If you’re like most people, you’ve probably always been taught to keep your vehicle registration in the glove box of your car. It makes sense so that you will have it handy in the unfortunate situation that you get pulled over and need to validate your vehicle to the police officer. But, police are now urging you to do just the opposite and not keep your registration in the glove box.
And it’s for a good reason, as thieves are on the hunt for these valuable pieces of information. There have been reports of criminals breaking into a parked car in a lot, going directly for the registration which has the car owner’s address on it. When they have the registration, they take their crime a step further and drive the car to the victim’s house to rob it.
“We encourage everyone to please remove all valuables and important paperwork (not only about your car or finances but also containing your personal information) from their vehicles,” said Officer L. Sajdak of the Atlanta Police Department.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau is urging everyone to take a photo of your registration on your phone or carry a photocopy of it in your wallet. This way you have it on you at all times and you can still present it to the police when requested. The Atlanta Police Department has confirmed that they will accept a photo version of the registration as they can check the information on their computer. Most of the time they don’t even ask for the registration because everything can be checked and confirmed on their own electronic files.
Many states are now allowing you to show an electronic version of your registration during traffic stops as well.
Chad Jensen suggests the following:
Make a photocopy of the registration, white out the address then photocopy that page. Keep the original at home and keep the copy with no address in the glove box and shred the one with white-out on it.
The Atlanta police department said that thieves are generally looking through cars for electronics, cash or even guns so make sure you don’t keep anything in your vehicle that gives them a reason to break in.
Commenters shared their thoughts on the topic…
“Some states, like Florida, require that you keep the original registration in your vehicle.”
“There’s probably a lot more in the glove box that has the address: insurance card, warranty records, purchase/financing documents, etc.”
“Why would thieves go to the trouble of looking for your home address on your vehicle registration when it is much easier to tell the GPS or vehicle navigation system to go “home”?
“If they can’t or don’t want to drive off with the victim’s car, they can just get away with the victims’ garage door opener after noting the victim’s address.”
It’s pretty scary to think about how little information is needed to do a lot of damage to someone’s home and to their privacy.