What Happens If My Vehicle Registration Expires?

FindLaw explains that drivers can be penalized for driving a vehicle with an expired registration. The severity of the penalty may depend on how long the registration has been expired. For example, the driver can receive a non-moving violation for a registration that expired less than six months ago and a moving violation for a registration that expired more than six months ago.

Expired registration violations and penalties can potentially show up on a driver’s record, which might result in increased auto insurance premiums, according to FindLaw. The traffic laws in a majority of states differentiate between drivers who are operating an unregistered vehicle and operating a vehicle without having proof of registration. For instance, the vehicle’s registration may not be expired, but the driver might not have the current registration tag stickers displayed on the vehicle.

According to FindLaw, there are certain vehicles that aren’t required to be registered in a majority of states. Such vehicles include stored vehicles, off-highway vehicles and vehicles that have been registered with the department of motor vehicles as not operating.

DMV.org states that a majority of states have a grace period that allows motorists to drive a vehicle with an expired registration for a specific amount of time, such as five days or a month. Drivers should check with their state’s department of motor vehicles to see how much of a grace period they have and how much they could have to pay for late registration.