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Q

Can I donate or sell a car with suspended registration due to an insurance lapse and avoid paying pending penalty charges? I don't want to pay penalty after the suspension period is over to reinstate registration. Can I donate the car and avoid paying penalty which may be more then car worth? Can I then buy and register new car?


A

State laws differ but it is doubtful that you will be able sell a vehicle that currently has a suspended registration. If you did the person that purchased the car would likely not be able to register the vehicle until you cleared up the registration under your name by paying the penalty for the insurance lapse and getting the vehicle's registration reinstated.

From the information we gathered from various sites that allow you to donate cars, they need you to have the car currently registered in order to take it in. There are some charities that will accept a vehicle with an expired registration which the charity will be able to do the paperwork on and get the registration current on. It does not sound as if they would be able to do this with your vehicle though since the registration is suspended.

If the penalties and fees to reinstate the car's registration are more than the vehicle is worth, you may want to find out from the Department of Motor Vehicles if you get rid of the car, via perhaps a salvage yard that just needs a title and not necessarily current registration, if you still would have to pay those fees in other to register a different, new vehicle. Depending upon state laws you may need to clear up the registration for this current vehicle before you are able to register any other vehicle under your name.

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