In the United States it is either a misdemeanor or an infraction to drive with an expired car registration, according to FindLaw. In most states, the penalty is a traffic ticket and some license points.
The penalty for driving with an expired registration may increase depending on how long the registration has been expired, states FindLaw. In certain states, such as Michigan, it is legal to drive an unregistered used car immediately after purchase, as long as the car is being taken directly to the place of storage and it is within three days of the sale. Many states offer a 5- to 30-day grace period in which there is no penalty beyond an official warning for driving on an expired registration, according to DMV.org.