What does it mean if your registration is suspended

according to the us department of transportation, there were over 105 million registered vehicles in the united states in 2020. if you own a car, you must register it in the state where you live, as registration is required for parking or drive a car.

However, if you have a lapse in insurance coverage or are arrested for driving without a license, the state may suspend your registration.

what happens if my registration is suspended?

When a vehicle’s registration is suspended, it means the state has taken away your right to drive the vehicle on the road until the registration is reinstated and becomes valid again.

All states require you to register your car to get plates and drive legally. In many states, you must have a valid registration and plates even to park a car in a public area like the street in front of your house. When you don’t pay the registration fees, your registration is no longer valid for a vehicle and therefore it is illegal to drive it.

If you commit certain crimes, a state can suspend, revoke, or cancel your car registration. State laws vary, so contact your state department of motor vehicles to find out why your state will suspend someone’s registration. A couple of reasons many states suspend registration is if you’re caught driving without insurance or a license.

If you forget to tell the dmv that you changed or canceled your insurance policy without getting a new one within 45 days, the dmv will likely suspend your registration. In addition, it is your responsibility to provide the DMV with proof of insurance within 30 days of its issuance.

real life example of an insurance fallout in new york

for example, if you had a lapse in your insurance coverage in new york state, you must turn in your registration and license tags.

If you don’t turn in your vehicle tags right away, your registration will be suspended for the same number of days you didn’t have insurance coverage but kept your vehicle tags. if that amount of time is greater than 90 days, your driver’s license is also suspended for the same number of days as the registration.

When your registration is suspended, neither you nor anyone else can drive the car. You also can’t try to sell it to anyone related to you, as most states know you’re probably trying to get around a registration suspension.

for example, the new york dmv states that it will not issue a new registration if the applicant for the new registration:

  • has the same last name as the registrant whose registration is suspended.
  • resides at the same address as the registrant whose registration is suspended.
  • dmv will not issue a record to any person unless that person makes an affidavit on form fs-2. the statement certifies that the purpose of the application is not to avoid the results of the current suspension. the local dmv office determines whether the application will be accepted or denied.

    my registration is suspended, but I have insurance. what now?

    In most cases, you cannot register a car without proof of insurance in most states: The only states that allow registration without proof of insurance are mississippi, new hampshire, north dakota, tennessee, washington and Wisconsin.

    If your registration is suspended, it is illegal for you to drive the vehicle associated with the suspension or park it on public roads. a state suspension of your registration is your way of keeping your vehicle off the road for a certain period of time; Usually, it’s a penalty after you’ve committed what the state considers a felony.

    if you have insurance, such as an sr22 form required by your state to show you have mandatory liability coverage, you will need to show proof of your insurance before the dmv will allow you to register a vehicle.

    If you don’t have insurance, most states will suspend your registration. The penalty for driving with a suspended registration will vary by state, but will likely be a fine and/or jail time, and perhaps a suspension of your driver’s license as well.

    then when your registration is suspended, you typically have to surrender your registration and plates to the state. Having your registration suspended does not prevent you from driving other vehicles that have a valid registration unless you have also been penalized by having your driver’s license suspended.

    Usually, to reinstate your vehicle registration, you will need to pay a fine and provide the dmv with proof of current insurance, so contact your local dmv.


    1. united states department of transportation bureau of transportation statistics, “car profile”. accessed May 2022.
    2. – michelle megna contributed to this story.

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