There are many technicalities that come with driving and even owning a car. As a law-abiding citizen, you must follow every state rule regarding the ownership and operation of a vehicle. In addition to following proper driving rules, you also need to possess certain registration certificates to prove ownership of your vehicle and drive it legally. These laws ensure no illegal activities take place within a certain locale, while also protecting your rights as a car owner. So, to fully understand the legal issues of owning and operating a car, you can go through the list below.
1. Car Registration
The most important document you will own is your car registration certificate, which you will be issued when you purchase a car. This registration certificate will include your legal name, date of vehicle registration, the car’s model and specifications, the fuel and emission norms, and your legal address. This document will be the main proof of ownership of your vehicle, and therefore needs to be kept safe. If you are buying a used car, make sure you get this registration changed to your name and details to become the legal owner of the automobile. When buying a used car, it is essential that you be vigilant and check the registration, as duplicate registration certificates can be easily forged and you might end up buying a stolen car.
2. Drivers Licensing
Your driver’s license is undoubtedly another important document that you shouldn’t lose. It is a legal requirement if you are to operate your vehicle. Moreover, in case of an accident or police run-in, you will have to show your driver’s license to prove your identity and your driving ability. If you drive without it, there can be serious repercussions and tickets will be assigned to your vehicle. Getting a driving license is pretty simple, all you need to do is get a learner’s permit and consistently train for the driving test. The driving test itself is easy to get the hang of. Once you pass the written and practical driving tests, you will be issued a state-wide drivers’ license.
3. DMV Registration
The department of motor vehicles registration is essential to get a registration tag or number plate for your car. The DMV registration often needs to be renewed periodically, and therefore you should get it renewed right away to avoid legal repercussions. You can get your vehicle’s DMV license renewed through private registration services, either online or in-person. You can also go to a local DMV branch to do things the traditional way, or visit a DMV virtual office for a quicker and more efficient alternative. The drawback of going to a local DMV is that you would have to wait in line for a while before you can get your registration. However, this will not cost you as much as private registration services.
4. Car Insurance
In many states, vehicle insurance is mandatory for vehicle ownership. Vehicle insurance is a fail-safe in case you are ever in an accident and need to pay for your car’s repairs or the other person’s car. Each state has a minimum requirement regarding vehicle insurance that drivers are mandated to purchase. While insurance terms vary with different options, most of them cover the basic damages your car may sustain. In addition, many car insurance policies also cover medical bills, other losses, and even legal fees if you have to go to court. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain proper insurance options for your vehicle.
5. Road Tax
Road tax goes by many terms around the world and varies with regard to state laws. This is a one-time tax that needs to be paid upfront when a vehicle is purchased. This tax must be paid as soon as possible to avoid any future penalties to the vehicle. If you’re buying a used car, ensure that the previous owner has paid this tax, otherwise, all the accumulated penalties will fall on you. Ask the seller for the tax receipt for peace of mind.
Owning a car is many people’s dream, however, it does come with many complications and responsibilities. To ensure you follow all technicalities that come with owning and driving a car, refer to this list. While car registration, and licensing are the most important documents to own, insurance and road tax should also be considered essential when operating a car. Whether you purchase a new car or get an old one, the above steps must be taken to avoid problems down the line that could lead to serious legal issues.