Create vehicle folders.

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Have you ever been in that dreaded situation where you are pulled over or in a vehicle collision and you have no idea where your insurance paperwork and registration are?  I have been there.  My husband has been there.  These are uncomfortable situations.  But they can easily be avoided.

Find folders today.  You can use a plain file folder or a cheap folder you bought when you were stocking up on school supplies in August.  You can use a binder or even a report cover.  Or you can be like me and use a bright red file folder so that the folder is easily locatable in your vehicle.  But find one folder for each vehicle in your household.  Then create a label for each folder, handwritten if you are okay with that, printed and with clip art if you just enjoy creating and making things pretty.  I have my vehicle description on my labels (2004 Jeep Liberty, 2013 Mazda3) just so I can keep the folder straight.  Underneath, I have several of our emergency contacts, their relationships to us, and their phone numbers, just in case we ever have an emergency situation where we need someone we don’t know to contact someone we do in a hurry and without jailbreaking our phones.  Put the labels in a visible place on the folders.

Then put your current documentation inside the folders.  Obviously, you should include your current registration.  (If you are not required to keep your former year registrations, I would recommend scanning them, saving them to your computer, and shredding them.)  Also include your current automobile insurance declarations pages.  You should have printed those yesterday.  (Again, I would recommend scanning old declarations pages, saving them to your computer, and shredding those as well.)  And if you live in a state that requires vehicle inspections, definitely make sure your current inspection is included in the folder.  (Again, I scan, save, and shred inspections for past years.)  Since my folder does not have clips of any sort, I paper clip all of these items in the folder.  If you’re using a binder or a typical folder, simply punch holes in your paperwork, and place it in your vehicle folder.  (I recommend this three-hole punch from Amazon.  It’s as cheap as you’ll find it without going to Walmart, and it works just fine.)

Make sure you put the correct folder in an easily accessible place in the correct vehicle, and you’re set.  If you get pulled over or have a collision, God forbid, you’ll have your license and registration ready to go.

Time required:  60 minutes, mainly because I had to look for a folder and I created a printed label.

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