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Old 8 Jun 2010
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expired license plate

Hi all. I bought a bike two years ago in Florida; now it is kept near New York, but the license plate is expired. I will leave the country heading South America and do not go to Florida anymore. Will I have problems out of Florida because a expired license plate?
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Old 8 Jun 2010
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It's a matter of luck whether or not you will get caught with an expired plate in the United States (drive carefully and don't speed). Here in NY there is a sticker that goes on the plate that tells the year it expires, but in some states there is no sticker on the plate. You might have a problem at the border with Mexico because they sometimes ask to see your vehicle registration to prove that you own the vehicle you are driving. I'm pretty sure you need to purchase Mexican motorcycle insurance to drive in Mexico, and for that I would imagine you would need to have a valid registration.
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Old 8 Jun 2010
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Thanks. When I ve been stopped in USA and Canada, they just asked for insurance and driver license. They always got shocked about my Spanish driver licence or the International one. In USA I got few fines, in Canada I got away without it. Iam pretty sure can get a mexican insurance and whatever paper I need. The issue is if the bribe I will have to pay for that would be higher than a new florida registration.
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Old 9 Jun 2010
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It just depends on your luck whether or not you will get stopped. Here in NY they ask for your registration every time, at least in my experience. They also check your inspection sticker, driver's license, and insurance card. They'd better be all up to date or they will sometimes tell you to walk home while they tow away your vehicle. That happened to a friend of mine who had expired insurance. Took him months and much money to get his car back, and it was the insurance company's fault too! This all varies by state and locality. However, with the economy not doing so well many police departments are looking for revenue from writing tickets, and they seem to be writing a lot of them.
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Old 9 Jun 2010
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In the States, I'd make sure my registration and plate were current. Cops are not stupid, they all read English, and they are trained to look at such things. Of course, I used to wander around all over the place with expired plates and inadequate papers, and mostly I got away with it. It's merely a matter of risk assessment and dumb luck (or absence of luck).

In Latin America, I've been traveling for 8 months now without ever showing my current registration--I'm using one which has been expired since last fall. It buys me insurance, gains me entry at borders, satisfies soldiers at roadblocks, and in all respects does just fine--no bribes, no negotiations, nada. Yesterday, a customs official studied it carefully, correctly identified the effective date but somehow did not read the adjacent expiration date, clearly printed there for all to see. I haven't even thought to look at my plate to see if my sticker is current (under its normal coating of red mud and dust), but I wouldn't be the least bit worried if it's not: I'd just tell them it's good for two years, or whatever.

Note that I do carry current registration, just in case...but I haven't had to use it yet. I'll pull it out when I get back to the States, where such things seem to matter more.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 9 Jun 2010
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Sounds like good local knowledge from Mark, but I personally prefer to have all my ducks in a row when dealing with officials outside the U.S. If your papers are all good there is less chance of being hassled. And, who wants to be stuck in some lonely border town trying to update an insurance card or registration, or trying to find the right official to bribe? A lot of U.S. states allow online registration updates, and you might be able to do it by mail. Here in NY they just send a form once every two years and you can go online, enter some numbers, your credit card, and voila! you have an updated registration sticker coming in the mail. I hear Florida is not too bad for registration issues.
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