What happens if I’m caught without proper registration for my vehicle?
First off, let’s talk penalties for those first-time vehicle owners or anyone just needing a refresher.
By the time you got your license, you’d probably seen police officers pulling people over on TV often enough that the phrase, “License and registration, please” started to sound like a cliché. But don’t take it for granted, as many new drivers do, if on the first time you’re ever pulled over in a friend or parent’s car, you manage to find that elusive piece of paper in the glove box. Someone had to go through the trouble of putting it there, and now that you have a vehicle of your own, that someone is you. Here’s what you stand to lose if proof of registration isn’t available when a police officer asks you for it.
As of May 12, 2015, driving without registration was classified in Utah as a class C misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $1,000! This fine can be reduced to $200, however, if proof of registration is given at the time of the hearing, and if the vehicle had not gone unregistered for more than a year. But why play those odds? That’s still $200 you could’ve spent on something else. Worst case scenario: you could have your car impounded.
Before January 1st, 2018, Utah was among 16 states that required annual safety inspections for personal passenger vehicles, but no longer. These inspections checked off the status of things like brakes, headlights, and windshields, but the legislation, passed in March of 2017, is projected to save Utah drivers as much as $25 million a year, since drivers are no longer required by law to get those things fixed in order to register their vehicles.
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