Reader-submitted: Registration

“I was just in an accident.. I’m fine, are you around?” is the text message I get from my sister.

I go down to the scene, Baruch Hashem she is ok, with a very minor scratch on her car. The other two cars are totaled.

I asked her if she has all her correct paperwork, and she starts looking and finds a valid insurance card and an expired registration. “I’m sure the current one is in here somewhere,” she says. The officer says “give me what you have and I will check the system if it’s valid.”

A few minutes later the officer says, “I am sorry but we ran your car and it hasn’t been registered since April, we will need to impound your car.”

I am thinking, this really sucks. She didn’t do anything wrong, and now her car is getting impounded. Then I start thinking, thank G-d this was a minor car accident (of which she was not at fault) and I was able to be there for her to give her a ride home. Imagine if she was an hour away and in middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, and a cop happened to run her plate or scanned with one of those automatic license plate readers and pulled her over for this issue. It would have been a lot worse, and she would have been panicking on how is she going to get home from in middle of nowhere.

It is very important to check all of your paperwork, and make sure you are up to date, even if it’s a new car. If you transferred the plates, the registration will expire on the date the previous vehicle was supposed to expire (which is what happened in her case, and she also moved while this was going on, so the mail could have been lost in the process).

It is a very simple and easy mistake to make, yet if you are involved in a serious car accident that was not your fault, you will suffer for having a vehicle that is not registered or insured.

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  1. Don’t mix up registration and insurance they are two different things even if you get into an accident I’m sure they will pay even if you mistakenly forgot to re-register

    • No, the insurance company will NOT pay if the car is not properly registered. They will take your premiums easily enough, but when it comes to pay out, they look for a way out.

  2. I got my car towed for the same thing . And a different time it happened the cop was nice and said I could park it in a private parking lot till I register it .

  3. I can’t for the life of me understand how someone could let their registration expire. They actually mail it to you before it expires, you just have to write a check and put it in the mail. They literally feed you with a spoon.
    How irresponsible can you be??????

  4. Lakewood police department makes up their own rules there is no law that the car must be towed! the law just says the officer can tow it… Also when your in an accident and it’s your fault the officer is not required to give you a ticket…And why someone wouldn’t register their car when they receive a letter in the mail very simple the registration is sent like 2+ months in advance what if a person isn’t sure if they are keeping the vehicle so they delay and then forget..

  5. Btw
    Registration is just a hidden tax.
    Why would I need to reregister every year?
    And what am I getting that I have to pay 50.00?
    And is it draconian to
    Give a ticket
    Tow someones car
    Suspend their licence
    And make them go to court
    For what?
    NJ turns its drivers into criminals.
    If you drink and drive or drive crazy
    By all means punish

  6. Why someone wouldn’t register their car when they receive a letter in the mail? maybe they moved and haven’t been receiving their forwarded mail properly and missed the registration date -let’s not always be so critical of others.

  7. Why wasn’t this edited before it was published? Did the writer need to use nibul peh?

    By impounding your car they are assured you will actually register it ASAP.

    NJ law states that unregistered vehicles are forbidden to be driven or parked on public roadways. If they don’t impound your vehicle, what’s to keep you from driving it?

    We mark/register our kids’ bikes so we can prove they’re ours in case they’re stolen. Cars are required to be registered for the same reason.

  8. I mailed in my renewal for registration after I got it in the mail. Never got the registration in the mail. Probably went to the wrong house someplace mixed in the mail, maybe still in the post office, I don’t know. Anyway I had to go down to MVC and get a duplicate for $5.00 before I could drive it on the road again.

  9. To the brilliant person who doesnt know how it can happen.. I can tell you how it happened to me…brand new car lease..they gave temporary registration which i didnt realize was temp….and believe it or not i dont believe i got the dmv envelope..ever hear of lost mail??? Dont jump to judge! Sit on your throne and we will have the last laugh when your human side comes out and you do something that looks so unthinkable and easy to avoid if you just wouldve….

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