How to Replace Your Car Registration
Replacing a lost car registration should be a top priority for all drivers. Anyone who doesn’t have proof of registration when stopped by law enforcement can get steep fines and even have their license suspended.
Even though the penalties depend on the state, having a valid registration is required in all states. Plus, a lost registration in the wrong hands can lead to identity theft. That’s why it’s so important to get your registration replaced as soon as you notice it’s missing.
The replacement process changes depending on the state. Some states allow motorists to request duplicate registrations online while others require in-person visits.
When to Replace Your Car Registration
There are many reasons why you may need to replace your car registration. The most common is when a registration is lost.
If you misplace your car registration and cannot find it, apply for a duplicate. You may also need a new copy of your registration if the original is damaged. Small rips and stains may not be a big issue, but if your registration starts getting hard to read, you’ll need a new one.
If you think that your car registration was stolen, you should file a police report as soon as possible. Some states even offer fee waivers for duplicate registrations if you have a police report with you.
You may also pay for a replacement license if you are updating the name or updating the address on your car registration. Some states require you to purchase a replacement registration when a change of address or name is made, while others make it optional.
How to Replace Your Damaged or Lost Car Registration
The first step when replacing a lost registration is getting your documents together. The documents you will need for an auto registration replacement will vary depending on the state. Some states require the following information:
- Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license
- Proof of ownership, such as a car title
- Vehicle information, such as the vehicle identification number (VIN), model and make, and license plate number.
Once you have all the documents, you will need to submit them to your local department through one of the methods that your state offers. Some states require you to come in person to get a replacement for your car registration. But in some cases, you may also be able to request the duplicate by mail by following these steps:
- Gather the requested documents.
- Fill out the duplicate request form.
- Have a check or money order made payable to the department.
- Place everything in an envelope and send to the appropriate address.
Another popular method of replacing your car registration is through your state’s online portal. Some states offer online requests through their website where you can simply log in, upload the necessary documents and submit your request, while others do not.
Once you submit the request, it can take several days to process and receive the new DMV copy of your registration. You may be able to inquire about the status of your request by contacting your local DMV.
What happens if you don’t replace a lost car registration?
If you do not order a duplicate car registration, you may be in violation of your state’s laws. You should be able to show proof of a valid registration when driving a vehicle. That’s why you could get a ticket if you’re stopped by police and don’t have a tag sticker or some other proof of registration.
Plus, if you don’t report a lost car registration, you’re leaving yourself at risk of identity theft, especially if your registration was stolen. Criminals often steal the information found on car registrations to commit fraud.
This can include anything from using your car’s VIN to register stolen vehicles, to making duplicate copies of your car keys. With this in mind, it’s important that you protect yourself and take steps to replace your registration.