Can Your Car Get Towed for Expired Tags? (Updated in 2023)

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 

can your car get towed for expired tags

We usually see on television that there are times when the police tow your car even without warning.

Thus, it triggers the question: can your car get towed for expired tags? Generally, a car with expired tags on street can get towed but that may not always be the case.

Hence it is advisable that car owners should be mindful of their registration validity and what to do if ever your car has been impounded, which we shall further discuss in this article.

Can My Automobile Be Towed From My Driveway for Invalid Tags and Why?


Yes, because authorities can either tow a car without registration or you have an expired tag of 6 months or more. It is mandatory to have your car registered because, technically, you can’t drive your vehicle out there on the road yet.

The only times when there are valid reasons for the police officers not to have your car towed is on a case-to-case basis.

1. Your tag has not been delivered to you yet

If you have a receipt as proof or any supporting document that you can show to the police, they may consider it.

  • Tip: Try to keep your conversation with the police casual but respectful as you explain your reasons, as the tone of your voice may also affect their mood.

2. You are present or not

If you are not sitting in the car at the time the peace police approached and found out the expired tag, two things can happen. If the tags expire in less than 6 months, you might only receive a note/citation.

However, if the due is over 6 months, your car is likely to get towed away.

3. Private property parking

If your car is currently in private parking, where parking enforcement police cannot approach, you are safe as long as the car is parked.

  • Advice: Vehicle owners who bought their cars through a private party should make the effort to register at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and submit the necessary requirements, such as vehicle title, billing statement, car insurance, and a US driver’s license.

On the other hand, those vehicles that were bought through dealerships won’t have to go through the process at the DMV.

Usually, the validity of a registered vehicle is one year and has to be renewed annually. However, it may depend on your state, as the registration fees also vary in each state.

What Does the Law Say About Expired Tags?


Citizens of the United States should be aware that driving a car with an expired registration or tag is illegal. However, it depends on which state you are currently in, thus we shall cover a few of the local state laws.

In Colorado, a law requires towing services to first provide a notice 24 hours before the vehicle gets impounded if it is parked on properties such as apartments, condos, or mobile homes.

However, there are conditions where towing companies can immediately tow your vehicle if it blocks a driveway or a fire zone area. This should clear your mind rather than exclaim and ask the question “Why did the apartment complex towed my car?”

In Florida, it is also compulsory that vehicles are registered. Validity can last up to 2 years, depending on the owner’s registration period.

In California, driving without a car registration or any proof of registration violates the vehicle code section 4000 (a) (1). Those who do not abide by this law will be fined $280 unless the person presents valid proof of registration in court.

Which States Will Your Car Get Towed for Expired Tags?


Each and every state in the United States requires that all vehicles are duly registered. Hence there is no exception regarding car impoundment for expired tags or unregistered vehicles.

How Much is the Penalty for Expired Tags?

Regarding the non-renewal of expired tags, vehicle owners can face traffic violations and be fined up to $100-$200. Car owners who would choose to register in a different state rather than in their own state to evade taxes or fees are also prohibited.

Those who continue driving with expired tags or an unregistered vehicle will result in a traffic violation. First-time violators can be punished for up to 364 days in jail. Second-offense violations can also be imprisonment for up to 374 days or a fine of $529.

What to Do if Your Car Gets Towed for Expired Tags?

Your car could get towed for many reasons, especially if it parked illegally on public property or with an expired tag. Impounded vehicles usually get taken to tow yards.

You’ll have to call the DMV or the police station in your local city where you discovered your vehicle that has been towed.

This can cost you certain fees, such as impound fees, that you have to settle. The amount of the fee varies per state. For example, in Indiana it is $30 per day in the tow/impound yard.

It is important to renew your expired tag and pay the necessary fees during the process to avoid getting your car towed by authorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a grace period for expired tags during covid?

During Covid-19 where the virus quickly spread and reached its “peak” around the world in 2020-2021, the DMV has provided a grace period for expired tags.

Now, it depends on each state. In Virginia, for example, they have a grace period of up to 90 days after the expiration date and have a late fee of $10.

Is there a Grace Period for Expired tags in Wisconsin?

Just like in other states, there is a late fee of $10 for residents of Wisconsin. It is essential to renew your registration at least a month before to avoid any road infractions.

Can my apartment complex tow my car for expired tags?

Can the landlord tow my car? Technically, they cannot tow your car simply because of expired tags. They can only be towed by authorities or law enforcement officers.

Otherwise, if your apartment complex has its own rules or leasing agreements regarding towing vehicles, such as if the car is parked illegally and is an obstruction to a driveway, they will be forced to have your vehicle impounded.

Where Can I Park My Car With Expired Tags?

You can park your car in private property as long as you don’t have to park it on a public road or driveway.

Where Can I Find My Impounded Car?

It differs per state, and here are a few examples. In Maryland, it depends on which county you are in, or reach out to the Baltimore Department of Transportation. The impound fee in Maryland costs $50 per day.

In Oklahoma, you can get information by calling the local law enforcement agency or visiting the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety website. Impound fee per day is $25.

In Ohio, this is dependent on which city in Ohio you are in. You could choose to call 311 and inquire about your towed vehicle. The impound fee in Ohio is $17 per day.


We hope this article could answer the question, “Can my car get impounded with expired tags?” Ultimately, you cannot drive on the road with expired tags as it is against the law.

So to avoid any stress involving towed vehicles, it is essential to keep track of the validity of your vehicle’s registration and be mindful of the laws per state and their repercussions.

Now that pretty much sums it up, feel free to share this topic, can your car get towed for expired tags with your friends.

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