Like most people, you probably have your car’s registration in the glove box. Most people, in fact, are in the habit of leaving their registration in this convenient little compartment. Many police officers, however, are now urging Americans to stop placing their car registration in their glove box. The reason is that, recently, there has been a spike in crime in America. This includes car thefts, and the police have noted that many thieves will be on the lookout for this very valuable little piece of paper. Your car’s registration has a lot of sensitive information on it, including your address. This means that a car thief can take your registration, drive your car to your house, and rob your house as well. This kind of double whammy can be prevented if you just take your registration with you and remember to bring it with you wherever you go.
The police have stressed that everyone should take all of their valuables out of their cars, including registrations and other sensitive documents. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is now urging that everyone take a photo of their insurance to have it on their phones. Either this, or it could be helpful to keep a photocopy of your registration in your wallet. The Atlanta Police Department confirmed this advice, noting that they will in fact accept photocopies of registrations. This is because they can check the photocopy of the registration and then confirm the rest of the details on their computer. All of the information that the police need will be accessible via electronic files, so most of the time having the physical registration itself won’t be necessary. There is also a growing number of states that are now allowing citizens to show electronic versions of registration during traffic stops.
The Atlanta police also noted that most thieves, in addition to stealing cars, will be looking for guns, gold, and any other valuables in the cars they steal. This means that everyone should avoid keeping any valuables in their car at any time. The most important tip to follow is to avoid giving thieves a reason to break into your car. If someone sees something valuable in your car this will make them more likely to want to break into it. Some commenters felt otherwise about the advice to not keep your registration in your car’s glove box. It is true that some states, like Florida, require you to show the original copy of your registration at traffic stops. It is also true that many documents besides your registration can have your address and other sensitive information on them. Finally, if you have a GPS system in your car, thieves will be able to find where you live just by telling the GPS to go “home.” These are complicated matters, and they show just how difficult it can be to keep yourself and your livelihood safe. Check local and state laws and local police recommendations with regards to registrations. Whatever you do, do what will keep you and your car the safest.