July 22, 2015 By Paul Wallin

Penalties for Stealing Car Registration Tags (VC 4463)

Have you ever considered peeling the registration stickers from the plates on another car and putting them on yours? Maybe you forgot to renew your registration, and you felt like stealing tags would be more convenient. However, the penalties for stealing car registration tags in California far outweigh a ticket or the registration fees.

Stealing Vehicle Registration Tags in California

Consequences of stealing vehicle registration tags in California.
You may want to think again if you are considering stealing vehicle registration tags in California.

You might think that taking the registration tags from one vehicle, even if you own that vehicle, and putting them on another car is no big deal. This is actually a crime that carries serious penalties, including expensive fines and jail time.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 4463, it is illegal for you to intentionally forge, alter, falsify, or counterfeit a registration card or registration sticker, or to possess, display, or present one of these fraudulent cards or stickers. If you are charged with violating VC 4463, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the facts of your case.

Examples of California Vehicle Code Section 4463 Violations

Some examples of registration issues that are considered illegal under VC 4463 include:

  • Stealing the registration tags off one car for another, even if you own both vehicles
  • Trying to save money by registering the vehicle with the wrong year or value
  • Registering your vehicle outside of California to pay less taxes
  • Possessing, displaying, or presenting forged or fake registration tags or cards

Penalties for Stealing Registration Tags

In California, violating VC 4463 can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case as well as your criminal history. In order to be convicted of vehicle registration fraud, the prosecution must present evidence that you intended to commit the fraud.
If you are convicted of misdemeanor registration tag fraud, you face the following penalties:

  • Up to 364 days in county jail;
  • Up to a $1,000 fine; or
  • Both fine and jail

If you are convicted of felony vehicle registration fraud, you face the following penalties:

  • 16 months, 24 months, or 36 months in county jail
  • A maximum fine of $10,000; or
  • Both fine and jail

Be aware that if the Department of Motor Vehicles believes you have forged any documents or provided false information, your California driver’s license could be revoked or suspended, and the DMV can refuse to issue you a license or renew an expired license.

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney at Wallin & Klarich

Wallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyers California
If you are accused of a crime, our attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call us today so we can begin working on your case.

If you have been charged with stealing or forging vehicle registration tags in California, call Wallin & Klarich today. Our skilled attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending our clients against vehicle registration fraud charges. We will analyze the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible in your case.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5425 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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