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If My Registration Expires, Is My Auto Insurance Still Valid?

If My Registration Expires, Is My Auto Insurance Still Valid?

Registrations are a key part of owning a car. That much is obvious. But sometimes we forget when they expire and are left wondering what to do. So, if you find yourself asking, “If my registration expires, is my auto insurance still valid?” Read on and find out.

First Things First: Why Do You Need a Registration?

When you become the legal owner of a vehicle, one of the first things you need to do is have it registered in your name. The simple reason for this is to help identify the vehicle with an owner. The entire purpose of the vehicle registration is to attach a VIN number to an individual or company.  

While the registration does not have to be in the name of just one person, in the instance of private firms or government agencies, for example, the party which is tied to the vehicle is responsible for all fines, tolls, parking tickets and damages associated with the vehicle.

When registering a vehicle, it is a requirement to show proof of insurance. Usually, this is done by the car dealership, who file all the paperwork you will need. If, however, you purchase a car from a private seller, you may have to go to the DMV yourself and provide documentation showing ownership and proof of insurance, as well as paying the registration fee.

So, What Happens if the Registration Expires?

What, exactly happens when your registration expires then? Does your insurance become invalidated? Fortunately, the answer is usually no.

An expired registration generally will not affect your vehicle’s insurance or render the policy void. Since driving with expired vehicle registration is only a minor traffic offense, punishable by a small fine, the chances that your insurer would be too concerned with an expired registration are slight.  The simple fact is that car insurance companies look at risk when insuring drivers, and a slight lapse in registration is generally not a major risk that would cause great concern or worry.

If, however, your registration was revoked for one reason or another, that is a completely different story. Instances, where your registration is revoked, are looked at by insurance companies as major incidents and can directly affect your likelihood getting covered in the future. In fact, certain states, like Massachusetts and Indiana allow insurers to cancel policies if a vehicle’s registration is revoked.

Stay Registered and Get the Best Auto Insurance Rates!

If your car’s registration lapses, you could drive for a while and keep your insurance, but do you really want to? The threat of a ticket, along with the pretty simple process of getting your car re-registered make staying compliant with California law a no-brainer!

Having a car in California means you need great insurance. At Insurance Online, customers can compare hundreds of quotes (not just from the big providers) at any time 24/7. We’re more than just an insurance company. Our agents live and work in the same communities as you, so you can be assured you’ll get the right policy from an agent that understands your needs. So, when life happens, Insurance Online is just a click away. Call us today at 1-800-956-8611 to speak to an agent about auto insurance.

headshot of Sandra Cruz

Sandra Cruz | Linkedin

Based in Newport Beach, CA, Sandra has been a licensed insurance agent in California and Texas for 5 years and is an editor and writer specializing in all types of insurance matters. Sandra is Insurance Online's authority on auto, home, and business insurance and has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, and US World News Report.

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