For every action, there’s a reaction. If you regularly drink water, you’ll stay hydrated. If you work out consistently, you’ll get in shape. And if you get enough sleep, you’ll wake up refreshed.
These basic truths are obvious. Knowing that there’s a reaction for every action is to be expected, and that’s why it should come as no surprise to learn this: if you don’t renew your vehicle registration, you’ll face penalties.
Usually, it’s easy to remember to do the necessary things in life, like taking care of your health and wellness. But when it comes to the not-so-every-day-things, like renewing your vehicle registration, it’s a little tougher to remember to write that item on your to-do list.
However, what happens when you don’t renew your vehicle registration? What are the specific consequences that you may face? Well, the straightforward answer is that it depends on the state you live in. Nevertheless, there are a few general penalties that you might notice no matter where you live.
The consequences of not renewing vehicle registration
Your vehicle registration must be renewed every year or every few years—the exact amount of time will vary depending on the state you call home.
However, if you don’t know when it’s time to renew your registration, and therefore, forget to do it, you may face two things: a ticket and a fine.
With expired vehicle registration, you open up the door for a police officer to pull you over and ticket you for a lapse in car registration. In addition, you may have to pay a fee to the state because of your mistake.
These consequences may not sound like a big deal at first. But after so many tickets and fines, you’ll start to notice how much money you could save by just renewing your registration instead of paying the penalties.
You also may think it’s worth updating your registration if you have to face more consequences on top of all the fees. Not renewing your vehicle registration could lead to more expensive car insurance rates. And in the worst-case scenario, failing to renew your registration could mean losing your car.
It’s not uncommon to see a vehicle get impounded because the owner forgot—or blatantly avoided—to renew their registration. In this scenario, you can’t get your vehicle back until you update your registration and pay all of your fines. Sometimes, that fine even includes the impound and towing fees.
While these penalties may sound extreme, there is good news. Sometimes, states will offer a grace period for you to renew your vehicle registration. For example, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Colorado provide a one-month grace period after your registration expires, whereas Texas only offers a five day grace period.
It’s important to check with your state to see if a grace period is available. Hopefully, you’ll have a little wiggle room to renew your registration. But if you live in a major city, like New York City, for example, you may find that a grace period does not exist.
Can you have expired registration during a pandemic?
Remembering to renew your car registration during “normal” times is already difficult. Today, it’s easy to always have something going on, so registration renewal may be the last thing on your mind. And this sentiment is even more true during a pandemic.
Because of COVID-19, many states have offered some leeway when it comes to renewing your vehicle registration. Keeping citizens healthy and safe during a pandemic is of utmost priority for many state officials. So, most local leaders don’t enforce penalties if your registration expired in 2020.
However, does this freedom mean that it’s okay to have expired registration? The answer is simple: no. Even though most states are trying to be flexible when it comes to enforcing penalties, they do have an extended deadline for you to renew your car registration.
For example, in New York, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order towards the end of March that extended the expiration date of vehicle registration and inspections. These registrations had to be valid as of March 27, 2020.
As time went on, Cuomo extended the order multiple times until it finally expired on November 3, 2020. However, to give people enough time to renew their registration, he signed an order that prevented police from giving tickets to drivers that had expired vehicle registration.
Unfortunately, though, this order has expired. As of December 1, 2020, police officers can ticket you if you don’t have up-to-date registration in New York. So, even though there’s a pandemic, you still need to renew your documents. With extensions and executive orders expiring, you will start to face consequences for driving with outdated registration.
How much does it cost to renew vehicle registration?
If you don’t want to face penalties for having expired registration, you need to get this taken care of sooner rather than later. However, to do that, there’s something you need to consider: the costs.
Renewing your vehicle registration will cost money, and the renewal fees will differ depending on the state you live in. Some states are unique and require you to pay a fee based on the type of license plate that you have.
For example, in Chicago, a standard renewal sticker costs $151. If you have a personalized plate, that cost increases slightly to $158. And if you have a vanity plate, the price for renewal goes up to $164.
Other states look at a list of factors to determine how much you have to pay to renew your registration. In New Jersey, for instance, the cost is based on your vehicle’s model and weight.
If you have a model from 1970 or older and it weighs under 2,700 lbs, you’ll have to pay $35 for registration renewal. If that model weighs between 2,700 lbs – 3,800 lbs, you’ll have to pay around $44.
Every state is different, so it’s important to check the costs to ensure you know what you need to pay. Don’t listen to a friend or relative that lives in another state and doesn’t know your state’s laws.
How to renew your vehicle registration
When it’s time to renew your registration, where do you go? You have two options: the DMV or a transportation agency.
The first option is the most common one, although it does require you to wrestle with the endless hassles at the DMV. Taking this route, especially during a pandemic, means you’ll have to make an appointment for months out and wait in a long line for someone to assist you. However, it could also mean that you go on your state’s DMV website to renew your registration. But even then, the process is not so simple.
If you want to avoid this unnecessary headache, option two is the best route to take. Transportation agencies like Barry Risk Management, Inc. can renew your registration quickly and easily—and it can all happen online.
With over 30 years of experience in the DMV industry, Barry Risk Management, Inc. has the skill set and ability to handle your registration renewal so that you don’t get penalized. It doesn’t matter where you live. The representatives at Barry Risk Management, Inc. will ensure your registration complies with your state’s specific laws.
For help renewing your registration, contact an agent at Barry Risk Management, Inc. today!