Can your car be repossessed if it is not registered?

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Can your car be repossessed if it is not registered?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Repossession and registration have almost nothing to do with each other. Registration is what it sounds like: registering the car with the state, so the state knows who owns it and is responsible for it and you have legal permission to drive it. Repossession is a lender taking a car which was security or collateral for a loan when the loan is not paid properly, on time, in full, etc. A car can be repossessed even if it is not registered at the time or is not street legal to drive (e.g. would fail safety or emissions standards, etc.), is not properly insured, etc. All that's required for repossession is that the borrower (typically the car's owner) defaulted on his or her payment obligations in regards to the car.


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