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Don’t Rely on the DMV

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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.

Published or updated January 29, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

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