You might be one of the many Arizona drivers who received notice that your license plate and vehicle registration were suspended. But do you understand what happened and why?

The Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles maintain a complete data base of vehicle registration information which is updated daily. Anything you do with your vehicle. If you receive a vehicle citation, speeding ticket or are involved in a vehicle accident, this information is stored as a part of your driving record.

So too are the records of your vehicle insurance. If you do not keep your vehicle insurance updated the insurance company will automatically notify the Arizona DMV (they are required by law to do this) and your vehicle registration and license plates will be automatically suspended.

This process is an automatic response kicked off when notification is received about the status of your insurance. If you want to keep driving legally in Arizona, make certain you know the status of your vehicle insurance and don’t drive a vehicle with suspended registration and license plates!

I received a notice that my plates and registration were suspended…why?

A suspension could have been generated for one of several reasons: 1) MVD has not received proof of Arizona insurance, 2) There was a lapse in insurance coverage, 3) There was an accident case opened, 4) A newly registered vehicle may not have been on system when insurance information was received, 5) There was a VIN (vehicle identification number) error, either entered into the system incorrectly or provided incorrectly by the insurance company.

So, what do you do if your plate and registration are suspended? You must file fees and future proof of financial responsibility with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Services (MVA). It is best to get your insurance reinstated as soon as you can, because police officers will ask for proof of insurance if they pull you over and driving without insurance could cost you up to $500 in fines. To clear a registration suspension, you must be able to provide proof that you had insurance at the time you were pulled over. If you can’t provide proof, then you will have to pay a $50 reinstatement fee after you eventually provide proof. But likely it doesn’t take long to be reinstated. You should only have to wait up to 24 hours for your plate and registration to be reinstated.