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Driving Without Valid Vehicle Registration: State Laws

Congratulations. You've bought a new car. Or maybe a used car. Regardless, you finally have the four wheels you'll need to get to and from work, school, the gym, and your friend's place. Driving can be an empowering experience. But before you hit the open road, you should understand your state's requirements for legally operating a motor vehicle.

One of the most important aspects of owning a car is making sure you register it with your local department of motor vehicles. If you're pulled over by the police and driving without valid vehicle registration, state laws may impose steep fines and more.

Driving Without Valid Vehicle Registration: State Law Directory

Not sure of the laws in your state? Not to worry. FindLaw has compiled a list of the laws for all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) so you can stay informed and in compliance with important registration requirements.


Licenses & Registration (AL Code Title 32, Ch. 6)


Vehicles subject to registration (AK Statutes 28.10.011)


Registration; violation; classification; exceptions (ARS 28-2531) Registration; violation; civil penalties (ARS 28-2532)


Registration requirements -- Exception (AR Code 27-14-701)


Division 3 - Registration of Vehicles and Certificates of Title (California Vehicle Code)

Colorado Registration required - exemptions (CRS 42-3-103)
Connecticut Motor vehicle registration (GSC section 14-12)
Delaware Operation of unregistered vehicle (DE Code Title 21 section 2101)
District of Columbia Registration; unlawful acts; penalty (DC Code section 50-1501.04)
Florida Expiration of registration (FS 320.07)
Georgia Valid registration required (Georgia Code 40-6-15)
Hawaii Registration of vehicles (HRS section 286-41)
Idaho Violations of registration provisions (ID Statutes section 49-456)
Penalties for failure to pay operating fees (ID Statutes section 49-434A)
Illinois Offenses Against Registration (625 ILCS 5/3-701 to 5/3-711)
Indiana Expiration, Replacement, and Transfer of Registrations and License Plates (Indiana Code 9-18-6)
Iowa Misdemeanor to violate registration provisions (IA Code section 321.17)
Operation without registration (IA Code section 321.98)
Kansas Registration of vehicles operated in this state (KS Statute 8-127)
Kentucky Registration requirement (KRS 186.020)
Louisiana Vehicle license required (LRS 32:51)
Maine Registration required (MRS Title 29-A section 351)
Maryland Driving or allowing certain unregistered vehicles to be driven (MD Transp. Code section 13-401 & 402)
Massachusetts Operation of unregistered or improperly equipped motor vehicles (90 MGL section 9)
Michigan Offenses against registration (MI Vehicle Code section 257.255 to 257.259)
Minnesota Registration required (MN Statute 168.09)
Mississippi Motor vehicle titles (MS Code Title 63, Ch. 21)
Missouri Application for registration of motor vehicles, -- penalty for failure to comply (MRS 301.020)
Montana Registration required (MCA section 61-3-301)
Nebraska Registration required (R.R.S. Nebr. § 60-362)
Nevada Registration required for certain vehicles (NRS 482.205)
New Hampshire Certificates of title and registration of vehicles (NH Statutes Ch. 261)
New Jersey Registration of automobiles and motorcycles (NJ Statutes 39:3-4)
New Mexico Vehicles subject to registration (NMS 66-3-1)
New York Registration of motor vehicles (NY Vehicle & Traffic Code section 401)
North Carolina Owner to secure registration and certificate of title (NCGS section 20-50)
North Dakota Violations of registration provisions (ND Code Chapter 39-04 scroll to 39-04-37)
Ohio Licensing of Motor Vehicles (ORC Chapter 4503)
Oklahoma Registration (OK Statutes Title 47 scroll to 47-1-153)
Oregon Vehicle Title and Registration (OR Vehicle Code 803.300 to 803.325 )
Pennsylvania Registration of Vehicles: Violations and Suspensions (PA Vehicle Code Ch. 13; Subchapter C)
Rhode Island Offenses Against Registration and Certificate of Title Laws (RI Code Ch. 31-8)
Operation of Unregistered Vehicles a Misdemeanor (RI Code 31-3-1)
South Carolina Vehicles required to be registered (SC Code scroll to section 56-3-110)
South Dakota Operation of vehicle while registration is suspended (SD Laws section 32-5-101 and 32-5-2)
Tennessee Registration required before operation (TN Code section 55-4-101)
Texas Registration of Vehicles (TX Transp. Code Ch. 502)
Utah Registration card to be signed, carried, and exhibited (UT Code 41-1a-214)
Operating motor vehicle without license or registration (UT Code 41-12a-603)
Vermont Persons required to register (23 VSA section 301)
Virginia Owner to secure registration (VA Code 46.2-600)
Washington Certificates required to operate and sell vehicles (RCW section 46.12.520)
West Virginia Registration; misdemeanor to violate provisions of article (WV Code section 17A-3-1)
Wisconsin Penalty for operating unregistered or improperly registered vehicle (WI Code Chapter 341 section 341.04)
Wyoming Registration (WY Statutes Title 31, Ch. 2, Article 2)

Get Legal Advice About Vehicle Registration

If you've been cited for driving without valid vehicle registration or simply need some guidance about the laws in your state, consult an attorney. An experienced traffic ticket attorney can review your case, explain the laws, and advise you on the next step.

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