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Documents you should have in your car at all times

  • Cars Explained
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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The glovebox isn’t just a handy space to keep snacks for your road trips but also where you can store important documents relating to you and your car.

There are a few documents you should keep in your car at all times. While these documents are important in general, they are especially valuable if and when you get pulled over by a police officer. What documents do you need to provide cops if you get pulled over? Learn about the top three most crucial documents and why you might need to show them to the cops here.

What documents do I need in my car?

Owning a car comes with plenty of paperwork. While you can keep most of these documents at home, there are a few key papers you should always have at hand while driving your car. Your glovebox, center console, or the pockets on the seatbacks are some great spots where you can store these documents. Without further ado, let’s look at the three essential pieces of paperwork that you MUST have in your car at all times.

1. Driver’s License

Your driver’s license is one of the most important documents you should keep in your wallet and car. All drivers require a driver’s license to drive legally in the country. So carry your driver’s license on you at all times when operating a motor vehicle.

Read: 8 tips to help you pass your driving test

If you get caught driving without a license, the authorities could confiscate your car for up to 30 days. Even worse, your license could get suspended, and you may earn a fine of up to $2,000. Driving without a license could also attract up to two demerit points on your Driver Safety Rating, resulting in higher car insurance premiums.

2. Proof of Registration

If the police pull you over, they will most likely ask you to present proof of current car registration. As a result, it’s important to keep your car’s registration current and the paperwork accessible in your glove compartment. You could get a stiff fine if your registration is not readily available or if it is expired.

3. Car insurance documents

Almost every state in the country requires drivers to carry car insurance. Car insurance protects you and the other motorist from blame if you get into a fender bender.

When you insure your car, your insurance provider will provide you with a piece of paper detailing your car insurance coverage and its expiration date. It’s a good idea to keep this paperwork in your car or wallet if you get pulled over or need to exchange information with another driver after an accident.

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Apart from these three crucial documents, we recommend keeping your car’s manual as well as a pen and paper in the glove box of your car. Your car’s manual contains all the resources you may require to diagnose issues with your car. While it is possible to look things up on the internet, carrying the manual with you could save you a lot of trouble in areas with poor cell phone reception.

Read: Car warning lights: What do they mean?

Having a pen and paper in your car can be handy in all sorts of situations. You may need it to exchange your insurance information with another driver after an accident. Or you could save yourself from the dreaded “are we there yet?” by keeping your kids engaged on long road trips.

List of documents you can keep at home

1. Sale documents

Since you don’t need your bill of sale, transfer of ownership, or inspection certificate to drive, store all of these documents out of your car and in a safe place. These items serve as verification that you own the vehicle and that it is safe to drive.

If you ever decide to sell your vehicle, you must present these documents to the new owner. Make copies, divide them, and maintain digital versions on file.

2. Maintenance records

Do you wish to keep your car’s cabin tidy? Well, you could choose to keep the maintenance records of your car at home. For the sake of keeping your car clean, file those receipts as soon as you come home from the mechanic. Maintenance records can assist you in predicting when it is time for a tune-up or an oil change.

Don’t get caught driving without the required documentation, and store important ownership information out of sight of your vehicle.


Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.


 

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