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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 20363
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp. with Traffic Law issues
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what can happen if I dont surrender license plates in NY

Customer Question

what can happen if I dont surrender license plates in NY? I had a lapse in insurance for 43 days. I now have insurance.. but I am scared of getting arrested.. Please help. Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.

Your driver's license may have already been suspended so you will want to check with the DMV to make sure that you have a valid active DL. Otherwise, if you are stopped and they run a check and find that your DL was suspended for your lapse of insurance, you will get a ticket for driving without a valid license. If, by some odd chance, your insurance company didn't notify the State that your insurance lapsed, then at this point you should not be concerned that you did not turn in your license plate. However, just so you know the consequences of not turning in your license plates or driving while your insurance is lapsed can include civil penalties, registration suspension and driver's license suspension, as I mentioned before. So, at this point, the worst that will likely happen is that you will receive a letter from the DMV that they received a lapse notice from your insurance company. The letter will have instructions on what to do, which will include showing proof of insurance. If they determine that there was a lapse, you will have to pay a fine.

If you would like to see what the State says about this issue, you can find that information at:

I, like the other Experts on this site, am here to assist customers like you. However, we do so in anticipation of being paid for our efforts, just like other professionals do, since this is our livelihood and not a hobby. To that end, I am more than happy to clarify my answer to you and answer any related follow up questions that you might have for the value that you have offered for the question. In return, I ask that you show good faith in compliance with the TOS by accepting my answer, whether the news is good or bad, so that I will be paid for my efforts.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
There was a lapse in my insurance. DMV will not accept payment if you lapsed twice in 3 years. It does not mention anything about a DL suspension, just registration and plates.. What can happen?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.
Hello again,

I understand that your insurance lapsed. I am not sure what your statement about a lapse twice in 3 years has to do with your issue. Has that happened in your case? Also, what do you mean by "it does not mention anything about a DL suspension." What is the "it" that you are talking about?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
In NYS if you lapse your insurance twice in a 3 year period. They require you to surrender your plates and registration. The DMV sent me a letter telling me that my plates and registration are suspended for 43 days effective today. I am asking what will happen if I do not surrender the plates and continue to drive. What can happen if I get pulled over by the police? The letter does not say anything about suspending my drivers license. Can they do that if I dont surrender the plates? What will happen after the 43 days are over?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for clarifying your situation. If you had told me in the beginning that you had received the letter from the DMV, that I referenced in my initial answer, you would have saved us both some time. In any event, if you do not do as directed by the DMV, and you continue to drive on a suspension, which is what happens when your insurance lapses (please refer to the webpage I supplied you), then you will be ticketed for driving without a valid license and driving on suspended license plates (if you are driving a vehicle with those plates on them when you are stopped.) In that case, you will have to go to court and pay your tickets and will have traffic violations on your record, which will in turn raise your insurance rates. In addition, not turning in your plates will extend your suspension. As I indicated initially though you must contact DMV to check directly to see if your DL was suspended. It may not have been yet, but if you don't turn in your plates, it can and will be. Again, see the reference I gave you.

If you abide by the registration suspension for the 43 days and turn in your plates, then you will get them back at the end of that period and the suspension will be lifted if you can show proof of insurance.