Suspended Registration Tickets (VTL 512)

Posted by Matthew Weiss on August 15, 2011  /   Posted in Traffic Tickets

As New York’s premier traffic ticket law firm, we see lots and lots of traffic tickets. One violation that recently has gained popularity is driving with a suspended registration (VTL 512). Even though this is a traffic ticket, it is also a crime (misdemeanor) and answerable in a criminal court. Therefore, it needs to be treated VERY seriously.

A person can be founded guilty of VTL 512 when he or she drives a vehicle knowing or should knowing that its registration is suspended. Most commonly, a registration is suspended when the owner fails to maintain continuous auto insurance coverage.

However, we expect to see many more suspended registration tickets being issued in the near future. In particular, I predict that cash-strapped municipalities will start working with DMV to have scofflaw motorists’ registrations suspended. While municipalities have other weapons to combat unpaid parking tickets (ex., interest charges, imposition of penalties and towing), suspending registrations will really clamp down on motorists. Without a current registration sticker, scofflaws who driving their cars will be easily picked off and charged with a VTL 512 charge.


  1. Sabres413362 November 7, 2013 1:29 pm Reply

    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 Reply


      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

  2. damion cocchi February 12, 2013 9:43 pm Reply

    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 Reply


      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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