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Driving with Suspended Registration

driving with suspended registration
Driving with a suspended registration is a crime in New York.

Common scenario:

The driver gets car insurance, pays for 1 month, and gets an insurance card for a period of 6 months.

Diver fails to make the next insurance payment on time and insurance sends a letter to the driver /registered car owner notifying him/her that the insurance company will notify DMV that such insurance was canceled. The driver either ignores, forgets, or does not get/does not read such a letter, and eventually insurance company notifies DMV that a particular car does not have mandatory NYS insurance. DMV will notify the registered car owner that failure to resolve this issue will cause DMV to suspend its registration. The owner fails to comply and continues driving the car (whether an owner or anybody else). DMV suspends registration of such vehicles prohibiting this vehicle from being operated on NYS public roads.  When this vehicle gets pulled over by police whether for an unrelated violation or if police run its license plate/registration, Police will check the validity of its registration. If it is suspended — the driver of such car will get charged with a criminal offense – operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration – VTL 512 – Unclassified Misdemeanor (a crime) and will issue summonses for the driver to appear in a criminal court, or village/town court if it happens within a village/town. It does not matter if this driver is not the registered owner of this vehicle, the ticket will still be issued. In addition to charging the driver with VTL 512, an officer may (and in many instances will) issue these additional charges – VTL  340 (an unclassified misdemeanor), failure to surrender revoked/suspended plates to DMV,  355 – another unclassified misdemeanor – operating without proof when required after suspension/revocation, 401.1 – operating without registration, 319.1 – without insurance, 306b – without inspection.

Many drivers are puzzled why “no registration”, “no inspection”, and “no insurance” are being charged since they have it on the date when they were pulled over. However, the fact that DMV suspended the vehicle’s registration automatically cancels its inspection. If it is alleged that registration was suspended due to an insurance lapse, police will also issue VTL 319.1 – operating without insurance since an insurance card will not be accepted as proof at the scene.

A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney who handles driving with suspended registration cases on a regular basis will be able to negotiate a dismissal and reduction of these charges in court despite that there is proof that the DMV properly suspended registration and the driver was in fact driving with a suspended registration.

Contact our office to get a detailed consultation on how we can dismiss criminal charges involving driving with suspended registration in court.

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