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Unregistered vehicles are 'flying under the radar' on Las Vegas valley roads, Nevada DMV says

Posted at 5:28 AM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 16:29:24-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV)  — Nevada law requires every vehicle driving on our roads to be registered, but the Department of Motor Vehicles says they're finding more drivers without the necessary documentation, like registration and insurance.

At the start of the pandemic, the DMV offered what they called an "official grace period." Now, that grace has ended and unregistered motorists are rampant on our roadways, DMV officials say.

"We do see a lot of expired registrations out there, expired Nevada registrations," said Officer JD Decker with the DMV.

For officers on patrol, an unregistered vehicle is not difficult to spot.

"They use different colors for each year, so they're easier to see for law enforcement," Decker said.

For most Nevada drivers, getting registered is a simple as a click of a button. That is, if you re-register before your current registration expires.

You can go online or you can use a self-service kiosk at the DMV to avoid those long lines, but be sure to complete the necessary steps when registering before hitting the road.

"We're finding that a lot of those, like maybe half, are people that forgot they had to put the sticker on the license plate," Decker said. "So they've registered their vehicle and didn't complete the process."

The rest of those people who are driving without registration are what the DMV calls "flying under the radar."

If you've recently moved here, Decker says an out-of-state plate may make you an easy target that could lead to a traffic stop.

"Nevada law says you have 30 days, regardless of when you last registered your vehicle (in your previous state)," Decker said.

However, there are exceptions. If passing your smog check or registering your vehicle have been difficult, there is a temporary solution.

"Obtain a moving permit, which allows you to temporarily utilize the vehicle. It's designed for people who need to get the vehicle from one place to the other, but haven't yet met all of the requirements of registration," Decker said.

Although registration, smog, and repair fees can be expensive, the DMV says the charges you rack up for not being registered are much heftier.

"A lot of the registration violations will lead to other types of violations — so people with canceled or suspended licenses, people that aren't carrying the proper insurance," Decker said.

With each fine, officers say drivers may have an even tougher time getting the proper registration.

"We encourage people to please register their vehicles here. If you are working here, if you have kids in school, if you've moved here, we want you to be a Nevada resident, officially," Decker said.

For more information on registering your vehicle or other DMV-related inquiries, head over to the DMV website.