What should I do if there is going to be a lapse in my car liability insurance?

What should I do if there is going to be a lapse in my car liability insurance? | Syracuse, NY MCV LAW

You should surrender your vehicle plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) immediately. If you do not turn in your plates, your registration will be suspended for the same number of days that you did not have insurance coverage and failed to give your plates to the DMV. If the number of days is more than 90 days, your driver’s license will also be suspended for the same number of days as the registration. In addition, to reinstate your driver’s license, you must pay a termination fee. Please note that even if your vehicle is taken off the road and not driven, you must still surrender your plates, or face registration and license suspensions.

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Your insurance company will notify the DMV if you cancel your liability insurance. If you receive a letter from the DMV that states your insurance has lapsed, it is important that you follow the instructions in the letter promptly. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. If you are having an issue with your insurance company, it is important that you turn in your plates while the issue is worked out. It is important that you keep the receipt showing that you turned in your plates. When the problem is corrected you can get your registration back and new plates. If you get insurance through a new company, make sure the new company notifies the DMV electronically.

You may also have the option of paying a civil penalty instead of turning in your license plates to the DMV. However, if you insurance coverage lapse is more than 90 days or if you have used the civil penalty option for registration suspension within the previous 36 months, then the civil penalty is not available. Therefore, if you surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV before your insurance lapses, you can prevent the suspension of your registration and driver’s license.

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