If my car registration expires is my car insurance still valid?

Is your car insurance still valid if your car registration expires? Your expired vehicle registration will have no effect on your car insurance. Your car will be insured as long as you’re paying your insurance premiums.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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If your car registration expires, then does your car insurance expire as well? Or does your car insurance remain active even after your registration expires? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about car registration and insurance.

Expired Registration Does Not Typically Affect the Price of Car Insurance

What happens if a person’s vehicle registration expires? Your expired vehicle registration will have no effect on your car insurance. Will insurance cover an unregistered car?

Your car will be insured as long as you’re paying your insurance premiums. Even if your car registration expires, your vehicle will remain covered under your insurance policy.

Your insurance company is responsible for insuring your vehicle. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for registering your vehicle. The two entities are separate, and your expired registration will not affect your car insurance in any way.

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Driving with Expired Registration Will Lead to a Minor Ticket

The next question we get is this: what happens if you get caught driving with expired registration but you’re still insured? Will you pay a significant fine or face higher insurance prices for driving without valid registration?

Typically, driving with expired registration will only lead to a small fine. In most states, you will receive a non-moving violation. The ticket will not affect future car insurance prices.

Driving with expired insurance is considered much more serious than driving with expired registration. Driving without valid insurance will expose you to significant liability. If you get into an accident, then you may need to pay out of pocket for any damages. Meanwhile, if you get pulled over while driving without insurance, then you could face higher penalties and higher insurance prices in the future. Your vehicle might even be impounded.

If you get pulled over, then the police officer will run your driver’s license and license plate against DMV records to determine whether or not your vehicle is properly registered. You will also be asked to provide proof of insurance. If the law enforcement officer cannot find proof of insurance or proof of registration, then you could face serious penalties – including vehicle impoundment and fines.

Nevertheless, every situation varies, and some drivers will have their car impounded for driving without registration. Obviously, it’s in your best interest to drive a vehicle that is legally registered and fully insured.

In Most States, You Need Insurance Before Registering Your Vehicle

In most states in America, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance in order to satisfy vehicle registration requirements.

In some states, you must show that you have auto insurance before you receive a permanent license plate. Without valid car insurance, you will not be able to register your vehicle.

If your vehicle registration is expired and you’re unsure when your insurance expires, then double-check before you register your vehicle.

How much does it cost to register a vehicle?

Typically, it costs about $50 to $100 to register a vehicle in most states.

In some states, you can register your vehicle online. In other states, you’ll need to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

You will need to provide proof of insurance to register your vehicle. All but a few states require you to bring proof of insurance to complete the registration process. If you do not have proof of insurance, then you may not be able to complete the registration process.

Typically, your vehicle registration is good for one year, although some states now offer two-year registration periods. You’ll be required to renew your registration every year or every two years around the same time unless you turn in your license plates..

As a vehicle owner, you’re responsible for keeping your vehicle registration up-to-date.

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Ultimately, vehicle registration and car insurance have little to do with one another. Failing to update your car registration will not cancel your car insurance.

Nevertheless, both car insurance and car registration are required by law to drive on the roads. Getting caught without a valid registration is typically less serious than getting caught without insurance. However, both are punishable offenses.

You should be able to walk into any DMV to renew your car registration. As long as you have proof of insurance, then you should have no trouble renewing your registration and getting back on the road legally.

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