What Happens if you Get Ticketed or Pulled Over with Expired Tags?

Pulled Over Expired TagsPulled Over Expired Tags

When driving on expired tags and you get pulled over, you are going to get fined. Technically, the car might not be in motion, traffic, or even occupied. A legally parked car can still be given a ticket for expired tags. The good news is that it is a non-moving violation.

A non-moving violation is also a traffic violation but is not associated with how the vehicle is being driven. Compared to moving violations, it is less severe and attracts smaller fines. However, in extreme cases, expired tags violation can become a moving violation and attract severe consequences.

Apart from expired tags, other non-moving violations include numerous parking violations like parking too close to a fire hydrant or parking in a designated "no parking" zone. Other safety violations like a broken taillight, missing number plates, loud muffler noise, or a window tint that is too dark can also give you non-moving violation tickets.

The consequences of having an expired license tag or not having your tag on your license plate depend on the officer who called you out. You may be let go with a warning and a grace period; other times, you may not be very lucky. You may face some form of penalty; in California, for example, tags renewal costs about $25, but with the expiry, you may be charged between $125 and $225 for renewal in addition to penalty charges.

Are there extreme cases?

Yes, there are extreme cases. A warning is usually issued in most subtle cases where the tags have expired recently. However, when the tags have been expired for a long time, the consequences can be extreme.

Vehicles with expired tags for about six months stand a chance of being impounded and towed while the driver gets a citation from the officer. The car will not be released until all fines associated with the car being impounded are cleared out and registration is renewed.

If you get apprehended twice with tags that have an expiration date of over six months, then the penalty can be as severe as serving jail time. Jail time is rather extreme, but in most cases, the offender is required to appear in court and is given a criminal traffic citation. If a person gets multiple citations within a short time, severe repercussions and possible jail time are imminent.

What If You Skip Your Automobile Insurance Fee by Some Days?

Usually, vehicle insurance firms give an allowance period for skipped car insurance fees, which means that payments that are delayed for some days might not incur any trouble. However, it is advised that you pay your insurance fees as quickly as possible because the auto insurance allowance period can differ, as instituted by your insurer.

What happens when your tags are stolen?

Driving with no tags because they were stolen can attract a ticket. However, it is usually a warning ticket. Stolen tags can easily get replaced; all you need to do is visit their online portal and report stolen or lost tags, then order replacements in most states in America.

Replacement tags are not free, but they are not as expensive as getting a new tag altogether. They cost way less than late registration. Whatever the cost, to avoid being pulled over by the police, getting a replacement tag is necessary.

Read More: Swift-tags

How to avoid tags from being stolen

Stolen tags are a common complaint among vehicle owners whenever they get pulled over for having no tags. When these tags are stolen, they are reused on vehicles that could otherwise not get tags for one reason or the other.

To prevent tags from being stolen:

  • Use a knife or a blade to clean out the previous decal stickers. The area where the month and date of the tag will be displayed on the license plate should be cleaned out thoroughly.
  • Carefully attach the new tag in the appropriate section on the license plate.
  • Make clean cuts through the new tag; it could be an 'x' or multiple lines across the tag.

Cleaning out the previous tags ensures the new tag sticks in perfectly while making marks on it prevents thieves from reusing it.

Tag renewal and registration in Florida

In Florida, there are three sides to registering and renewing tags. There is the license plate, also called the tag, and is to be attached to the vehicle at all times. There is also the decal sticker which should be placed at the top-right corner of the license plate. The last part is the certifications that should be carried in the vehicle at all times.

Registration and renewal can last for one or two years, depending on the registration option you decide to go with. The decal sticker at the top-right corner shows when the current registration expires. Registrations usually expire at midnight on the birthday of the car's first owner.

In Florida, the license plate is valid and active for only ten years - it differs according to state. After ten years, you are expected to apply for new license plates.

After being used for ten years, the old plates are expected to be oxidized, peeling, and damaged, hence the need for new plates. The old plates can be recycled and reused since they are aluminum.

Renewal of registration tags in Florida can be done in three ways:

  • Application in person at the office of the DMV
  • Online, where you apply online and receive it in the mail after a couple of days
  • Tag express, where you apply online, then pick it up in person at the DMV office.


Getting pulled over by the police for expired tags is fairly common. The attached penalty depends on how long ago your tags expired and the officer who called you out. Recently expired tags are usually let go with a warning, while tags that have expired for about six months could face criminal citation, appear in court, or even get jail time.

Missing or stolen tags are not exempt from the law, as they can be pulled over by the police and handed a ticket. Getting a replacement for tags is easy and should be done by those whose tags got stolen. Ordering for a replacement is not as expensive as of late registration, and can be carried out online.

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