When stopped by a police officer or when you are involved in a traffic accident, there are documents that you will always be asked for. Keeping these documents in your car is essential in making sure that you have everything you need in these situations. Here is a guideline of what you need to have when you are involved in a traffic accident or stopped by a police officer to ensure that all your bases are covered.
Valid Driver’s License
It is essential that when driving, you have a current and valid driver’s license. This is the first thing that will be asked for when involved in a car accident or when you are stopped. In some instances, the address that is on your driver’s license might be different than the address where you actually live.
In many cases, the agency that manages driving in your state will send a card that should be attached to your driver’s license in any instance that you have to present it. Keep this card on hand in any instance that you have to show your driver’s license. It will make sure that any documentation from court proceedings will go to the correct address, and you won’t run into a situation of “I didn’t know about….”
Car Registration Documents
Always keep a copy of your car registration in the glove compartment of your vehicle. This is your verification that your car is properly registered with the state that you live in for that year and that the registration matches the license plate on the car. It might seem like common sense, but in many instances, people will steal stickers to avoid having to pay registration fees with a state. When in an accident or stopped by an officer, not having proper registration can add a hefty fine to whatever you are stopped for or questioned about.
Proof of Car Insurance
Most states require drivers to carry some sort of insurance on their car. The requirements are different for cars that have liens versus cars that are already paid for, but some kind of insurance is generally required. Carrying proof of this insurance in your glove compartment is essential. When in an accident, it gives you the ability to provide your insurance information to the police and to the other drivers involved in the accident without having to search for it. Also, it eliminates any tickets that could be issued for not carrying proof of insurance in your vehicle.
Should You Carry Your Car Title in Your Car?
The answer to this question is a resounding NO. Do not store your car title in your vehicle. In an instance where your car is stolen, having the car title in the vehicle gives the thief the ability to sell the vehicle quickly. In most instances, there is an area on the title that only has to be filled out and turned into your state’s agency to legally transfer ownership of the car to someone else. Don’t make it easy for a thief to sell a car that they stole.
In any instant where you receive a citation for not having the necessary documents in your vehicle, it is always wise to consult an attorney. An attorney can give you valuable advice on what to do with your case and assist you in fighting the charge with the least amount of impact on your freedom, your driving record, and your wallet. Contact us today so that our experienced litigators can assist you with your situation.