Can My Car Be Towed From My Driveway For Expired Tags?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

There is a lot that comes with owning a car. Even if you have no plans to drive it, you are required to register and plate your car in most areas. That can be something of a problem for those who have vehicles that require extensive work.

The real question is whether or not your car can be towed right out of your driveway for expired registration. The answer is not simple, as it depends on the municipality. In some areas, your vehicle cannot be towed for expired registration so long as it is not on public streets. But in others, your car could be towed without your permission. Not only that, proof of registration will be required to retrieve the car again.

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A Quick Bit About Registration

Those who have any experience behind the wheel know that you need a few things to do so. Your license is perhaps the most obvious one. You also need to have insurance on your vehicle. And the vehicle itself has to be registered.

What many don’t know is that your car usually does need to have registration even if you have no plans to drive it. Though it is an additional cost, you should always assume that any vehicle in your possession requires registration.

What Happens When My Tags Expire?

Registration is visible on your vehicle in the form of a small stick that goes on your license plate. It can be one of any number of colors but it displays the month and year that it expires. Legally it has to be displayed clearly on your back license plate so that it can be easily identified.

There are a couple of things that can happen. For one, you can and will be fined if you drive with expired tags. A police officer will stop you and issue you a citation for those expired tags. The fine varies depending on where you live but is usually between $100 and $200.

There is, of course, the chance that your vehicle gets towed. Depending on the municipality and the amount of time that has passed, you may be at risk of having your vehicle towed. It is always worth airing on the side of caution and having your vehicle registered instead of having to deal with fines or towing.

What Do I Do if My Car is Towed for Expired Registration?

It is an unfortunate situation and one no one wants to find themselves in. Though each municipality is different, the situation will unfold basically the same. First, the police and/or the DMV will find out that your vehicle is unregistered. From there, they will send out a tow truck to pick your vehicle up.

When your car has been towed, you will have to contact either the DMV and/or police to find out where to pick your vehicle up. They will likely instruct you that you not only have to pay a fine but you have to show proof of registration as well. Given this requirement, it is always worth playing on the safe side and getting registration.

Why Else Might My Car Be Towed Without My Permission?

The unfortunate thing is that this is not the only scenario in which your car can be towed without your permission. There are four other situations where you can safely assume that your car is at potential risk.

Obstructing a Road or Walkway

There is one thing to keep in mind about parking violations. They are at the whim of the municipality. What is legal in one area may be illegal in another. It is always best to ask the local municipality or air on the side of caution if you are uncertain.

That said, blocking a sidewalk or other walkway, as well as a road, can be a sure bet to get you towed. If your vehicle is blocked in a way that it blocks a driveway entrance or business, the owner can call to have your vehicle towed. When parking, make sure that you aren’t causing an obstruction anywhere or you may come out wondering where your vehicle has gone to.

Illegal Parking

The most common reason why your vehicle may be towed. There are signs up in nearly any location that state when and where parking is restricted. The signs will designate when and where it is okay or not okay to park, although some of those signs are less than clear.

Parking in an ambulance parking spot or a handicapped parking zone without a permit will almost guarantee a tow. In bigger cities, there are huge hurdles to overcome when it comes to parking. Pay attention to the different signs, try to adhere to them as best you can, and be aware if you think you may be in violation.

No License

This one should go without saying. Not only are you at risk of having your vehicle towed, but you are also at risk of being arrested. Driving without a license is a very serious offense. If you do not have a valid driver’s license, there is no valid excuse for getting behind the wheel.

Even if you get caught driving without a license and are not arrested, there is a chance that your vehicle may be towed anyway. That is even if you are released to a friend or relative that has a valid driver’s license. The potential risks that come with driving without a license far outweigh any benefit.

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Final Thoughts About Expired Tags

It isn’t cheap registering your vehicle or having the registration renewed. Not only that, but it feels like one of those things where you simply have to pay because that’s the way it is. But the law says that you have to have your vehicles registered. Agree or disagree, know that you are running several risks by keeping a vehicle that is not registered.

You will save yourself a ton of time and hassle by simply registering your vehicle, whether you plan on driving it or not.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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