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Can My Car Be Towed From My Driveway for Expired Tags?


Renewing your vehicle’s expired tags every year is a chore you can not avoid as a car owner. When that time of the year comes, you know you have to pay for it. But what if you do not have enough to pay for it at that moment? Does that mean officials can tow away your car at any time and place? This article answers the question ‘Can my Car be Towed from my Driveway for Expired Tags?’

Well, no! Even for expired tags, your car can not be towed away from your driveway. However, that does not mean a towing company won’t tow your vehicle away in public. If your registration time is six months after the expiring date, officials can approve towing away of your car.

Once in a while, it is not uncommon to see cars with expired tags driving around. This might make you wonder if the law to tow away such vehicles is still in place. It does not matter what you see; you should not test the theory by driving a car with expired tags. Immediately your tags expire, pay for your tags to avoid getting a fine or your car towed away.

There are different reasons why officials can tow your car away, and there are laws governing towing away cars. Read this article to learn more about them.

Laws About Expired Tags

The state vehicle codes state that the towing company can tow your car away if you have an expired tag, but only if the registration time is over six months.

And it does not stop at that; the code also specifies that the vehicle could only be towed if parked in public. Before the towing company can pull your car away, the city or state employees should prompt it to enforce city regulations.

There is still more; the law also points out that if you are in the vehicle at that moment, only a peace officer can initiate the car towing.

Factors That Can Affect The Situation

If your vehicle has an expired tag and your registration is six months late, it does not automatically mean towing away of your car when you meet an officer in public. Different factors can influence their reactions and decision to have your car towed away.

Your Reason

Now, do not assume that any excuse will make the officer let you go. The only viable reason is that you already paid for the tag, but you have not gotten them yet.

It is common knowledge that getting a new tag might take a while, even after making payments. The officer will consider this as a good reason. 

If you are in such a situation, you should go around with the proof that you paid, be it a receipt or mail of transaction. Then you can go without getting a fine or even a citation.

Your presence

The law already states that if you are present at that time they want to tow your car away, only a peace officer can initiate it.

If you are absent in the vehicle at that moment, but you’re not yet past the six months limit, the official can write and leave you a citation. The citation reminds you to pay for your tags before the six-month lapse.

Your Vehicle’s Location

The law was specific about the vehicle being on public land before officials can approve to tow it away. The officers do not have the authority to haul away a car, not in public. And not only that, but they can also not give you a ticket.

Note: The private property might be a specific parking lot or area.


The law stands, but that does not mean there are no exceptions. There are situations where officials will give a warning despite having expired tags and being six months late.

Law enforcement officers also have restrictions that might affect where and when they enforce their laws. Some of the limitations are put in place to prevent putting people in bad situations on the spot, thereby making their matters worse.

If an officer notices signs of stress over the payment for the tag renewal, he might let the person go with just a warning.

Also, officers are more lenient with first-time offenders (of the late payment crime) than with someone who has a pattern of late payment.

What to Do When Your Car Gets Towed Away

If the towing company impounds your car, the law transfers your ownership to the towing company until you pay the impound fees. Which means you do not have rights over the vehicle. And once an officer approves the towing and the company attaches the towing hitch to your car, only a peace officer can stop them.

If you are there at that moment before the truck tows your car away, you can get away by paying half of the impounding fees. Still, you will need to present your driver’s license, insurance identification, registration, title, and car keys. You might need to pay the impound fees before they unhook the car.

If the towing company tows your car away in your presence, you will need to speak to the law enforcement officer to know its destination. And after getting to the location, you will have to pay both the impound fee and show proof of your registration before they will release your car.

The process for renewing a license plate tag differs in each state. Some states communicate the process via mail, while you must visit the licensing office in other states. Know the proper procedure and get your plate number, title number, and credit card ready for the process.


There are many reasons regulations officials can approve towing your car away, and an expired tag is one. To prevent this issue, renew your tag. And alongside, get a registration sticker or license plate sticker to optimise the visibility of your registration day and night.

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