How to Renew your Vehicle Registration Tags

Get smart! Here’s how to renew your vehicle registration tags in an easier way. Most states still offer the option of going to the DMV office and standing in line to renew those tags, but there are other (better) options. Many counties send out postcard notices with an identification number that grants drivers access to the county website where they can enter a few details to renew their vehicle registration tags. This process to renew your vehicle registration tags may come with a small handling fee the time, but frustration saved from not having to deal with the DMV is priceless.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 5, 2020

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Are you one of those people who delays renewing your vehicle registration tags because you just know the process is going to be long, tedious and absolutely no fun whatsoever?

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Most everyone who has a driver’s license also has a horror story revolving around waiting hours in a long line at the DMV however today is different than the DMV you may remember from 20 years ago, or even from 10 or five years ago. While most states still offer an option of taking your vehicle paperwork to a DMV office and standing in line to renew those tags but there are other options as well.

Renew Your Vehicle Registration Tags Online

Remember, this is the computer age, and, as with many tasks, you can now renew your registration and tags online. Many counties send out postcard notices with an identification number that allows drivers to visit the county website and enter a few details to renew their vehicle registration tags. While the process sometimes comes with a small handling fee the time and frustration saved from having to deal with the DMV in person is priceless.

Renew your Tags by Phone

For those drivers who still avoid the use of computers vehicle registration tags can often be renewed by phone also. However, most likely you will never speak to a real person but an automated system that requires a touch tone phone to respond to questions and to relay information. You will need to provide some unique information on your registration renewal notification but the process typically only takes 5 minutes or less. You will need to have a payment source ready so always have your credit or debit card available before you call.

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Of course you can always renew by mail or in person also but using either of the automated systems is much quicker. Some DMV offices even have automated kiosks to assist with motor vehicle registration renewal however these are also automated systems so try to save yourself a visit and simply call or renew online as essentially these automated kiosks provide the exact same service.

What happens if my Vehicle Registration Tags become expired?

If you are driving a vehicle with expired tags and get pulled over you can be subject to some serious fines and penalties. Even your car insurance coverage could potentially be disqualified depending on the terms of your policy. While some people who get pulled over with expired tags are simply sent off with a waning it’s important to understand that driving without a properly registered vehicle is illegal. Some drivers even report their car being towed away until new tags have been acquired.

Can I get car insurance with expired vehicle registration tags?

If you have an existing car insurance policy in place your policy will probably not lapse should your tags become expired however you do run the risk of a car insurance company denying a claim. The exact outcome of not having a valid registered vehicle will depend on your car insurance company, your policy details and the type of claim being made but you certainly do not want to give car insurance companies any reason to deny a claim.

For drivers who need car insurance you will need to have your vehicle properly registered before acquiring car insurance no matter which car insurance company you choose?

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