Driving With Expired Registration in New York

by Adam Rosenblum on March 18, 2013

Title and Registration form

Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 401 covers the law in New York with respect to driving with an expired registration.  What drivers need to understand first is that if your vehicle is on the road or even parked on the street, a police officer can run your license plate and see if your car is properly registered.

There is plenty of information that a police officer can get by just running your license plates and it’s important to always check the status of your cars registration and to make sure that your inspections are up to date. Police officers have access to pull any and all citations, criminal history and information on the owner of the vehicle, including their address.

Every car on the road is required to be registered, and New York requires registration renewal once every two years.   If your car does not pass the annual safety inspection you will not be allowed to renew your cars registration.

What if I Get Pulled Over For Not Renewing My Registration?

Section 401 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of New York (VTL § 401) outlines the fines and penalties associated with not having renewing your vehicle registration. Failure to renew your registration is a non-moving violation, which means that there are no points to be applied to your NY license. Here are the fines one can expect for not having their car properly registered.

  • If your registration has been expired for less than 60 days the fine is a minimum of $40 and can go up to $300 and an automatic $93 surcharge.
  • If your registration has been expired for over 60 Days the fine is a minimum of $70 and can go up to $300 along with the $93 surcharge.

What Steps Do I Need To Take To Register My Vehicle?

If you are a resident of NY and your name is attached to a vehicle as the owner whether it’s a used or new car then you must register the car with the State of New York. People who move to New York and become new residents are allowed 30 days to have their car registered with the state.

If you are purchasing your vehicle from another owner, be sure to have the owner provide you proof that they have legal ownership of the vehicle and that they are transferring ownership to you. To see the necessary paperwork needed to register your vehicle check here.

How Do I Renew My NY Vehicle Registration?

Generally about 45-60 days before your registration is set to expire, New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send you a renewal notice. It’s a good idea to check the status of your registration on your car and be aware of when your vehicle’s registration is set to expire. There are several options to renew your registration including by phone, online, by mail or in person at your local DMV.  Visit here for more information and begin renewing your vehicle registration.

Do I Need To Hire An Attorney To Fight My Charges?

Speaking with a traffic defense attorney can provide you invaluable information about your legal driving status.  Many times police officers issue multiple tickets along with failing to renew registration.

For a free consultation about the consequences or to have an attorney handle your Unregistered Vehicle ticket or any other traffic violation, call 1-888-883-5529, or send us an e-mail to tell us about your case.

28 thoughts on “Driving With Expired Registration in New York

  1. Hi, I received 2 same tickets on separate dates for expired registration sticker, I had the new registration sticker in my car but forgot to put on the windshield. Is it possible to contest the tickets with submitting copy of my new one?

    Kristopher Downer on
  2. I had my brother drive me
    To an appointment for a test to see if I had cancer or not I was unable to drive due to pain /lack of sleep , it completely slipped my mind but had intended to pay my registration , my registration was two days expired I’m a single mom with a clean driving record I was in the passenger seat two minutes away from the hospital I was going to an officer pulled us over , he spoke only to my brother and ignored me completely … I’m told now my brother owes 200$ in two days …. he brought his ticket to a traffic court in Hauppauge … the officer also wrote the wrong driving class on his tickets he also forgot his license and received a ticket for that and a different mailing address on his licence . I feel this is way to extreme . Please help

    Marybeth McNeil on
  3. My registration has been expired for over a year ive just had bad times and couldnt renew it now that i can is already to late but i wanna know what can i do to re register the car

    Isaias on
  4. I was under the assumption a person had until the end of the month to renew registration similar to an inspection. I have done it at the end of the month all my life with no penalty. I was pulled over and given a ticket. I went out the same day and got my registration renewed and I have proof. Is it in the power of the judge to dismiss my ticket all together. Or does the law compel him to give me a fine. Should I ask for a dismisal.

    Tara on
  5. I got a expire registration ticket on December 10. I had order a new registration a month prior to but I forgot to put it on my windshield. I asked for a dismissal but the online judge said guilty. Should I appeal this ticket. As evidence I sent in a copy of the new registration and a copy of the envelope postmarked November 10 that the registration came in. I know if I am found guilty of the speak there might be extra charges on the ticket. What shall I do?

    Vera B -Johnson on
  6. In Feb 2015 I transferred plates from a 1997 BMW to a 2005 Hyndai. I also had a 2004 Saturn which I then drove, but I lept the BMW . In April I sold the Saturn, and transferred those plates to the BMW. I had forgot to put the NEW registration sticker on the BMW. Needless to say there was confusion when I was pulled over and the plates did not match the registration. Bottom line is the registration that was SUPPOSED to be on the windshield had expired 2 weeks earlier. I plead guilty and just received a bill for $243 ($100 fine + $55 admin fee + $88 surcharge). That seems a bit excessive. Can I fight this?

    Michael on
  7. I didn’t receive a renewal notice from the DMV..my registration has been expired for 1 day..will there be a fine when I go to renew on Monday? It’s Fri.

    Ed on
  8. Hi there. I am an international student here so I am not completely aware of all the procedures regarding registration and that it has to be renewed so often. Also I was expecting a sort of notification by e-mail or regular mail, and as I saw I am supposed to receive a renewal notice but I did not. I’m assuming it was lost somewhere on campus mail and was not delivered to me.
    Today I was stopped and I received two tickets for expired registration and inspection but I really was not aware of anything, the officer showed me on the windshield sticker where the date is. It was 4 months ago for the registration and two for the inspection.
    With all that, can I mail not guilty and go to court and speak with the judge? Might that be helpful? Or do I just plead guilty?

    Yosef on
  9. hello this morning I was pulled over for rolling stop at a stop sign , the officer informed me that my step father vehicle (which I was driving ) had an expired registration. he then told me I had to go online and renew his registration right that minute or he would tow the vehicle. I did as he requested and he then went to his car and wrote me a ticket for no stop on red and driving unregistered vehicle. I don’t know much about the law but it seems shady that he would “make” me register someone else’s car and then continue to ticket me for said offense. I understand the stop sign aspect of it. any help would be greatly appreciated !

    elliott on
    • Hello Elliot, I am not quite sure why he made you register right then. He may have tried preventing you from your car being towed and going to jail right then. Running the stop sign is a 3 point ticket with a maximum fine of $243. You could also face 15 days in jail. The unregistered vehicle ticket is a maximum fine of $393 and another 15 days in jail possibly. We suggest pleading not guilty to this tickets and obtaining counsel. If you would like more information about how we could have your tickets reduced to the minimum amount of penalties, please contact our office. We could be reached for a free consultation at 888-883-5529.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  10. Hi. My registration was two weeks expired. I got pulled over. The officer had my car towed and impounded. I told him I could get it registered right away. He still had it towed. Is that the procedure in the state of NY?

    Jennifer on
  11. I am moving out of state 2 days after my registration expires. Do I need to renew it for those 2 days? My lease begins 2 days after expiration,so I don’t think I can register in the new state before expiration. What are my options?

    Noturbizniss on
  12. Hello, I leased a car from a dealer and turned my old car into them. They have not been able to register my new vehicle using my old plates due to an old lapse in insurance. The DMV ( I’m in New York) says the dealer must fix this and I cant. My insurance company has me insured and says there is nothing I need to fix with them. The dealership tells me to fix the issue with my insurance company. Registration has been expired for months. What can i do ?

    Rb on
  13. I received a ticket today however I renewed my registration immediately after the ticket was given, can I show them proof and get the case dismissed? Note: ticket was given at 2, I purchased the registration at 5 and didn’t get to my car till 530, please advise thanks

    Ehsan on

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