Keeping your vehicle's registration up to date is a must if you want to keep your vehicle street legal. In fact, all it takes is being pulled over without current vehicle registration once to have your car towed and receive some hefty fines. If your vehicle registration is up for renewal or will be in the near future, there are a few common mistakes you'll want to avoid regardless of the state in which you live.
Overlooking Online Renewal Options
These days, the majority of states offer online and snail-mail vehicle registration renewal options that can save you from making the trip in-person to the local DMV, BMV, or other branch location. In some cases, however, the deadline to renew via these platforms is sooner than the deadline for in-person renewal, so be sure to plan accordingly. In most cases, there's no need to visit your local DMV branch unless your registration information has changed and needs to be updated.
Not Having an Up-to-Date Insurance Card
One of the most importance pieces of documentation you'll be asked to present upon renewing your vehicle registration is a current auto insurance card. Your car must be covered with at least the state minimum coverage (or whatever coverage is required of your lender, if you're still making payments on your vehicle) in order for your registration to be renewed. Double-check before you attempt your renewal to ensure that your insurance card is up to date and your coverage is valid.
Failing to Update Addresses as Needed
When you renew your registration, you'll also need to make sure that the name and address on your driver's license matches the address to which you are registering the vehicle. Make sure that you update this information as needed with the DMV to avoid issues down the road, especially if you have recently moved or have recently changed your last name through marriage or other means.
Bringing the Wrong Documentation
Documentation requirements for renewing your registration can vary greatly from one state to the next, so be sure to check your state's DMV (or equivalent) website for a list of accepted and required documents before you renew. In most cases, you'll need a current/valid state ID, current proof of auto insurance, and possibly your vehicle title. Some states may require more or less in the way of documentation, so make sure you have everything you need before you waste your time going to renew your registration.