A cop has pulled you over for a traffic violation. So you turn off your car engine, roll down your window, and maybe try to give your best “please go easy on me” smile. The cop approaches your vehicle and begins to speak. Let me give you a hint, the next words out of his mouth are probably not, “I just wanted to pull you over to tell you that you’re the best driver I’ve ever seen in my 30 years on the force.” Rather, the cop says to you exactly what he probably said to the last thousand people he pulled over for a traffic violation: “License and registration, please.” So you reach over to your over-stuffed glove box where you comb through old receipts, stale granola bars, and melted tubes of ChapStick to find your car insurance registration. Unfortunately, today is not your day: those 3-year-old granola bars aren’t the only thing in your glove box that’s expired: your registration is expired too. An expired registration is more than just a pesky administrative task to add to your never ending to-do list—driving a motor vehicle with an expired registration in Florida is a violation of Florida law, and in some circumstances can be a criminal traffic infraction that could land you up to 60 days in county jail.
Florida Statute §320.07(1) provides that if the motor vehicle owner is an individual person, the register period of the motor vehicle expires at midnight on the owner’s birthday. The vehicle may not be operated on the roads in Florida after expiration of the renewal period. If the owner of the motor vehicle is some other entity besides an individual person (e.g., a corporation), the registration of the motor vehicle expires at midnight on the last day of the registration or extended registration period. The vehicle may not be operated on the roads in Florida after expiration of the renewal period.
Penalties for having an expired registration vary depending on how long the registration has been expired for and how many times the person has committed the offense. Pursuant to Florida Statute §320.07(3)(a), any person whose motor vehicle registration has been expired for a period of 6 months or less commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318 (issuance of a citation with a fine). Pursuant to Florida Statute §320.07(3(b), any person whose motor vehicle has been expired for more than 6 months, upon a first offense, is subject to the issuance of a citation with a fine. If a person commits this offense for the second or subsequent time, the person is then charged with a misdemeanor of the second degree, which is punishable by 60 days in county jail and/or a $500 fine.
If you have been charged with a traffic offense in South Florida, it is typically in your best interests to hire a Miami ticket attorney or Fort Lauderdale ticket attorney to represent you. The attorneys at the South Florida Law firm of Galanter Law have extensive experience representing clients charged with civil traffic offenses (e.g., speeding, unlawful turn, disobey traffic control device, and etc.) as well as criminal traffic offenses (e.g., driving with a suspended license in Florida, leaving the scene of an accident in Florida, DUI manslaughter, reckless driving, and etc.).
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