LIcense Plate Renewal...or not

I drive a '95 Saturn on its last leg. I doubt it will pass inspection but I only drive about 5-6 miles/day.
I also live in a high-crime area and the police don’t seem to care all that much about possible vehicle
law infractions. Is it worth the risk?

Where I live the license plate sticker renewal is $84. So, if your insurance is intact, I would renew the plates and cross my fingers. At the rate you drive you may get another year out of it. If it gets stolen you will get something from the insurance. In a high crime area a car like that is actually an advantge!

Your state must be different than mine, as here we renew our registration stickers, not our license plates. Regardless, this doesn’t seem worth the risk to me, especially if by any chance this would invalidate your insurance coverage.

Those who live in high crime areas seem to be targeted for “stop-and-frisk” and other similar violations of one’s civil rights. An expired license plate is just the kind of excuse a rogue police officer needs to pull you over at any time for any reason. I would renew the registration.

It’s a safe bet that NOT renewing it will not make your car any safer or your neighborhood any better. I cannot think of a single reason NOT to renew it.

Besides, if it gets stolen and you need to file a police report at least you’ll be filing against a valid registration. Guess what will happen if you report it stolen and they discover the registration is expired? They’ll focus on the overdue registration rather than the stolen car!

To prioritize:

  1. Pay insurance first.
  2. Keep safety/emissions current, if applicable.
  3. Renew title/tags.

Most states treat 1. as a BFD, suspending licenses, etc. 2. and 3. are frequently ‘fix-it tickets,’ meaning if you show the judge you dealt with it promptly, you stand a good chance of reduced/waived fines.

Where I live there is little to no chance of being stopped so I would say not to worry about it here. I have several utility trailers and only have one plate that I use when I go out of town.

I have had a county cop go past me when I was towing a trailer with no plates, no lights (by no lights I mean the were not there, nothing to hook up) and the cop ignored me.

A guy at work moved here from another state, he drove for over two years on his old plates even when they were expired.

You can’t get pulled over here, so if your in a similar place I wouldn’t have valid plates.

Anthother factor in favor of keeping everything current, is that if do get caught with expired plates and/or insurance it goes onto your record. Then, when you DO buy another car and look for insurance, the companies will see that on your record. Trust when I say you won’t like the results of that, cost wise, as the insurance carrier will deem you a much higher risk.

Does your Insurance cover a car that does not have current plates? Could be worth checking into. I had a friend that left a signed title on the passenger seat, unlocked of course, and still could not find a willing thief.