Oleh: Nathan Mallon
February 13, 2009

So I currently have expired license plate tags on my car, I mean, they only expired on December 20th, 2007. I have decided to turn the whole situation into an experiment. How long can a person get away with driving on expired tags? Huh, that’s a good question, I really have no idea, but I’m sure I’ll find out!

It is kind of hard to believe that I have been driving the car almost every day for over a year with the expired tags, I was even pulled over for speeding about a month ago and not a word was mentioned by the highway patrol officer who pulled me over for going 22 mph over the speed limit in Kentucky and failing to use my turn signal while switching lanes. Right when I saw the cop car lights flashing behind me I thought “This is it, I’m busted, he is going to nail me for my tags in addition to speeding, dang it!!!” My brother and I were sitting in the car and as we were waiting for the cop to come and tell us about the ticket we both said he is going to get me for the tags, but nope, not a word was mentioned.

I just want to take this moment to say to all the highway patrollers out there, you guys really need to pay more attention.

Maybe it is because I currently have Ohio plates on my car although I have lived in Tennessee for over a year now, maybe since my license plate looks different those who are looking at it are distracted from the expired tags and pay no attention to it. There have been several occasions where I have been driving with a police car following directly behind me and I was not stopped. I definitely made sure to turn off or switch lanes as soon as I could obviously but it goes to show that attention isn’t being paid to my tags.

So I really do not know what to do about my expired tags. How long do you think I can go? We are at 386 days and counting. Can I make it 2 years? 5 years? longer?

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  • http://fuhleeshuh.com fuhleeshuh

    Well I hope you don't plan on driving that car to Florida anytime within the next 5 years. I just got my first ever speeding ticket and the cop definitely looked on my tags to make they were up to date.

    I don't know your money situation, but if you just have money laying around to pay for a ticket for having expired tags, then I say go for it!!!!!!! if not, I think you should get them updated. you never know !

  • Marsha

    Do you hear it? I hear the James Bond theme music…………………..

    Tags, Expired

    Expired Tags

    YOu go on with your bad self. lol

  • Lisa

    Have you been busted yet? It is crazy but I am in the exact situation. I even live in Tennessee and have Ohio plates! It's been over a year now.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdanate

    Haha, that's great, glad to know that I'm not alone…and I've still not been busted! :)

    How long has it been for you? Maybe you can write a blog about it for us sometime.

  • Lisa

    Mine expired feb 2008…. but I have a dealership frame around my plates and it sort of covers the date. I think our saving grace is that the plates are our of state, i don't think they notice as much. However, I'm originally from Michigan, went to school in Ohio and then moved here… i still have a Michigan license, so if I do get pulled over (knock on wood) I will get in double-trouble for not having a TN license!

    I've heard they can tow or impound your car for tags over 6 months… so I may cave soon:)

    It's good to find someone who understands what it's like to drive every day. The constant checking the rearview, the trying to have someone behind you all the time, switching lanes… I've even gone out of my way and the wrong direction because I see a cop coming. I feel like a fugitive on the run every day!:)

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdanate

    I agree with you, I think having out-of-state plates definitely distracts them from seeing my expired sticker tag. I do have a TN license though. :) I can totally relate to the paranoid driving though, I've definitely gone out of my way to get cops off of my butt while driving as well and I tend to drive the speed limit more as well just so I don't get pulled over again. I doubt I would be as lucky as the last time I was pulled over.

    Anywho, thanks for sharing and visiting our silly site, & keep us posted on your situation!

  • allison

    My tags expried July 06. There are Louisiana plates, but I live in Mississippi and I think that has been factor for cops not to notice. I am finally going to try and get them registered in Mississippi, but I am scared to see what kind of fines I will be getting. Has anyone else had expired plates registered?

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    yeah… I think it does help having out of state tags for cops not to notice…. and, I don't think there are any extra fees for registering expired tags.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    well… I guess it could be different for every state

  • Lisa

    Thought I'd give you an update:

    I just got my new TN plates. While there are no fees for expired tags, it IS a bit trickier than I thought. I gave them all my required info, but since my OH registration was not up to date, they were insisting that I needed an up to date one from Ohio in order to get my tags. However, i happen to lease my car, so I had a very recent power of attorney that stated my leasing company would allow me to register my car in TN. They pulled some strings and decided to honor that for me so I could get my plates….

    However, if I hadn't had that– I would have been screwed. I would need to have my car registered in Ohio, but that's pretty much impossible since I'm a resident of TN with a TN license. Ohio won't let you renew your tags in ohio when you don't live there. (I've tried)
    So… I hate to be a downer, but you might want to look into that if you ever decide to get TN plates. It's a little bit harder than I thought…. just thought you'd want a head's up! If Ohio lets you get them, you will most likely have to pay for the 2 years you missed before they do….

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdanate

    Thanks for the heads up Lisa!

    I remember reading that I needed to get a power of attorney as well since I also lease my vehicle, so if/when I cave and decide to renew my tags hopefully I will follow the same path you did since I am a resident of TN with a TN license too. :)

    My tags have been expired for 477 days & counting!!!

  • Lisa

    Haha… awesome that you lease your car too! You should be okay then… just play dumb and tell them you haven't been driving your car since they expired. That's what I did.

    Just don't get pulled over… they can impound your car! eek!

    I feel a little bit like I beat the system since I didn't pay to get my tags for an entire year and never got pulled over… woohoo!

  • cableguy

    3 years

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdanate

    Dang…and still going?

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    You should win some kind of award… a bad bad award of course… but an award… I mean, we wouldn't want to encourage such behavior

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaterry

    I have just recently joined this game, I am only 2 months overdue but I am working on it!

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    soo here's the update: April of 08 till September of 09.. almost a year and a half. I had them changed this past week. I feel good. I feel better about myself. Glad to join the ranks of legal drivers… I almost want a cop to drive behind me for a while now.

  • val1008

    I got busted today! Mine are expired for 8 months now and BAM! Blue Light Special. I have a court appearance I can't even get out of it by mailing a fine in. I just hope they don't charge me for all the months that it has been expired.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaterry

    Did you get towed?

  • sassygrl

    i need to know quickly if my tags are a month expired and i'm driving and get pulled over by the police will i get a fix it ticket, ticket-ticket. Im praying the answer is not towed because they expired on 10-22-09 and i will pay them on december 1, 2009. Can anyone please help me before i jum back in this car stressed out today.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    Typically you have the entire month that your tags expire in… sooo you probably had all of October and they are expired this month. If you are sneaky sneaky you probably can make it till dec 1st… I mean that is only 9 days away! We made it over a year… but then again the only way to be sure is to get them renewed now. Godspeed :)

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    Typically you have the entire month that your tags expire in… sooo you probably had all of October and they are expired this month. If you are sneaky sneaky you probably can make it till dec 1st… I mean that is only 9 days away! We made it over a year… but then again the only way to be sure is to get them renewed now. Godspeed :)

  • becky

    im in the same boat the tags on my boyfirends car are expired cant get them because he has a o2 sensor messed up it wont pass emissions and his lic recently got suspened so i have to drive he had ga plates and i have a pennsylvania lic so im always scared to drive anywhere if i get a fi ne thts ok but i dont want to go to jail idk how tn law is with tht can anyone who reads this help me out

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dj-Kellogg/736700900 D.j. Kellogg

    i got stopped driving my moms car after it was about 27 days expired. i got a 78 dollar ticket i believe. i lost my license for not paying it. but in tennessee u dont have to show ID or a license or anything, u need a tag and some money to get a sticker. im not sure if you guys are talking about past visits or if my clerk is corrupt but its always been simple. my name isnt even on the tag.

  • Jerry

    You need to grow up and be accountable you moran.How pathetic are you going on line bragging about how you feel you are above following laws like the rest of us….youre a real winner

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdanate

    what's a moran?

  • Brittanypaige_89

    I hadnt gotten new tags since april 09…JUST got busted 3 days ago for it on 6/19/2010

  • Brittanypaige_89

    P.s. The cop said they were 2 months expired on the ticket

  • Edwinfierros

    my car plates have been expired for 6 years how much would it be

  • admin

    Probably 3-4 thousand dollars

  • Blondibo1

    You all go to Grayson, or Carroll county Virginia, and I bet you want last 5 minutes or less with out getting busted. I lasted 6 days and wasn’t even trying to go with expired tags just didn’t know or didn’t hide it good enough. I thought they was a grace period of 15 days but i guess i was wrong.

  • Notorious9188

    i made it 6 years lol. Texas plates in California.

  • Kelly

    Wow lucky you my car plates say mine expire Jan 2011 and I got a ticket the other night for $187.00 because they were 2 days expired. Officer said they exspire Jan 8th. What the Hell I cause my plate didn’t have the exact day I figured it was the end of the month

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com Anonymous

    Whaaaat!? That is totally messed up! It is supposed to be the end of the month.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaterry

    For real. Were you taunting the officer…? That never helps.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaterry

    Kudos! I think we have a winner ladies and gentlemen.

  • Josh

    July 2010 to april 2011 8 months so far but i have tx plates and tags car registered under my dad who lives in texas buy i live in tn and have for a long time. What do i do can i get plates and tags to be legal cause im having to drive to chicago for business in a couple days just looking for some help.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com Anonymous

    yeah, you can get plates and tags to be legal, you’ll just need all of your paperwork (title, registration, license). If it is still in your dad’s name, then ask him to renew the registration.

  • Bearlee222

    I went for 6 yrs…….but it will catch up with you eventually…..like all things in life. Less cost and aggrevation if you just do what your suppose to do in the first place…..just my opinion though. Some officers out there ARE paying attention……., however experiment all you want. In the end though I hope it doesn’t cost you as might time, money and trouble as it has me.

  • Littlemama3336

    What about here in Kansas

  • Tyler Wilkerson

    If your car is over ten years old in MS it will only be a nominal fee, I live in Oxford and had a TN tag expired for a year and a half and swapped it over because I got a ticket finally when i went back to Memphis.  Getting it registered only cost 41$ and no ticket just a court appearance that I didnt go to :)

  • Handpaintedtiles

    hi… i’m in a similar situation.  I need emissions testing and I do not currently have a TN drivers license.  What do I do first? I’m terrified of going into get my license, to get the emissions, and then get the tags….. terrified.  And yes, every day I drive around with 2 years expired tags and it’s a terror all on its own.  I have to have this taken care of, but I don’t know where to start.  I have looked at DMV info and none of it covers how to not drive illegally anymore.  Help??

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    First, you need to go get your TN drivers license. Then you need to go have your emissions checked. Then go get tags. Make sure to check the requirements for getting a TN driver license and bring all those forms of id, especially since it takes a couple hours to wait.

  • Handpaintedtiles

    Thank you….. just knowing other people have done it and “lived” to tell the tale of the adventures into legaldom makes me feel better.  Ok, I’m on it!  : )

  • Anetraconley

    ok so my car got towed wit hard temp tags about three years ago now DMV sending me a $3,000 bill, what can i do about this?

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    Yikes. Talk to an attorney.

  • Lynnette Spittler

    Oregon, Ohio cops will not only pull you over, but then tow you. We were just under the 60 days of expired plates when they towed ours. And despite what the paper says, the cop put some stupid code on the ticket that requires me to stand before a judge to resolve it. You can’t just go in and pay the ticket and be done with it. I’ve driven next to, behind, and in front of Toledo, Ohio cops and they don’t care about the plates. They are more interested in actual threats to society. Oregon, Ohio cops are arrogant pricks.

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtda

    Noted! : )

  • Aniga Kaliya

    I’m 20 days past due… gonna go for another week…. may be 3 more

  • Marcella Villalobos

    i just bought a car from someone but the tags expired in february how much will they be?

  • attheendofitall

    It depends on your city or county. For example, if you lived in Nashville, TN you would have to go to the title and registration office and it would cost between $79-100 or so.

  • Heather Smith McCarty

    Detroit is horrible

  • marvinkyzar

    I have been trying to sell this car and did not tag it. now I want to allow my daughter to drive it and the local tax collector wont let me sign an affidavit to not pay for time it was idle.Who do I go to?

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    Can you sell it to her for $1 and then she will pay taxes on that sale and it will be in her name so you should not have to pay for the time it was idle. If no one was driving it, you should not have to pay for the time it was idle. I think you should be able to register it, but every state is different.

  • Melissa Hardt

    I have been driving in Quebec with expired tags, licence and everything for the last 2 years, just have to be careful cause now they have the licence plate readers. I got pulled over because I didnt renew my plates, i was 2 days late, they slapped me with a 450$ fine, i couldnt afford to pay it, so ive just been driving without anything for the longest time. will fix soon, but for now just dont have the money!!!

  • http://www.whattodoabout.com wtdaTim

    We hear that yo… it’s tough out there!