Important Documents for Your Car

What documents to keep in your car?

We’ve got that answered for you!

By Alexandra Vileikis | Licensed Agent Learnandserve.org | Powered by A Plus Insurance

documents to keep in your car
2022 What documents do you need to keep in your car?

If you own a car and are driving it, there are a few things that you should always keep in your car. These first 3 documents are required if you are involved in an accident or pulled over.

We also included a list of documents that depending on your personal circumstances could be beneficial for you to have in your vehicle.

As a bonus we added a list of documents that are not necessary to keep in your vehicle.

Please note some of our recommended documents are NOT required to be kept in your vehicle, as they may contain personal information. However depending on your circumstances, could be very beneficial to keep in your vehicle. Especially those who suffer from illness, severe allergies, or other medical conditions.

Documents to Keep in Your Car

1. Vehicle Registration

This is going to be paperwork proving that the vehicle is registered with the state’s motor vehicle department and you have paid the required taxes and tag/license plate fees for your vehicle. Your car ALWAYS needs be registered before hitting the roads.

When you register your vehicle with the DMV you will need to provide proof of insurance*, license, and potentially car tax information depending on your state. There may be additional documentation required so it is best to always check with your local department of motor vehicles, division of motor vehicle, motor vehicle office, or your state specific department that handles vehicle registration.

If you are pulled over you a required to show proof of registration, insurance*, and your license. Which is why this document is required to be in your vehicle.

*Liability insurance is required in 49 states. The only state that does NOT require liability insurance in New Hampshire

You should frequently check that your vehicle registration is in your vehicle especially if you have a suspicion your vehicle was broken into.

Why would someone steal your registration?

Someone could steal your registration for two reasons:

  1. They gain access to your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
    Gaining access to VIN allows them to potentially file false claims, gain insurance in a fraudulent way, or even create duplicate car keys.
  2. Preparing for further theft
    Your registration does list your home address. If they find valuable in your vehicle they may be planning to also try to break into your home for further valuables. This is why you should never keep valuables in your vehicle.

Documents to Keep in Your Car

2. Proof of Insurance

This is going to be your car insurance id cards which is with the paperwork you get when you purchase insurance. This is one of the things you may keep with you electronically.

However some states may not accept a digital copy so it is best to have a physical copy in your glove box. You can easily have one mailed to you by reaching out to your insurance agent.

If you get pulled over without proof of insurance you will receive a ticket. Car insurance is required in 49 states! Again the only state it isn’t required by law is New Hampshire. However even in New Hampshire depending on your driving record it could be required for you.

Documents to Keep in Your Car

3. Your Driver’s License

This document should ALWAYS be with you when driving any vehicle. We all know it is required by law to have a license to operate a motor vehicle. It is also required to carry your drivers license with you. Unfortunately this isn’t one of the things you can keep electronically.

While it is not a great idea to keep your license in your vehicle you do always need to make certain that it is on you while driving any vehicle.

Your drivers license is not something you want to keep in the car at all times since it does contain personal information.

Documents to Keep in Your Car

Optional Documents to Consider Keeping in Your Car

There are several other documents that can be beneficial for you to keep in your car incase of an accident or emergency. We have listed those below.

While we recommend you keep such documents in your vehicle we would like to note that you will be leaving personal information in your vehicle and if the vehicle were to be stolen they would have access that information.

Emergency Contact Information: This can be very helpful if you are ever in an accident that results in you being incapacitated so those helping you can contact someone to close to you.

Medical Information: This is can also be helpful if you are ever in an accident. Things to consider listing are current medications, allergies, medical conditions, primary doctor or any specialist you may see.

Owners Manual: This could be helpful if you ever breakdown or have an issue with the vehicle. Granted we all have smartphones these days so you could easily google the problem as well, but just incase you are in an area without service it is a good thing to keep in the glove box.

Things to Keep in Your Car

Useful Items to Keep in Your Car

There are other useful items that you can keep in your for convenience. Some of these most people already have in their glove box or trunk. They can come in handy depending on the situation you may find yourself in. It is better to be prepared, than not!

Some of these could potentially save your life, the others could just make your life easier.

Another great reason to have these items on hand is if you end up in an accident or broken down and are required to wait a little while for roadside assistance.

Napkins/Wipes/TissuesBottled Water
FlashlightFlares
Snacks (Protein Bar, Granola)Lint Roller
Things to Keep in Your Car

Unsafe Documents to Keep in Your Car

Documents You Should NOT Keep In Your Car

There a few documents you should NOT keep in your car. They can contain personal information that can hurt you if your vehicle is ever stolen or broken into.

Drivers License: While this is a document that is required to be with you while you are in your vehicle or any other vehicle you may be driving. It is important that you do not leave this item in the vehicle. It contains personal information that someone would have access to if they ever broke into the vehicle or stole the vehicle.

Other Sensitive Personal Documents: No personal documents should ever be kept in your vehicle. These include social security cards, birth certificates, or marriage license.

Vehicle Title: This is another document that is not required to be kept in the vehicle but could cause personal harm if left inside. To avoid additional complications refrain from keeping the title inside the vehicle unless going to register your vehicle.

FAQ: Documents to Keep In Your Car

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Last Updated on by Alexandra Vileikis