Hey DMV! I don't get it. What is the purpose of the Vehicle Registration Card?
I can't speak for what goes on in other states, so this is only based on what I know as New Jersey licensed driver, with a car I purchased, registered, and insured here in the great Garden State.
As long as everything is on the up and up, then I can go about my day in my car with relatively little stress, right? INSPECTION + INSURANCE + REGISTRATION + DRIVER'S LICENSE.
So, INSPECTION sticker is on the car.
INSURANCE Card is in the glove compartment.
And as for the DRIVER'S LICENSE and REGISTRATION card, I keep both in my wallet.
[I know most people just keep the registration card with the insurance card in the glove compartment, but I found that after having had a car stolen in the past, all of the info useful to the cops -- like plate & VIN #'s -- is better off in my wallet than inside the stolen car. However, it can be a nuisance when you lend out your car to someone and forget to pass along the registration card. Side note, also a pain in the ass if you ever lose the stupid thing when you're leasing a car... because you have to get a POWER OF ATTORNEY from the leasing company to take to the DMV to get a replacement card,..... Now, imagine all the days of waiting to get this done, with the threat of a $176 ticket looming over you while driving. STRESSFUL to say the least!!]
And all this made me start to think.... WHY THE HECK DO WE EVEN NEED A REGISTRATION CARD?
And what is UP with that ridiculous penalty for not having the card on you?
Here are my many random thoughts on this topic:
* * Your LICENSE PLATE. Before you get pulled over, haven't the cops already looked you up on their handy in-dash laptop? Which tells them a bunch of stuff about the car, who owns it, who it's registered to, and likely who is probably behind the wheel. And if they can see who the car is registered to just from the info on your tags... then can't they also tell whether or not your registration is current? And if you've borrowed someone's car, wouldn't this just make everyone's lives a little bit easier not having to dig around to find their registration card?
* * Take a look at your registration card.... your driver's license # is on it. Which means your car registration is linked to your driver's license. Which means if you hand over your driver's license (and pretty soon, a super fancy digital driver's license at that) - that should also say what cars are registered to you (and again, whether or not your registration is current, right?)
* * Your car's license tags are metal with numbers embossed. Inspection stickers have serial numbers on them, are a pain in the ass to scrape off yourself, and are affixed right on your car. Your driver's license is digitized, has your photo on it, and is strong like credit card. But yet, he registration card is a flimsy piece of laminated paper with a barcode on it. Hmm. Something says, "Not as important" on the Motor Vehicle Food Chain.
* * Um, HELLO. Your name, address, birthdate, and even your SS#. Any combo of the previous four pieces of info entered into an MVC computer will pull up info about YOU... including YOUR PICTURE.... And... gonna make a leap here... I'm guessing also info on all the vehicles you're affiliated with, the license plate #'s of those vehicles, and whether or not these vehicles are registered. And that's assuming you're naked without clothes, pockets, a purse, a wallet, or any other identifying information! Seriously. What if you are driving stark naked? Where the hell are you supposed to stuff all these things???
OK, so that's my very sensible reasoning for giving your flimsy Registration Card the ol' boot.
(Just don't get me started about what to do with the even flimsier, non-laminated Insurance Card... because obviously you can't get a new registration card without current insurance anyhow! )