Can You Ship a Car With an Expired Registration?

The answer is yes. Since the vehicle is cargo, it's not driving on the road and registration is not required and can be expired. In fact, car transport companies can take the vehicle even if it does have a license plate or is insured (unless it has a bank loan). To identify the vehicle a VIN (vehicle identification number) is needed.

When it is Common to Have A Vehicle Without Registration?

Many times a vehicle will come from an auto auction or salvage depot without title and registration. Almost every state has laws that may apply to salvage vehicles in some way, shape, or form. Businesses ship vehicles all the time without registration.

Under-documented cars are frequently sent with a car shipping company by junkyards who only want to use the automobiles for parts and don't have the titles with them. If you buy a car from someone in another state, you might not have the title yet and could be waiting to register it until it gets there.

That being said if you are worried that shipping companies require title and registration paperwork, they do not. The transport company contract will usually cover those issues.

What Does the Auto Transport Company Need?

With personally owned vehicles, it's pretty easy for the auto transport company to identify with the year, make , and model. The person handing over the keys to the auto shipping company is normally the owner or a family member. But a VIN is recommended either way for the shipping paperwork.

However if having car shipping services picking up from an auction, dealership, or private seller it is not possible to pick up a vehicle without a VIN number that matches the vehicle transport order. This is to assure the right vehicle is picked up.

What is a VIN Number?

The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is what distinguishes your automobile, and because each vehicle has a unique VIN number, this is by far the most secure technique for businesses to ensure that they are sending the correct car. It's a good idea to double-check and insure that your vehicle has the proper Vehicle Identification Number at if you plan on shipping it expired registration.

Important Considerations

Remember when getting the registration paperwork done, have your photo identification (must be an unexpired state's driver's license) and bill of sale, original title, or certificate of origin ready. Please be aware of the following considerations when you ship a car:

You Won't Be Able to Drive the Car with Expired or No Registration

It's imperative to understand that although the vehicle can ship with auto transport companies and have an expired registration, that means you cannot drive the vehicle. So if the car carrier cannot fit in your neighborhood, the car shipped to you then would have to be dropped off as close as they can safely get. This means you would not be able to legally drive the vehicle to the actual destination.

Some Vehicles May Need Inspections to be Registered

If you are shipping a car to another state with an expired registration, an inspection may be needed such as emissions. If a salvage vehicle, a full safety inspection may be needed.

Call Us For More Information

Have Questions, talk to our Car Shipping advisors today with your vehicle ready. Call 800-284-7177 today to get your vehicle car safely delivered.