Tips for Storing Each of Your Ohio Driver Documents

When you own a car, you have a great deal of paperwork that accompanies it. Keeping track of it all can be daunting. Which documents are you required to keep in the car, and which should be safely stored at home? Understanding which car-related paperwork should remain in the car and what should not be left in the car is crucial to avoiding theft. If your proof of registration or vehicle title are stolen, it can have disastrous consequences. It could take months to straighten out the ownership of the vehicle. Having to replace lost, damaged or stolen documents can also be difficult. Most glove boxes become storage containers for all manner of items, but the most vital contents should be important paperwork. The following lists the paperwork that you must have in order to legally operate your vehicle in the U.S. as well as suggesting which types of car papers need to remain safely stored away in your home.

Car Paperwork that Stays with the Car

In Ohio, you must have proof of insurance in order to legally operate your vehicle on the road. Most drivers carry a copy of their insurance card in their wallet and in the glove box of the vehicle. Failure to have this on you when you are pulled over can increase a traffic ticket fine. You also need to keep proof of registration in your glove box. This helps to establish ownership of a car.

Your vehicle’s title should never be kept in the car. The title to your car states you are the owner. The reason it should be left at home is because someone can take that title and sign the space on the back that indicates a transfer of ownership. Then, it would be hard for authorities to determine ownership of the vehicle. Store your car’s vehicle title at home where you keep other important documents such as birth certificates, passports, insurance papers, or social security cards. If your title is stolen, you will have to report it to the authorities immediately and notify your DMV office so that they can watch for suspicious activity.

Most experts state that even within the glovebox, you should offer some protection against damage to the documentation. You can easily achieve this by giving each document its own protective envelope or placing them in a high-quality manila envelope. This keeps the important car papers away from other items in the glovebox that could stain or tear them. Important car documents must be kept dry, undamaged and legible. Some car insurance agencies provide protective envelopes for free.

Good to Have on You in Case of Accidents

While it is not legally required, it is a good idea to create an In Case of Emergency (ICE) card. This card lists all important information about you in case you are in an accident. On the card, you should list emergency contacts, any special medical conditions or allergies, your family doctor’s name and contact information and information about your car such as the make, model and insurance policy number. Keeping a pen and a small notepad in the glove box is also a good idea in case you need to exchange insurance information with someone after an accident.

Items that You Should Consider Removing from the Glovebox

It used to be a commonly held practice that you kept the owner’s manual in the glove box. Now, some owner’s manuals may take up too much space. Consider putting this on a bookshelf in your house where you can readily access it when you need to. Take a picture with your phone of the basic information on tire pressures and types of engine oil it requires, since these are the most often referenced items in car manuals. This way you have the information, but it is not taking up space in your glove box.

Maintenance records, or paperwork that details your most recent oil change, tire rotations, and so forth, do not need to be stored in the car. Keep them in the same safe place in your home as you do your other important paperwork. Then, you will be able to access them when you need to update the information.