Can You Have an Unregistered Car in Your Driveway in Florida?

Can You Have an Unregistered Car in Your Driveway in Florida

The stress of having a car registered can be discouraging for some people, hence, they choose the easy way out by stalling on the decision to register.

That’s a wrong decision to make because in the long run going around with an unregistered car will be far more costly when you get in trouble with the authorities.

With having an unregistered car comes the decision of where to park it and irrespective of the state or city, it is illegal to have your car parked off your property.

Yes, you can have an unregistered car in your driveway in Florida. However, all residents in Florida are required by law to have their car registered, new residents have the grace to do so within 10 days of getting employed.

Considering moving to Florida? There are a few things you should know about car registration. First in line is to get a Florida driver’s license as this will be used as proof during registration. Next is to go through the fee schedule, this gives an insight into how much the registration will cost.

Can You Have an Unregistered Car in Your Driveway in Florida?

Yes, you can have an unregistered car in your driveway in Florida. It is not uncommon to find unregistered cars in driveways, in fact, it is a safe haven for any unregistered car as parking enforcement officers have no authority to give a ticket or have it towed.  No law is being violated when your car is on your property.

However, anywhere outside of that driveway or your property parking enforcement officer are within the law to have your car towed as it is considered a violation of the law.

To avoid the risk of getting a ticket or having your car towed, it is advisable to register in time.

All unregistered cars are to be registered within six months of their expiration, car owners, however, for whatever reason might decide to wait out the six months of grace before renewing their registration.

What Happens If You Don’t Register Your Car in Florida?

Clearly, if your car isn’t registered in Florida you are going against the law and regulations and will have to face whatever action is deemed fit to law violators.

Penalties for unregistered car depends on whether you were driving the unregistered car or it’s just a case of late registration. Registration renewal must be done on a yearly basis after its expiration, if this isn’t done, the driver can be charged.

According to the Florida Ticket Firm, if you have taken residence in Florida for a duration of six months but your car isn’t registered, you may be faced with:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Second-degree misdemeanor charge
  • Up to six months of probation
  • Up to a $500 fine

One disadvantage of getting Second Degree Misdemeanor is the person may find it difficult to find a job, Second Degree Misdemeanor is considered a criminal offense.

If it’s not your first time registering but you allowed the registration to lapse after expiration, the penalty will be dependent on how long it has lapsed. If you get pulled over when your expiration is less than six months, all you get is a minor penalty.

Do You Have to Register a Car that is Not Being Driven in Florida?

No, you do not have to register a car that is not being driven in Florida. The registration requirements according to Section 02-2011 Florida Statuses state that every owner of a motor vehicle that is operated on the road of the state should have them registered.

Registration is not required for any vehicle that is not operated on the roads of the state. You don’t have to register a car parked in your garage that is up for sale. But if you were to drive the car on the road, you must have it registered.

It is completely up to the car owner to decide if the car will be registered even when it won’t be driven, whatever the decision may be, it is important to remember not to park the car outside your property, whether it is being driven or not, else you risk it been towed away.

Do You have to Carry Registration in a Car in Florida?

Yes, you have to carry your registration in a car in Florida. Your registration is a means of identifying that the car belongs to you legally. Since the registration is equal to an ID Card it should be with you at all times.

If you don’t have it with you, how will you prove the car is yours? Excuses upon excuses? No, that won’t do, have your registration with you.

If it will help you not to forget it, you can always have it in a compartment in the car, that way you can be sure it’s there.

Not carrying your registration with you can lead to you spending money you didn’t plan for. Yes, when you get pulled over and you can’t produce your registration there is a high chance that you’d be asked to pay a fine.

Can a Non-Florida Resident Register a Car in Florida?

Yes, a non-Florida resident will have to register his car in Florida but on a temporary basis. Florida does not require that you be a resident to register your car.

If you’re probably on work travel in Florida and need to buy a car then you need to have it registered, however, in this case, you’d get temporary tags.

The same applies to someone coming into Florida with a car, the registration you did outside of Florida doesn’t count there, you need to have it registered with the state, howbeit, with temporary tags.

How Long Do You Have to Register a Car After Purchase?

How long you have to register your car after purchase depends on if you bought it from a dealer or private party. If you bought it from a dealer, you get a temporary tag that gives you 30 days to register your car, you also get a registration document that is useful for only 30 days.

Having this document with you for the next 30 days after purchase gives you a cover from getting a fine, it also gives ample time for you to have the necessary paperwork done with the state.

However, in the case of purchase from a private party, the seller submits a Notification of Change of Ownership (NCO) form after which you have 21 days to submit your own form to the licensing authority.

You’d have to submit a number of things for registration which consists of the car’s current Certificate of Registration, a valid roadworthiness certificate (to show that the car has been tested and is roadworthy), Application for Registration, proof of address, copy of the owner’s ID.

Once the 21 days passes your car automatically becomes unregistered.

Final Thoughts

It is important to note that if your unregistered car is not on your driveway or property it could result in you getting your car towed or getting a ticket.

Whether it will be towed or get a ticket is dependent on if it just got expired or it is more than six months late.

Rather than being careful of where to park your unregistered car, save yourself the mental and physical stress and get it registered, that way you will sleep easy.

The process of registration depends on if you bought the car from a private individual or a dealer.

Often time, buying a car from a dealer may be the best option, for one, you get a longer period to register your car plus the bulk of the paperwork has been done for you.