Keeping Track of Your Vehicle Title and Other Paperwork

By: Kat Saks June 9, 2012
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Vehicle ownership comes with its fair share of paperwork. When you have a slew of documents related to your ride, keeping track of everything can be tough.

But, replacing a lost title, proof of registration, and proof of insurance can be even tougher! Save yourself some hassle with these tips for keeping track of your paperwork.

There are two main kinds of automotive paperwork: documents to have on hand in your vehicle and documents to keep off the road.

Passenger Paperwork: Licenses, Vehicle Registration, and Insurance

Some of your vehicle documentation should ride with you wherever you go. Documents to have on hand include:

  • Your drivers license. Whether you're on the road or not, your driver's license is an essential form of ID. You need to have your license handy for multiple occasions, including traffic incidents, air travel, and more. Keep your driver's license stowed in your wallet so you have it everywhere you go. If you lose it, find out to replace a lost license immediately.
  • Your vehicle registration. You receive this document when you register your vehicle with your local motor vehicle agency.
  • Proof of insurance. Before you can drive a registered vehicle, you need to secure auto insurance. In most states, failure to provide proof of registration or proof of insurance to a police offer can result in a traffic ticket.

So, where should you put these precious papers?

Don't just throw them on the passenger seat and forget about it. Your driver's license should stay with you at all times. Your registration and insurance documentation should stay in the vehicle. Choose a safe spot within your vehicle to keep these papers and keep them separate from any other items. Perhaps consider placing your registration and insurance documents in an envelope or small folder so they are always easy to access.

Homebody Paperwork: Vehicle Titles and Maintenance Records

Some of your vehicle documentation shouldn't come along for the ride.

The most important document to keep out of your auto is your vehicle title. This document provides official proof of vehicle ownership and is necessary for transactions like title transfers.

Since you don't need this document when you drive, don't bring it along. Getting a duplicate title can be laborious. Keep your vehicle title in one safe place at all times and consider creating a unique file in your home office for this document.

Also, as you spend more time in your automobile, you might accumulate maintenance records. While these documents aren't necessary when you drive, you might want to file them away for your records. If you need to consult a mechanic or provide proof of maintenance to a potential used car buyer, thorough maintenance records can come in handy. Stow them away just in case.

How do you keep track of your vehicle documents? Share your tips in the comments section below.

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