Question: If I had car insurance on three cars, but canceled insurance on one car (keeping insurance on the other two cars), will I have to turn in my tag for that one car?

Answer: Yes. You must turn in your tags and registration for that car if you no longer carry at least the state’s minimum liability insurance on it.

State laws vary, but most require that car insurance coverage be maintained throughout the vehicle registration period, whether the vehicle is used or not. If you cancel your coverage on any of your vehicles, then you will need to turn in your registration and license plates to your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for that vehicle.

If you fail to turn in these items to the DMV, you could face penalty fees for a lapse in insurance. In some states, you may receive a suspension of your vehicle registration privileges as well. If you were caught driving without insurance in this car, the state could suspend your driver’s license.

There are a few states where you do not have to turn in the plates if you take insurance off a vehicle you are not using. But in these states, you need to complete paperwork with the DMV regarding the planned non-operation of your vehicle, which says that you will not operate the vehicle again until its insured.

The car insurance you kept on your other two vehicles does not extend to the vehicle that’s not insured.

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Contributing Writer

Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.