Vehicle Registration Suspension

Vehicle registration suspension is yet another way that the authorities can suspend a motorist’s use of their vehicle for violating of the law. Registration suspension, unlike vehicle impoundment or vehicle confiscation, is more commonly used for lower-level offenses that do not necessitate the removal of the vehicle from the motorist’s possession.

Registration suspension can occur for a number of reasons including:

  • Lack of proper insurance coverage.
  • Expired license plates.
  • Unpaid parking tickets.
  • Failure to comply with a safety equipment repair order (e.g., nonfunctional rear light).
  • Refusal by a motorist to oblige any other licensing or traffic law.

The actual suspension of registration is an order that typically originates from within the Department of Motor Vehicles. Notice of suspension is mailed to the address that was provided at time of registration with the DMV.

When vehicle registration suspension occurs, the vehicle cannot be operated by its owner or anyone else until its registration status has been restored. If caught, the driver of a vehicle that does not have current registration would be considered guilty of a misdemeanor and could be subject to the revocation of driving privileges.

Violation of the terms of vehicle registration suspension could result in stiff penalties, up to and including the vehicle being impounded or confiscated. Pennsylvania law requires that driver’s licenses be suspended for three months, in addition to any other penalties that may be imposed.

In Nevada, there is a fee of $250 for the reinstatement of vehicle registration after it has been revoked for failure to maintain liability insurance issued by an insurance carrier licensed in the state if Nevada. Other states have similar fee structures, including stipulations that the suspension remain in effect for the same duration of time that the motorist was in violation of an applicable stipulation.

Of course, with any penalty that is imposed by a regulating agency, there is an appeals process. For the details of this process, it is best to write to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state where the revocation was issued. Until the appeal has been decided, it is not a good idea to operate a vehicle with a suspended registration in order to avoid other potential penalties.