Maybe you thought there was no point in renewing the registration of your junker. Since it doesn’t run, it’s not going out on the street. No harm, no foul, right? Well, very likely, WRONG. If your junk car has an expired registration, you might be breaking a local law. You might just get a warning first, but that could lead to fines. Some are really steep. We’re talking $100 each day. And that would definitely lead to unhappiness…and less money in your pocket.
Here’s a rundown on what you need to know if you’ve got an unregistered jalopy just waiting to get a ticket…
Simply put, local ordinances vary. However, they typically have certain elements in common. These laws were established, in part, to prevent unsightly car bodies from cluttering up property and ruining landscapes. It’s not all about creating pretty neighborhoods, though. Some reasons have more to do with safety than esthetics. For example, a junk car parked on the street can be a distraction for drivers.
If the junker is in an open space, field, or wooded area, it could encourage illegal dumping of additional trash. Perhaps an even greater hazard is leaking fluids, such as gasoline, oil, coolant, or brake fluid. The owner of an unregistered vehicle might not notice if it’s losing goop, because the car is never moved. Potentially dangerous chemicals could, therefore, seep into ground and get into the water supply. Yuck.
Businesses that deal in junk cars and hobbyists who restore vehicles (check out these Hollywood cars you can restore!) are often exempt from registration laws for junkers, but these folks generally need to obtain local permits. In some areas, an unregistered vehicle is also allowed if it’s in an enclosed permanent structure. Out of sight, out of mind.
A side note: even if cars are registered, some municipalities will still consider it a junk car if it’s falling apart, dismantled, or looks like it doesn’t run. So be warned: a registration sticker is not always a magic ticket. You can still be fined.
If your junk car is unregistered and no one has complained, you’re lucky. However, it could be just a matter of time before it’s brought to the attention of the authorities. Then, best-case scenario, you’re in for a hassle, because they’ll want you to take care of it fast. Worst case, it’ll end up costing you money in fines or fees.
Why not avoid all the bother and take care of the car before anyone’s the wiser with some auto repair hacks? If the vehicle is in decent shape, you may consider parting the car yourself. But that’s going to take some time, and you’re still stuck with the unregistered body. You might impress the authorities because you’re handling the situation…but maybe they’re hard to impress. They might just want the problem handled now.
In many places, the quickest way to deal with an unregistered junker is to call a salvage yard. Typically, they’ll tow your car to their lot, so you won’t have to take the chance of driving an unregistered vehicle, if, indeed, it even moves. Then they’ll pull any sellable parts and remove any hazardous substances.
The remainder of the car will be crushed and shredded. Valuable metals are extracted and go to a refinery. There they are melted down and recycled into new products. This process saves a lot of time, money, and energy resources, so it’s good for the economy and for the environment. Double the fun.
Oh, forgot to mention…it’s good for you, too. Not only will you get the unregistered junker off your property, but you’ll get cash on the spot when you hand over your vehicle. Unless it’s something special (and they why would you be junking it?), it won’t be a fortune, but it’ll be a chunk of change you didn’t have before. You only had an ugly clunker sitting there, waiting to get you into trouble.
When you sell your junk car to salvagers, you’ll need to provide proof of ownership. This is typically the title. In certain areas, junkyards may ask for a registration. A reputable business will be able to guide you through the process if your car lacks that piece of paper. Don’t worry, you can’t surprise them…they’ve seen it all before.
The Bottom Line
If you have a nice vehicle that’s unregistered, what are you waiting for? Get that paperwork done already! But if your junk car has an expired registration, JunkCarMedics.com will take it off your hands -- and your property –- with a fair price for your junk car. No more worries about the law. Your only concern then would be what to do with the extra money. Now that’s a nice problem.