What Happens If You Drive with Expired Registration In PA?

Expired Registration in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is officially known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is a member of the United States. It is the fifth most populous state in the United States, with Philadelphia being it's most prominent and capital city. It is bordered by Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, and New Jersey.

When driving in Pennsylvania, you are expected to have your valid driver's license, car insurance, and car registration. Driving without any of these could result in facing extreme repercussions. Your driver's license shows that you are permitted to drive legally in PA, your car insurance indicates that you are insured in case of an accident, and your car registration shows that the car belongs to you and has not been stolen.

Under the law governing PA, driving unregistered vehicles or vehicles with expired registration is prohibited. Only vehicles exempted from registration for one reason or the other are allowed to drive without a license. If you get pulled over by a police officer, and they discover your license and registration have expired, you may be in a lot of trouble, especially if you have committed an uncleared offense in the past.

What Happens When Your Registration Expires?

When your registration expires, you are no longer permitted to drive in PA. If you are caught driving, it can attract different degrees of sanctions. Anyone caught will be sentenced to face a fine of double the registration fee or $75, whichever has a higher value. If the vehicle registration in PA expired in a maximum of 60 days, the fine would be reduced to $25. If the vehicle involved is a type of carrier vehicle aside from a trailer, the cost will be $50 if you were pulled over within 60 days of expiry. If it had exceeded 60 days before you were pulled over, you would pay double the registration fee for the vehicle's maximum weight.

If you get pulled over by the police, no matter the state of your registration and license, you should come to a stop and obey their instructions. Driving with an expired registration will most likely not get you arrested, but you may be issued a citation and a fine. While an expired registration may not get you arrested, driving with a suspended license can get you arrested, with possible jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. If you have had previous cases of driving violations like driving under the influence (DUI), excessive speeding, or reckless endangerment, it may result in confiscating your driver's license.

Is There a Grace Period?

There is no grace period for driving with expired registrations around PA. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is the body in charge of issuing out the registration to vehicles and has given out statements many times concerning the no-grace period for expired registration in PA and is a moving violation.

How to Register a Car In PA

Registering a car in Pennsylvania is required if you just bought a car. If you purchased a new vehicle, your dealer might have settled the registration before selling it to you. If you purchased the car from a private individual, you would have to sort out the registrations yourself. Car registrations cost $39 in the state of Pennsylvania per year, and you may be able to get registration for your vehicle for a year or two. The requirements for registrations differ according to the kind of car. For new vehicles, you must provide a Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO) or Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO) to prove ownership, proof of insurance, and driver's license. A used car requires your driver's license, proof of insurance, Pennsylvania Certificate of Titles, and a copy of the sales and tax return application.

The requirements are quite different for those who just moved to PA from other states. First, you must obtain your Pennsylvania driver's license within 60 days of being a resident of PA. Within 20 days of establishing residency in PA, you must complete your car registration. A safety and emissions inspection must also be carried out within ten days of registration.

Registering a new vehicle in PA requires you to visit the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) with appropriate documents. To register your vehicle, you will need to present your proof of Pennsylvania insurance, applicable fees, and taxes and verify the vehicle identification number (VIN). You will also need to provide your application for a certificate of the title while surrendering the one from your previous state.

Renewing Your PA Vehicle Registration

Once your registration expires, you must renew it before legally driving on Pennsylvania roads. A short while before your current registration expires, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will send out a notice to renew your registration. Before vehicle owners can renew their car's registration, it needs to pass the safety inspection and emissions test. The registration renewal can be carried out in person at any designated center, via mail, or online. You can also get a renewal through Swift-tags, it is an online platform that makes registration renewal Pennsylvania easy and hitch-free. When the renewal process is complete, you can receive your registration card in ten days.

In case of losing your registration, PennDOT has allowed you to provide some basic information about your car and yourself, then pay a small fee of $6 to have your registration replaced. It is not the same with renewing your registration; it is carried out when it expires or is about expiring, while a replacement is done when the one you had was stolen, damaged, or lost.

In conclusion, Pennsylvania frowns at driving with expired registrations and is usually punishable, and requires the offender to pay fines. The degree of punishment for driving with expired registration is dependent on how long ago the registration expired. Registrations that expired less than 60 days to the time of pulling-over tend to face lesser degrees of consequences. Driving with expired registrations may not get you arrested, but a suspended license may get you arrested. Expired registrations can be let go after paying fines if that is the only offense in your record. Other crimes like driving under the influence (DUI) can get your license suspended.


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