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Suspended Registration Tickets (VTL 512)

About the Author

Matthew Weiss

Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. graduated Hofstra Law School in 1984. He was Law Review and won the law school’s prestigious Procedure Award. Upon graduation, he became one of the first Hofstra Law School graduates to work at the New York State Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court) working on various appellate matters.

Comments (14)

Syed - March 16, 2017 1:26 am

I got pulled over in Nassau County, NY and the officer told me i had a suspended registration because of an insurance lapse. He issued me about 6 Fines and told me to pay a civil penalty at the DMV. After i paid the civil penalty i had a court date and when i appeared, the judge gave me another court date. I was told by a lawyer there that i needed a lawyer for the next court date. The problem is i am being charged with 3 counts of charges and they are criminal offenses. I had no idea my insurance had lapsed and when i called my insurance company that same night i got the ticket, my insurance company told me i always had insurance and that i never had a lapse. I can’t afford the fines and these lawyer fees so what should i do?

    Matthew Weiss - March 16, 2017 7:16 am


    If you cannot afford a lawyer, then you can ask the court for “legal aid”. This is for people who can prove that they have insufficent means to pay for a lawyer.

    Good lucK!

    Matthew Weiss

Kyle Kincannon - January 25, 2017 1:44 pm

Hi. I’ve been charged with a VTL 512 unspecified misdemeanor. I’ve never been charged with a misdemeanor before. Along with that, I was given tickets for 4024, improper plates, 3191U, uninsured (I have a letter from my Ins Co stating I was covered that day) and 306B, uninspected. The only misdemeanor was the VTL512. My regular car was in the shop. I got a call from a tenant near midnight with a no heat situation in January. I threw on some plates on my spare emergency car (which was never registered), called the insurance company to have insurance put on it immediately, headed out and fixed the furnace. On the way back, I was pulled over from a dash ALPR. I met with the judge who set an arraignment date of Feb 14th. I’m on Medicaid and will have to go with a court appointed attorney. I’ve read that there can be fines of $200 to $500, 180 day jail time and 6 month suspension of license or any combination of the above. This is the 3rd “speeding ticket” in the last 18 months. My spare car is now completely legal. I have proof that my regular car has been insured and legal in every way for the last 13 years with no lapses. What can I expect will happen? I’m not a pedofile, sex offender, drug user, alcoholic, thief or anything else. No priors. This is my only transgression. Many thanks in advance for your valuable time.

    Matthew Weiss - January 25, 2017 7:57 pm

    Kyle Kincannon,

    Hopefully, your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain that avoid a criminal record and a third speeding conviction. Clearing up the issue with your “emergency car” (and presenting proof) is helpful for your lawyer to convey to the prosecutor.

    Matthew Weiss

Debbie - January 19, 2017 8:08 pm

Is the DMV the only one who could suspend your registration? I got a letter stating that on January 21st my registration is going to be suspended for a parking ticket i did not know i had. I went to Yonkers traffic ticket office to pay on January 19th and was charged a suspension fee even though it was paid before the suspension date, they told me it was already suspended in Yonkers but not state wide. This sounds very odd to me. Can your registration be suspended in one city but not anywhere else before DMV actually suspends it?

    Matthew Weiss - January 21, 2017 7:46 am


    Only the DMV can actually suspend your registration. However, a traffic court can report you and ask the DMV to suspend it.

    Matthew Weiss

Scott R Hammond - December 6, 2016 12:31 pm

I was charged for driving with a suspended registration. But I was driving a customers vehicle to service it. While pulled over the officer notified me of suspension on my license after signing and cancelling on ADA deal of reduction to facilitating AUO 3rd and dropping reg ticket after wanting to simply reduce it to driving with expired reg. I want to know if I should be afraid of being found guilty at trial for VTL 512 with no notice of registration being suspended the customer paid the civil penalty the following Monday after finding out I had been stopped for registration being suspended. But I am not the vehicle owner how am I to know whether a registration is valid or suspended if date appears valid on sticker am I to assume every vehicle brought to me should require contact with DMV to verify registration status?

    Matthew Weiss - December 6, 2016 9:43 pm

    Scott R Hammond,

    For a suspended registration ticket issued to a non-owner, the People must prove that you knew or should have known that the registration was suspended. In your case, it sounds like this would be difficult. With that said, because this is a serious criminal charge, I suggest you pursue (if not accept) a plea bargain to a non-criminal charge.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

Natalia - March 3, 2016 6:19 pm

I have a court date coming up for insurance lapse but I am so anxious if I should have a lawyer or not to come with me. I was pulled over one day, told that I have insurance lapse since 1/6-1/22 (the day I was pulled over) and I must go to court and pay for the insurance lapse. I called DMV and made the payment of $32 which is a little confusing because I thought it’s $8 a day penalty so it was only 4 days? I did not know how did that number came up as that but I did not want to question it. Now my problem is my sister is the owner of the car while I am the driver. I am insured this whole time. FYI 1/6 is actually the day I start being independent insurance holder (I was the second holder in my sister’s policy) My sister was not insured for the car I drove at all since she moved to another state and has separated insurance policy. I start to think this is the problem. Please help me understand if I need to have a lawyer since it is misdemeanor traffic ticket.
PS I have everything from the insurance verifying that I have been insured. I can show my bank statement. I have a screenshot of the insurance lapse payment. I have the insurance ID. I do not what else I need. how much will the fine be?

    Matthew Weiss - March 4, 2016 11:25 pm


    Because a ticket for un-insured operation is very serious (i.e. involves a one-year revocation, among other things), you should definitely retain an experienced NY traffic lawyer to help you.

    Matthew Weiss

Sabres413362 - November 7, 2013 1:29 pm

My wife just got pulled over and the cop said that she has had a suspension on her registration since July because of non insurance and I know for a fact we switched over insurance companies as I have paper work starting that we switched on 7/13 and that I never got a letter or anything that we had a lapsed insurance or anything and if we did have a lapse i would have paid it if id known….and here it is 4 months later and she’s getting pulled over now…we have a court date set for the 19th…and I have no idea if we owe anything or even what to do…we have a 4 month old and are on a pins and needles because of this

    Matthew Weiss - November 7, 2013 4:17 pm


    I’m sorry to hear how upset that you and your wife are about this no insurance ticket. However, all you need to obtain is a letter from the insurance company confirming that your car was, in fact, insured on the date of the ticket. With this letter, the ticket will most very likely be dismissed.

    Matthew Weiss

damion cocchi - February 12, 2013 9:43 pm

Can I fight a VT512 charge based on a mens rea/actus reus defense, as i was unaware at the time of the insurance lapse of 5 days which prompted the NYS Registration suspension?

    Matthew Weiss - February 13, 2013 8:50 am


    With a VTL 512 charge, the People must show that you knew or should have known that the car that you were driving had a suspended registration. If you are the owner of the car, then it is generally not difficult to meet this burden.

    Because this charge is a misdemeanor, you should consult with an experienced traffic lawyer. There may be other ways to obtain a favorable result.

    Matthew Weiss

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