What Happens If You Drive With Expired Tags?

Updated October, 2020
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If you drive with expired tags, police officers have just cause to pull you over and give you a citation. If you've gone longer than 6 months without renewing your tags, you face more severe penalties such as hefty fines and even jail time.

Why is it illegal to drive with expired tags?

Every year you are required to renew your car's registration with your state's DMV. Tags are proof that you have registered your vehicle and paid the tax.

You're legally required to register your car as well as have a valid driver's license and active car insurance policy to drive on the roads.

Since having expired tags is considered a non-moving violation, you can be issued a citation even if it's parked and you aren't driving.

What happens if it's my second offense?

In some states, if you repeatedly drive without current registration tags, you're liable for paying heftier fines and even face up to 60 days in jail. This is a severe punishment that doesn't apply in all states, but it's a potential consequence of driving with expired tags.

What happens if I don't pay my fines?

Failure to pay your fines is a crime. If you don't pay your citation fees to the state and renew your vehicle tags, you're subject to a warrant for your arrest.

3 things to consider about driving with an expired tag

  • Renewing your tag is fast and quick. Avoid jail time and hefty fines by getting your registration reinstated.
  • If you're sent to jail for driving with an expired tag or not paying your fines it goes on your criminal record.
  • Your insurance company continues to provide coverage if you drive with expired tags. The only time your policy doesn't continue to cover you is if your registration gets revoked completely.

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