Why Car Registration is Important

by : Kelly Hunter

Car registration is a legal necessity that not only applies to United States citizens but to citizens of most countries. A vehicle registration plate is the plate (usually referred to as the license plate) that is attached to motor vehicles or trailers for I.D purposes. Depending on what country the car is registered in, the car will have a certain amount of numeric characters. In the United States it is a federal law that all cars be registered once per year. If the car is not registered then there is the possibility of receiving a large fine and/ or jail time depending on the circumstances.

What exactly is car registration? Car registration is basically the proof or the evidence that you have paid the taxes and fees that having a car comes with to have it on the road legally. Car registration needs to occur for any and all of your motor vehicles that are driven on public property. Registration is tied in with your insurance and your title and it is a fee that must be paid on an annual basis. Car registration is calculated according to a number of different factors, including the car’s age, make and model. Registration for newer cars is typically higher than registration for older cars.

While car registration must occur every year according to the federal law, many states have different requirements according to how they go about the registration process. For instance, the state of Florida, like many other states, requires consumers to get new license plates on their motor vehicles every five years, even if they look fine. The reason for this is license plates often become less visible during night time hours after around five years of use. License plates come with reflective capabilities and after about five years these reflectors begin to wear off. Registering a vehicle in the owner's name notifies the state of ownership of the vehicle, and provides the necessary documentation for the issuance of state license plates and tags to be affixed to the vehicle. Operating a motor vehicle that is not properly registered is usually an offense punishable by fine or IMPRISONMENT. Within most states, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or an office of the Secretary of State is the proper entity for registering vehicles.While all states are different and they all require different documentation upon registering your car, the most common documents needed are the title and the proof of insurance. Most states will not register a car that does not have one of these documents, although they may require other documentation (you would have to check with your particular state’s regulations). For instance, some states require a bill of sale, VIN number and/ or the odometer reading. A car’s title is usually under the name of whoever the car is currently registered under. Once a used car is purchased the buyer takes over title rights and is in charge of paying sales taxes, license plate fees and transfer fees from the previous owner to themselves. Car registration is seen as a pain to many motor vehicle owners but it is really set up for their own protection and rights.