Your glovebox isn’t just a great spot to keep road trip snacks, it’s also a handy place to keep your important documents.
There’s a lot of paperwork that comes with owning a car. While some of it can be left at home, there are a few key pieces you should always have within reach when you’re driving.
Documents to have on hand
- Driver’s Licence (Essential)
- Proof of Registration (Essential)
- Vehicle Insurance (Essential)
- Vehicle Manual
- Pen and Paper
You never know when you might be pulled over for a routine traffic stop or get into a car accident with another driver, so it’s important to keep the following items in your wallet or glovebox:
Your driver’s licence is one of the most important documents in your wallet and your car. In Manitoba, and most other places in the world, it’s required by law to have your licence with you while operating a motor vehicle.
If you are caught driving without your licence, your car could be impounded for 30 days, your licence could be suspended, you could be charged up to $2,000 in fines and You could also get as many as two demerit points on your Driver Safety Rating (a penalty that will increase your insurance premium).
Proof of Registration
Whether you lease or own, you need to register your vehicle with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) before you can take it out on the road. This happens at the same time you purchase your insurance through MPI and your proof of registration will come in the form of two licence plates.
While not technically a document, you can incur hefty fines if you’re caught driving without plates or with an expired registration.
Every car on the road has to be insured in Manitoba, this protects you and the other driver from liability if you ever get into a fender bender.
When you insure your car, you’ll receive a slip of paper from MPI detailing your Autopac coverage and its expiry date. It’s a good idea to keep this document in your car or wallet so you can produce it if you get pulled over or if you need to exchange particulars with another driver after an accident.
Other useful things to keep in your car
Your manual is a great resource for diagnosing issues with your vehicle, so it’s a good idea to keep it close at hand. You’ll be happy you have it if your car breaks down in an area with lackluster cell phone reception.
Pen and Paper
A pen and paper can come in handy in all kinds of situations — from providing entertainment for the kids on a long road trip to jotting down the name, phone number and insurance details of another driver following a car accident.
Documents to keep at home
Since you don’t need your bill of sale, transfer of ownership or certificate of inspection to drive you should keep all of these pieces of paper out of your car and in a safe place. These items are proof that you own the car and that it’s safe to be on the road.
If you ever want to sell your vehicle you’ll need to provide the new owner with these documents. Make duplicates, store them separately and keep digital versions on file.
It’s also not necessary to keep your maintenance records in your vehicle — for the sake of a clean car, it’s best to file those receipts as soon as you get home from the mechanic. Maintenance records can help you predict when it’s time for a tune up or an oil change.
Don’t get caught driving without the necessary documents and keep vital ownership information far away from your car.