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  #1  
Old 12-17-2011, 02:22 PM
Mdcastle Mdcastle is offline
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Carrying registration in your car?

I live in Minnesota where it's not required to carry registration in non-commercial vehicles. Every cop show I've seen they ask for "license, insurance, and registration" when they pull someone over. So does that mean I need to carry registration if I travel to other states, or would a cop accept that my home state does not require it?
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2011, 02:59 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is online now
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I don't know what the law is, but I have a feeling this is a "When in Rome..." situation.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2011, 03:20 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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I don't know the law either, but here's what I suspect:

A given state's laws apply to those driving in that state. If they require using seat belts, or carrying registration, it doesn't matter if your home state doesn't.

Most cops will not get tough on such a thing so long as their hot buttons (dangerous criminal, disrespectful of cop's authority, etc.) haven't been pushed.

With modern computerized systems, they can get the vehicle's registration info anyway, so it's an obsolete requirement.

ETA: Afterthought -- asking for registration may not be because one is required to show it (as with a driver's license), but because it's a logical and easy routine check geared towards identifying (at least some) stolen vehicles.

Last edited by Gary T; 12-17-2011 at 03:22 PM..
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2011, 03:27 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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some states require registration, some proof of insurance, some both. some might require it in trucks or SUV but not a sedan. saves time and effort to have it if you go out of state.
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2011, 03:35 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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It seems a simple matter to carry the registration on the grounds that, as my dad used to say, better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

But, then, I keep mine in the car anyway, so ...

Don't, though, keep your title in the car.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2011, 04:29 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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I once lived in Illinois, where registration was not kept in the car. In fact, I heard in Illinois that it was ill-advised. (If someone stole your car, then that person also has your registration.) SC requires that you have it in the car. A couple of months after moving to SC, I was pulled over in a routine inspection, which the police here like to have every now and then. I did not have my registration in the car because of the above reason. The officer, in effect, said to tell it to the judge. Which I did. Because I did have my registraton (which I brought to court), got my SC plates immediately after moving here, and had no violations of record, the judge did not impose any penalty, but did warn me to keep the registration in the car from then on. Which I have.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:33 PM
Daylate Daylate is offline
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A couple of months after moving to SC, I was pulled over in a routine inspection, which the police here like to have every now and then.
Wow! South Carolina cops can pull you over whenever they feel like inspecting your car?! And here I thought that the Old South was a bastion of personal liberty.

Even here in Washington (aka the Nanny State) that would very probably cause a stir.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2011, 05:50 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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My brother in law and I had this discussion earlier today. He is a local police officer and has cited out of state drivers for not having auto insurance. Since I'm in law school, he asked me if this was legit. We looked at the code that he cites people for:

---
WV CODE:
17D-2A-3. Required security; exceptions.
(a) Every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle required to be registered and licensed in this state shall maintain security as hereinafter provided...

Further:

(c) Every nonresident owner or registrant of a motor vehicle, which is operated upon any road or highway of this state and which has been physically present within this state for more than thirty days during the preceding three hundred sixty-five days shall thereafter maintain security as hereinafter provided in effect continuously throughout the period the motor vehicle remains within this state.
---

It seems like WV requires insurance only for vehicles required to be registered and licensed in WV. So if a visitor were to come over from PA (or any other state) for a few days (less than 30), even though insurance is required there, WV could not enforce its own mandatory insurance law or PA's mandatory insurance law.

IAOHAL (I am only half a lawyer) YMMV...

ETA: Maybe the interstate driving compact has a provision to allow the visiting state (in this case WV) to transfer the information back to the home state (PA) for prosecution there. I haven't researched that.

Last edited by jtgain; 12-17-2011 at 05:53 PM..
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2011, 06:30 PM
FrancisCastle FrancisCastle is offline
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Years back, we were on a trip to Tennessee. In Wisconsin at the time it was not required to carry proof of insurance in your vehicle. We were entering an Army base and our car was chosen to be searched. They gave us a big hassle about not having the card. We had to call the company and our agent spoke to the officer in charge, assuring him that yes, we did have the proper insurance. At the time it was kind of scary; I didn't think they were going to let us leave! Now, I can't imagine not having all of the above information in my vehicle.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2011, 08:40 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
I once lived in Illinois, where registration was not kept in the car. In fact, I heard in Illinois that it was ill-advised. (If someone stole your car, then that person also has your registration.)
So what if a car thief has both my car and the registration card I carry in it? If I've reported the car as stolen, it's not going to help, as presumably the officer will impound the car and arrest the driver. If I haven't yet reported it stolen, it's still going to look weird that the address on the registration doesn't match the driver's address.

The one problem I could foresee with carrying the registration is if I drop my car off at a car wash or mechanic and leave all of my keys. An unscrupulous employee would have my address and the keys needs to get to my stuff. (So I usually give the mechanic or car wash only the single car key.)
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:04 AM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Daylate View Post
Wow! South Carolina cops can pull you over whenever they feel like inspecting your car?! And here I thought that the Old South was a bastion of personal liberty.

Even here in Washington (aka the Nanny State) that would very probably cause a stir.
Every now and then the police will set up a location where they stop and inspect every car for proper documentation, evidence of alcohol, etc. I think every state does that. Such stops have been validated by SCOTUS.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:46 AM
Pai325 Pai325 is online now
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
I once lived in Illinois, where registration was not kept in the car. In fact, I heard in Illinois that it was ill-advised..
I live in Illinois (born and raised here) and was always told to keep my registration in the car. I think page 89 of the Rules of the Road says that also.

http://http://www.cyberdriveillinois...s/dsd_a112.pdf

Last edited by Pai325; 12-18-2011 at 07:46 AM..
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2011, 08:37 AM
Evil Jon Evil Jon is offline
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Small hijack: What about motorcycles? Back when I had my Harley the registration said that I was required to have it in my vehicle at all times. There isn't exactly a glove box to throw it in. I photocopied & scaled it down to keep in my wallet but I always wondered if would of got a ticket otherwise.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:07 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
I once lived in Illinois, where registration was not kept in the car. In fact, I heard in Illinois that it was ill-advised. (If someone stole your car, then that person also has your registration.)
I (not-driver) asked my mother (driver) about this, and she said that she keeps the registration, along with her drivers license and insurance, in her purse, to put inside the car when driving, and outside the car when locking it, both for safety if the car should be stolen, and for proof if a cop wants to see it.
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2011, 09:15 AM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Sometimes you can't win. A former cow-orker of mine kept his insurance card in his glove compartment. He was involved in an accident that smashed in the right side of his car. He was not hurt, but his glove compartment was jammed shut. He was given a ticket because he couldn't produce his insurance card. Fortunately, our state does not require non-commercial vehicles to carry a registration card or I imagine he could have gotten two tickets.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:25 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Sometimes you can't win. A former cow-orker of mine kept his insurance card in his glove compartment. He was involved in an accident that smashed in the right side of his car. He was not hurt, but his glove compartment was jammed shut. He was given a ticket because he couldn't produce his insurance card. Fortunately, our state does not require non-commercial vehicles to carry a registration card or I imagine he could have gotten two tickets.
A few photographs and an affidavit from the repair shop stating that the insurance documentation was indeed inside the glove box when it was opened would persuade any reasonable judge to throw any such ticket out, I would think.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:34 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Sometimes you can't win. A former cow-orker of mine kept his insurance card in his glove compartment. He was involved in an accident that smashed in the right side of his car. He was not hurt, but his glove compartment was jammed shut. He was given a ticket because he couldn't produce his insurance card.
That sounds absurd. If the care was a raging fireball, would that cop also expect you to produce the proof of insurance?
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:46 AM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
A few photographs and an affidavit from the repair shop stating that the insurance documentation was indeed inside the glove box when it was opened would persuade any reasonable judge to throw any such ticket out, I would think.
It really wouldn't be necessary. Although technically you could be fined for failure to produce proof of insurance upon lawful demand, it is customary around here for judges to dismiss the ticket if you bring proof that you had valid insurance to court.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:50 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
It really wouldn't be necessary. Although technically you could be fined for failure to produce proof of insurance upon lawful demand, it is customary around here for judges to dismiss the ticket if you bring proof that you had valid insurance to court.
My son got a ticket driving back from picking up his first car. I took him to get it and unthinkingly put all the paperwork in my car. My son was stopped because the dealership had put an improper temporary tag on the car, and then ticketed because he could not produce insurance. The judge did not dismiss the ticket either, but did reduce the fine. Welcome to the world of petty policing, son.
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  #20  
Old 12-18-2011, 11:46 AM
Daylate Daylate is offline
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Every now and then the police will set up a location where they stop and inspect every car for proper documentation, evidence of alcohol, etc. I think every state does that. Such stops have been validated by SCOTUS.
I may have misssed something, but I've never heard of that hapening here in WA. Sometimes the Border Patrol will get a bit frisky up near the Canadian border, but never the State Patrol.

This brings to mind an incident that happened way back in 1969 or so. Worked for Boeing at that time, on the SST (if anyone remembers that doomed cause). In those days every driver in the State of Washington was required to have new plates by January 1st. Everybody. Well, on the first work day after New Years the State Patrol thought that it would be a great idea to station a couple of cops at the entrance to the Boeing parking lots, and check the cars that were entering. This, of course, caused a monumental traffic jam, and practically everybody was at least 30 minutes late for work.

Folks were so PO'd that evidently hundreds of us called the State Patrol to complain. The lady I talked to sounded very harrassed, and this was the last time the Patrol tried that stunt. And within five years or so the State changed things so license renewal was spread out evenly throughout the year, which made things a lot easier.
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  #21  
Old 12-18-2011, 12:33 PM
robardin robardin is offline
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Originally Posted by Evil Jon View Post
Small hijack: What about motorcycles? Back when I had my Harley the registration said that I was required to have it in my vehicle at all times. There isn't exactly a glove box to throw it in. I photocopied & scaled it down to keep in my wallet but I always wondered if would of got a ticket otherwise.
I definitely have been asked many times in NY for "license, insurance and registration" while on my bike, though usually the cops are checking for proper licensing and proof of current insurance. I keep my registration and insurance docs on my bike, which has a "document compartment" built into the passenger backrest on the seat (Kawasaki VN750), in a Ziploc bag to keep them from getting wet and sticking together when it rains. I've also used the grifter license plate box for other bikes. It works well but definitely use some loc-tite or similar adhesive to avoid having the lock vibrate loose and fall completely off of the holder (which happened to me once).

Last edited by robardin; 12-18-2011 at 12:34 PM..
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  #22  
Old 12-18-2011, 03:17 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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Originally Posted by robardin View Post
I definitely have been asked many times in NY for "license, insurance and registration" while on my bike...
I don't think NYS require you to carry any documents in your car, so much as they want you to be able to produce them for a police officer upon request.

The back of the NYS vehicle registration specifically states "the face of this document may be photocopied".

I've always made a copy to keep in my wallet, while the original is safe at home. In a rental car, your rental paperwork is all that's needed in order to fulfill the 'registration and insurance' part of the request.

The insurance paper is larger than the registration, so I always keep that in the glove box. But I prefer carrying the registration with me.
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  #23  
Old 12-18-2011, 08:09 PM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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I keep my registration in the glove box because I need it for military base access and for parking passes. It's just easier and I don't have to remember to bring it.
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  #24  
Old 12-19-2011, 03:19 AM
Mops Mops is offline
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Originally Posted by constanze View Post
I (not-driver) asked my mother (driver) about this, and she said that she keeps the registration, along with her drivers license and insurance, in her purse, to put inside the car when driving, and outside the car when locking it, both for safety if the car should be stolen, and for proof if a cop wants to see it.
I believe that is SOP here in Germany where carrying (a short form of) car registration is mandatory (there is a long form which I believe is only handed over when selling a car). IIRRC for cars with several users (e.g. company car) the registration is usually passed along with the keys. It would indeed be somewhat ill advised to leave it in the car.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:19 AM
Martini Enfield Martini Enfield is offline
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Do any of the US States have a similar system to the one in Australia/NZ, whereby there's a sticker on your windscreen which has your car registration, and the expiry date, and effectively says to the police "This car is registered [and, in Australia, has Compulsory Third Party Insurance]"?

I'm not aware of anywhere here that requires you to have the car's registration documents in the car or on your person anytime you drive it, although you do need to have the registration sticker affixed to your windscreen which, one presumes, accomplishes the same thing...
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:31 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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I believe that is SOP here in Germany where carrying (a short form of) car registration is mandatory (there is a long form which I believe is only handed over when selling a car). IIRRC for cars with several users (e.g. company car) the registration is usually passed along with the keys. It would indeed be somewhat ill advised to leave it in the car.
What you are talking about is called the "title" in the US - proof of ownership. One should not keep the title in the car. The registration shows that I have paid my annual tax to the state (Georgia). There may be states where you do not pay tax on your car, but still have an annual registration.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:33 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
Do any of the US States have a similar system to the one in Australia/NZ, whereby there's a sticker on your windscreen which has your car registration, and the expiry date, and effectively says to the police "This car is registered [and, in Australia, has Compulsory Third Party Insurance]"?
Yes. In Georgia we have a sticker on our license plate that shows the month and year when the registration is due for renewal. That date is the birthday month of the owner of the vehicle.
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  #28  
Old 12-19-2011, 06:51 AM
Turek Turek is offline
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Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
Do any of the US States have a similar system to the one in Australia/NZ, whereby there's a sticker on your windscreen which has your car registration, and the expiry date, and effectively says to the police "This car is registered [and, in Australia, has Compulsory Third Party Insurance]"?
Texas does it this way, too.
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  #29  
Old 12-19-2011, 07:49 AM
Francis Vaughan Francis Vaughan is offline
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Here in South Australia, cars no longer even carry the sticker on the windscreen. June was the last month they were issued, so in another 6 months no cars will have them. The logic being that modern communications and computer databases have made even stickers obsolete. Most modern cars have the VIN visible form the outside, so it is trivial to match up plates and car ID when pulled over. Police can look up the registration on the spot. We have the cute little police car mounted license plate monitoring cameras running too, so police can get automatic notification of out of registration cars (which here implicitly means lack of third partly insurance - which is the real offence) as you drive past.

One thing they are very clear about here when registering a car. Registration is not the same as proof of ownership/title. In particular registration of a car does not prove the lack of a lien against the car, or that it was not stolen interstate. This is something that annoys a lot of people. There is a lack of inter-state cooperation over this (although it is improving.)

I will confess I have never understood some countries or states that have such astoundingly strict rules about carrying paperwork for a car. It simply seems to be a mechanism for creating fines and annoying people.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:40 AM
postcards postcards is offline
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Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
Do any of the US States have a similar system to the one in Australia/NZ, whereby there's a sticker on your windscreen which has your car registration, and the expiry date, and effectively says to the police "This car is registered [and, in Australia, has Compulsory Third Party Insurance]"?
New York State does this, with a windshield sticker; it does not, however, mean you've got insurance. But, if you should allow your insurance to lapse, your carrier will helpfully notify the state immediately, and your registration will be suspended. So if you get pulled over for any reason, you've automatically got two violations.
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  #31  
Old 12-19-2011, 08:49 AM
jtgain jtgain is offline
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I wonder why in this day and time, it is even required for a driver to physically carry a driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. As others have said, the cops can run your tag and see if it is valid. If you have let your insurance lapse, your carrier is required to notify the state who would then suspend your tag, which suspension would show up in the previous step.

If you aren't carrying a paper copy of your license, you can tell the cop that you are John Smith who lives on 123 Popular Drive in Anyborough. The cop can pull up a digital image of your license and compare the picture with the person standing there, and also verify that the license is valid.

You might say that it is easier on the cop for you to have this stuff in paper form, but in my understanding, they do all of the above in a traffic stop anyways. Why the need for papers, please?
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  #32  
Old 12-19-2011, 09:07 AM
RingsOfPylon RingsOfPylon is offline
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Experienced police officers are aware that out of state vehicles may not need to carry a paper registration. Maybe some wet-behind-the-ears cop will hassle you momentarily, but they can see your out of state plates.

I'm waiting for someone here to tell you that if you travel across state lines you'll need to get a driver's license from your destination state. If you're married, how about a marriage license in each state - just to make sure. Of course, that's ridiculous, as are the contentions that one state will not abide a legal vehicle from another state. Could you imagine the competition and loss of business and tourism if that was the case?

In NYS I expect the paper registration will disappear soon. You really don't even need to carry your insurance card, since a piece of paper can be doctored to look legit even if it's not.

Most police cars here are equipped with scanners that read a car's license plate, connect to the DMV or RMV, and, within seconds, can tell the cop if your vehicle is registered and/or insured, if it was reported stolen, the description of the car, who owns the vehicle, etc. There's no real need for a cop to ask for anything but your driver's license.

As for insurance, most NYS motorists are required to carry insurance that provides coverage if you're injured from an uninsured or under-insured motorist. I bet a lot of auto insurance companies offer this coverage and many states require it.

If you're in compliance with your home state, there is no need to worry about crossing state lines.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:55 AM
yabob yabob is offline
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Originally Posted by amarone View Post
What you are talking about is called the "title" in the US - proof of ownership. One should not keep the title in the car. The registration shows that I have paid my annual tax to the state (Georgia). There may be states where you do not pay tax on your car, but still have an annual registration.
Yeah, we went around this once before with practices in the UK. What is called the "registration" in the UK is called a "title" in the US. What we call the "registration" is similar to the "tax disc", except that it's usually a card kept in the glove box rather than a sticker on the windshield.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:09 AM
constanze constanze is offline
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Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
I wonder why in this day and time, it is even required for a driver to physically carry a driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. As others have said, the cops can run your tag and see if it is valid. If you have let your insurance lapse, your carrier is required to notify the state who would then suspend your tag, which suspension would show up in the previous step.
My WAG is that the laws were made many decades ago when paper was the only proof because computers weren't around; and changing the laws to require all cops to look it up online means that all cops are required to equip their cars with computers, but not all jurisdictions may have the money for that.

Keeping the requirements for paper is cheaper for the cops, and possibly cheaper for the drivers, too: you don't have to buy an electronic card as backup proof.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:04 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Daylate View Post
Wow! South Carolina cops can pull you over whenever they feel like inspecting your car?! And here I thought that the Old South was a bastion of personal liberty.

Even here in Washington (aka the Nanny State) that would very probably cause a stir.
Seriously, you think you live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

In most cases, police can stop you. If they have probably cause, they can search teh vehicle. In all cases, even routine "Stop everyone", they can ask for license and registration. A court case a few years ago decided that you cannot refuse to identify yourself to a ploice officer doing an investigation. There's a whole body of law on pedestrain stops and pat-downs with a much lower standard of cause than a full search.

We won't get into "no knock" warrants, which have been standard for 30 plus years. Sorry if we got the wrong house...

Recall the story of one of the NHL players who was pulled over in the middle of a lake in Minnesota this summer; he blew clean on the breathalyzer, but was charged with Boating DUI when he told them he would not give a urine and blood sample - to cops or conservation officers in the middle of a lake! Apparently, another case of BWB - boating while black.

Meanwhile, back at the OP - many Canadian provinces also require you to have the registration in the vehicle. Generally, the cops are not dicks, and will either ignore the missing document or give you 48 hours to bring it down to the police station, although it is quite possible to provoke them into writing you a ticket. (Or some cops can be dicks for no reason) An acquaintance once was pulled over by the Ontario police with expired plates (it was not a good year financially for him). The policeman pointed out his expired registration and insurance, and he said "that's my girlfriend in the car. We're going to pick up her father at the airport. Whatever ticket or tow I get from you is nothing to what he's gojng to say if we miss him and he finds out what happened..." The cop actually let him go with a warning! My guess is it was too close to shift change and he couldn't be bothered waiting for the tow truck then filling out the piles of paperwork.

yes, all that stuff is available online. Cops used to just call the details in to the dispatcher. Now they have computers in the car.

Last edited by md2000; 12-19-2011 at 08:06 PM..
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  #36  
Old 12-19-2011, 09:52 PM
Terry Kennedy Terry Kennedy is offline
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Originally Posted by RingsOfPylon View Post
Experienced police officers are aware that out of state vehicles may not need to carry a paper registration. Maybe some wet-behind-the-ears cop will hassle you momentarily, but they can see your out of state plates.
As I've said before in this forum, you can try to politely explain things, but the officer can write a ticket for whatever he feels like. They'll tell you that it is the court's job to sort it out.

Most jurisdictions are reasonable about this. A small number consider this an easy source of revenue - if you're passing through and will be hundreds of miles away at the time of your court date, they figure you'll just mail back the ticket with a check rather than coming back to fight it. In the "old days", you could simply ignore it, as long as you planned to never be in that area again. With the advent of the Non-Resident Violator Compact (and successors), that state will simply tell your state to suspend your license.

For more than any normal person wants to know, consult the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators web site.

Quote:
If you're in compliance with your home state, there is no need to worry about crossing state lines.
Note that this reciprocity only applies to private vehicles, not commercial ones. The rules for commercial vehicles are far more complex and bizarre.
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  #37  
Old 12-20-2011, 11:31 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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In California, it used to be required that you keep your registration secured to the steering wheel column. You bought a little flexible frame thing that attached to the column, and slipped the registration into it.

But then they realized that people would look into the window, see your address, figure this was evidence that you weren't home, and would go to rob your house.
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