If you own a car, then you know there are many different responsibilities that come with owning your vehicle. One of those is your car’s registration. Unfortunately, it is something that needs to be done yearly. If only it could be fully automated somehow, that would make life much easier for a car owner. It could also help when you are pulled over by a police officer on the road and discover your registration is expired. Numerous things happen when you are pulled over for expired registration, and it is helpful to know and understand what happens when this happens.
There are several penalties that happen when you are pulled over for expired registration. Most likely, you will get a simple warning and possibly a ticket, but other times there are other penalties involved.
As stated previously, the most common penalty is a warning and a ticket. Many police officers run across tags that are slightly expired all the time. These are considered minor violations, and if you are lucky, you will get off with just a warning. If the tags have been expired for quite some time, then a ticket is a more likely outcome. These tickets usually come with a fine of anywhere between $100 and $200, depending on how long your tags have expired.
If you do not get your registration back up to date quickly and get pulled over again, or if your car does not pass inspection, there is a high chance your vehicle will get impounded or towed. When this happens, there may also be a chance that you will need to appear for a court hearing or decide to fight the ticket given to you. Finding a great Florida ticket lawyer will be an important asset for your day in court. The worst case scenario if you have expired registration would be the potential to spend a few days in jail.
Different Tips During
If you are in the midst of a traffic stop when your vehicle registration has expired, there are ways you can potentially leave without receiving any penalties.
The best way to avoid a penalty is to prove to the police officer that your registration is current even though the updated tags are not on your car. Most of the time, if you have a good signal on your phone, you can show the officer proof of your current registration online. Of course, the cop may not accept it as proof, but it is still a reliable way for you to avoid getting a ticket and only receiving a warning.
Steps to Take After
When your motor vehicle’s registration is indeed expired, this will need to be fixed as soon as possible, especially if you plan to go to court to fight whatever penalty was given after your traffic stop.
First and foremost, you will want to renew your registration and put the updated tags on your vehicle immediately. This is the simplest way to get the court to drop whatever penalty was given. However, there is a chance your vehicle will also have to be inspected.
In the instances where your vehicle remains unused for most of the year, there is the option to get what is known as a non-operational registration which is most common in larger cities since people tend not to drive around as much or use a taxi service or ride-sharing app. These types of registrations are also more cost-effective.
Be Court Ready
Whether you have requested a court date or you have been summoned to court, it is essential that you show up to your court hearing or else face the consequence of a possible misdemeanor charge for failing to appear. Your day in court could allow you to dispute the penalty or show that you have updated your registration, leading to a reduced fine or any other penalties.
If a court appearance is optional and you can afford the fine, it may be best to accept the penalty, pay it, and move on. On the other hand, if you cannot afford the fine, want to fight it, or do not believe you deserve the penalty, then it is best to get a good lawyer to fight for you.