Everyone who operates a motor vehicle in Florida is required to have valid vehicle registration and insurance. Each year, the owner of a vehicle must renew his motor vehicle registration that is dated on his birthday. If registration is not renewed after 6 months, it is not automatically a criminal offense; however, creating a habit of foregoing registration renewal can lead to criminal charges. If you face charges for driving with an expired tag in West Palm Beach, working with an experienced attorney can provide the best opportunity for defending these charges.
Procedures for Renewing Vehicle Registration
Motor vehicle owners are required to renew their car registrations on an annual basis. If the renewal fee and documentation are not received by midnight on the owner’s birthday, the registration is considered expired. As the owner of the vehicle in question, you will likely be subjected to late fees if you fail to meet this deadline. Additionally, if you are caught driving with an expired registration and are pulled over by police, you may face penalties such as fines.
The type of penalties you may face depends on the length of time for which your registration has been expired. Generally, you face a noncriminal infraction for driving with registration that has been expired for fewer than six months. If your registration is expired for six months or longer, but it is your first time that the registration has not been renewed in that long, you also do not face criminal charges.
Registration Expired for Fewer than Six Months
If your registration has expired for fewer than six months you can obtain a noncriminal traffic infraction for which you can face a fine that you must pay in addition to the regular renewal fees and any applicable late fees.
Registration Expired for Over Six Months
If you have gone six months or more without updating your vehicle’s registration, you may not face criminal charges if it is the first time it has happened. You may need to make a court appearance and face fines of up to $500. You may also be required to attend traffic school. It may be possible to attend traffic school in lieu of paying a fine. This offense can add two points against your Florida driver’s license.
Registration that has gone more than six months without renewal for a second or subsequent time can bring charges for a criminal traffic violation. Under §320.07(3)(c) of the Florida Statutes, any person whose motor vehicle tag or registration has been expired for more than six months commits a second degree misdemeanor if it is the registrant’s second such violation. This means you could face time in jail for up to 60 days. You may also be fined up to $500. This can open up a permanent criminal record without a tough attorney who defends failure to register charges in West Palm Beach.
Find a Qualified Traffic Attorney Near You
Attorney Brian Gabriel has dedicated over 25 years to practicing criminal law and is highly experienced in defending misdemeanor traffic violations. Contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel to discuss your charges for free, or connect with us online to schedule a consultation.