This article is from the California Driving (and Surviving) FAQ, by "George J Wu" email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
from David_Carl_Ehlert@cup.portal.com on 3 Mar 1992:
If I had gotten a ticket for an expired registration, I would have gotten it
taken care of very quickly. Here is an explanation I got from a police
officer whom I asked about expired registration:
He usually allows 1-2 months of padding before he pulls someone over. He
will write the ticket "ALMOST" all of the time because the first time is
usually a fix-it. If he pulls someone over, and they already received a
ticket for the expired registration within 5-7 days of the current day, he
will usually let it go. If it is longer than 5-7 days, he will always write
the ticket and not make it a fix-it. Fix-it tickets are always at the
discretion of the officer.
As for the officer stating that you had 6 weeks, there is nothing in the CVC
that states that. Once your registration expires, you should expect
receiving a ticket. Your registration is due the day the one from the
previous year expires.
from firstname.lastname@example.org (Melville Capps) Tue Dec 28 14:49:14 1993
This is not legal advice -- this is a description of how I successfully
defended an expired registration ticket marked "non-correctable," and
got it dismissed by the judge after showing proof of correction.
The issuing of a fix-it ticket is NOT at the discretion of the issuing
officer (despite what they and many judges believe)!
Follow this typically convoluted legal citation carefully. . .
Start at CVC 40610 which states how the officer SHALL issue a fix-it
ticket for any of the violations listed in CVC 4454 (not having valid
registration card in the vehicle) OR a violation of CVC 40522 (which
refers one to CVC 40303.5 which lists what violations are correc-table).
The violations that are correctable include CVC 4000(a) (DRIVING a
vehicle without a valid registration -- it doesn't matter who owns the
vehicle the violation is committed by the DRIVER). The officer MUST
issue tickets for the listed violations as correctable unless he or she
finds any of the following in CVC 40610 (2) (b):
1. "Evidence of fraud or persistent neglect."
2. "The violation presents an immediate safety hazard."
3. "The violator does not agree to, or cannot,
promptly correct the violation."
What is at the officer's "discretion" is not the issuing of a fix-it
ticket, but whether or not the conditions above exist and therefore
prohibit the issuing of a fix-it ticket. It is well worth challenging
the findings of the officer. Fight That Ticket! (and before you do
read the Nolo Press Book, "Fight Your Ticket," for some real legal ad-
vice. If at one's arraignment, the judge will listen to reasoning why
the ticket should have been correctable he or she may dismiss it upon
showing proof of correction. If the judge refuses to listen to one's
argument at arraignment (which is likely), then instead of entering a
plea one needs to demur to the charge. A demur is basically stating
that one is improperly charged, and that the court therefore has no
jurisdiction to hear the case. Read the book "Fight Your Ticket"
and/or get legal advice before doing this though as it is technical in
nature, impedes the normal cash flow of the traffic court, and will
probably piss off the judge, but its your legal right!
The most obvious way to fix a registration violation is register the
car, but another sure way is to stop driving the vehicle. Often if
you are driving someone else's vehicle the officer will assume that
you cannot correct the violation and therefore issue you a non-