Expired Registration Law and Penalties
Florida Statute §320.07 prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle with an expired registration. Any person driving with an expired registration of 6 months or less commits a traffic infraction. For a driver whose license has been expired for more than 6 months, the violation is considered a traffic infraction for the first offense and a second degree misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. A criminal charge of Expired Registration subjects the accused to a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The takeaway is that even a seemingly small traffic matter can escalate into a crime if you consistently disregard it.
How to Renew Your Registration
In most instances, you may renew your motor vehicle registration online with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (the DMV). You can go to GoRenew.com and provide your personal information, the information on your motor vehicle, and a credit card. You can renew your registration for one or two years. If the online system cannot verify a vehicle’s insurance, or if the registration has already expired, the driver may have to go to the DMV in person. (If you have ever gone to the DMV before, you know this is something to try to avoid!)
Drivers using the online system should receive their registration in the mail within 7-10 business days. In the meantime, drivers can request a receipt by email that can be used until the registration arrives.
Another remote method of renewing your registration is through the mobile app, MyFlorida. The process and requirements for registration renewal on the app are similar to that of the online portal.
The last option for renewing your registration is the old school way – renewing at any Florida DMV office. We recommend staying away from this option due to long wait times.
What Happens with an Expired Registration Charge
If you are charged criminally with Expired Registration (also known as Expired Tag), you must attend court to address your case. After the police officer issues you a citation on scene, he will submit a copy of the citation to the clerk of courts to initiate a criminal case. The clerk’s office will then mail you a Notice of Hearing for arraignment (formal reading of the charges). After arraignment, you may attend a series of hearings while you hire a lawyer, review the evidence, consider the plea offer, and decide how to proceed. Ultimately, you will need to decide whether you want to resolve the case without a trial or make the prosecution prove their case against you.
Casanova Law Can Represent You in Your Expired Registration Case
Our Wellington law firm boasts a founding attorney with several years of criminal law experience. Attorney Lourdes Casanova is a former prosecutor for Palm Beach County who has litigated thousands of criminal traffic cases, including Expired Registration. We will review the evidence for legal, factual and procedural errors. We will advise you of your rights and your options. We will handle the court hearings, negotiations, and correspondence on your behalf. Our goal is to get your case dismissed.
Call us today for superior representation on your Expired Registration case.
Frequently Asked Questions about Expired Registration
How long can you drive with an expired registration?
In Florida, it is never okay to drive with an expired registration. Any amount of time with an expired registration is illegal and subjects you to penalties. However, the real danger in driving with an expired registration occurs after 6 months and upon a second or subsequent offense. If you have previously been pulled over for expired registration and your registration has been expired for more than 6 months, you can be charged with a crime instead of a mere traffic infraction.
What happens if my car registration expires?
If your vehicle registration expires and you are still driving, you should renew it immediately to avoid an expired registration charge. Failure to renew your registration can result in a traffic ticket or even a criminal charge.
How long do you have to renew your registration after it expires?
You can renew your registration at any time, even if it already expired. However, you may have issues renewing your registration online after it expires or if there are any other issues such as inability to verify your vehicle insurance.
Can I renew my registration online if it expired?
While you may be able to renew your expired registration online, you may run into issues. It is best to renew 90 days before the expiration date. If you are unable to renew your registration online, you must renew it in person at the DMV.