Driving Without Registration in New York

by Adam Rosenblum

Under VTL 401, the State of New York requires your car to be registered. In New York, you must renew your registration every 2 years. Remember, failing your annual safety inspection will result in an inability to renew your registration. Additionally, driving an unregistered vehicle on the road is dangerous and you can face a fine and even jail time for doing so. Be sure to contact a New York traffic ticket attorney if you receive a ticket for driving without registration.

Penalties for Driving Without Registration

According to VTL 401-1a, “No motor vehicle shall be operated or driven upon the public highways of this state without first being registered in accordance with the provisions of this article, except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter.” Getting convicted of driving without registration (i.e. driving an unregistered motor vehicle) can be quite serious.

If you have been driving without registration for less than 60 days, you:

  • Can be forced to pay a fine ranging from $40-$300
  • Can incur an $88-$93 surcharge
  • Can face up to 15 days in jail

If you are convicted of driving without registration for longer than 60 days, you will be forced to pay a fine of at least $75. However, the fine can go as high as $300. Likewise, the surcharge and amount of jail time you could face are the same as noted above. These costs add up and can damage your driving record. Be sure to contact an experienced attorney who can help you avoid all of the negative consequences associated with a charge of driving without 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.  Since not renewing your license is a non-moving violation, there are no points that will be assessed against your license.   In certain cases a 15 day jail sentence can be imposed.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

How Do I Register My Vehicle?

If you have recently purchased a car, moved into the state or were given a car as a gift or inheritance you must register your vehicle in the State of New York.  New residents of the state are allowed 30 days to have their vehicle registered with the state.   It’s important that if you are purchasing your vehicle from the legal owner that they are able to provide you proof of ownership along with other necessary paperwork for registration.  To see the necessary paperwork needed to register your vehicle check here. 

How Do I Renew My NY Vehicle Registration?

Always check the status of your registration.  After having your car initially registered, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send you a renewal notice between 45 and 60 days before your registration will expire.  Even if you never get a notice you will be able to see when your registration expires on your vehicle registration card.  If your registration is soon to expire you can renew your registration by phone, online, by mail or in person at your local DMV.  Visit here for more information and begin renewing your vehicle registration.

Who Should You Contact?

If you recently received a New York traffic ticket for driving an unregistered motor vehicle, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm. His team of skilled traffic ticket attorneys will fight to protect your rights and to reduce your fines. Call the Rosenblum Law Firm today at 888-883-5529.