Car registration and renewal rules are specific to each state. That includes how often renewal is required, reasons for denial and standards for smog checks, among others. Most states require renewal every year while some, like Connecticut, require it every two years. In Virginia, the Commissioner has the option to grant a multi-year registration. Renewal can be done online, in person, by traditional mail or by phone, depending on which methods are allowed in the state.
But there are registration-related policies and regulations that almost all states follow. Here are some of them:
– Driving with an expired registration is illegal; there are corresponding penalties for doing so.
– Online registration is now available, thanks to technology. Aside from being easy and more convenient, it also promotes compliance.
– Drivers and car owners receive a notice from the local Department of Motor Vehicles by mail or email that their vehicle is due for registration renewal. The notice will include expiration date, fees for renewal, outstanding fines for traffic violations that must be paid, and other requirements.
– Non-receipt of a notice does not exempt a vehicle for not registering before the expiry date.
– Renewing after the expiration date will incur fees, depending on how long the registration has expired and what the state mandates.
Some owners mistakenly believe that car registration renewal is automatically given upon submission of the form and payment of fees. That is why it is also important to know what the reasons are that might result in a car registration renewal being denied. Some of them are common for most states but others are state-specific only and, as is usually the case, other states may soon follow.
Why a Car Registration Renewal Might Be Denied
- If you have unpaid property taxes or other unpaid taxes depending on the state
- If you have unpaid parking tickets or unpaid parking violation fees
- If you have unpaid toll fees
- If you do not have current car insurance
- If your registration has been suspended for lack ofinsurance coverage
- If you do not have an emissions test or your car does not meet the state’s smog check standards
- For commercial vehicles, if they fail a safety inspection check
- Some states have enacted their own laws with regards to denial of vehicle registration renewal. Last August, Texas’ Office of the Attorney General issued a state statute that denies renewal to a parent who has been remiss in paying child support for six months. This is an expansion of an existing law that gives the attorney general power to deny Texas permits, licenses and registrations to delinquent parents. The parents are notified prior to their car’s registration expiration date to give them enough time to rectify the situation.
The OAG and Child Support Division say this statute is to protect the children by giving to them the support due. Janece Rolfe, CSD spokesperson says, “We’re going to use every tool that we can to collect support that is due to children and families…” This rule will take effect for renewals starting December this year. As expected, there are those who welcome this law and others who oppose it. A child visitation lawyer advises parents to heed the order as there is not much they can do if parents do not comply with the child support agreement stated in the divorce documents.
For parents who have been hit by the new statute, some form of payment should be made and the OAG notified in order for their car registration to be renewed. The full six-months payment is not required to have the hold order lifted but a payment schedule can be arranged and must be met by the parent at fault.