If I can only leave one tip about cars, this may be the piece of wisdom I would choose.
Do not rely on the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to remind you to renew your vehicle registration. Although they are supposed to send a reminder and renewal form in advance of the expiration, apparently they don’t always do so. When they don’t, and a “random license plate spot check” results in getting pulled over, having the car impounded to the tune of $200+ in traffic tickets, ~$70 in taxi fares for getting around to solve the problem, and ~$225 to get the car out of the impound lot, you can’t blame the DMV for your not knowing when your own registration expires.
Here’s a helpful hint: In New York, your registration lasts two years. In New Jersey, your registration is valid for one year. Set up a reminder in Quicken or Outlook or whatever software you know you’ll be using regularly, and do not rely on anyone else.
Note: If you live in New Jersey and the DMV has sent you a renewal form, you can renew your registration online. If they do not send the form, you must visit one of the many inconveniently-open offices to renew in person.