration was suspended due to accumulated parking tickets, you would have to pay the tickets and then provide the required fee for reinstatement. If your car registration was suspended due to a lapse in car insurance coverage, you would have to submit valid proof of car insurance. For instances where the suspended car registration was as a result of driving without a license, they will typically require proof of a valid license, among other requirements. The DMV should be able to assist you and clearly lay out the steps you need to take to regain control of your suspended car.
Regardless of your driving history, Insurance Navy is here to help. We provide drivers with coverage no matter what level of risk they have. Get a cheap car insurance quote with us today. Quotes are available online via our website and mobile app. You can also give us a call at 888-949-6289.