What happens if I don't get new license plates when I move to a different state?

I just bought a car and had it registered and titled in Minnesota. In two months I will be moving down to Florida. Now my Minnesota plates are good for another 10 months, but Florida state law says I must register the car in Florida within 10 days of moving down there. I'm not particularly keen on paying to get Florida plates and a Florida driver's license sooner than I have to, so what happens if I wait till my Minnesota plates expire? If you've been in this situation before, I'd certainly appreciate your input!

In virtually all states, once you establish residence in another state, you are required to switch your plates over (as you obviously already know - in most states it's a month, I'm surprised Florida only gives you ten days).

Enforcing the law is another matter entirely. Minnesota will almost certainly keep your registration active until the scheduled expiration date, since it is likely they have no idea that you have moved. If you are pulled over six months after moving, still have you MN license, and tell the officer you just got there a few days ago, or are still residing in MN and just going back and forth, then (depending on the officer's mood) you may simply receive a warning, as I did when I was living in SC and still kept my CO plates (I was, as you are, reluctant to pay for new plates). If you have a Florida license, Minnesota plates, and your local cop has seen you commuting to work for the last six months, you will probably be cited. In my case, I was travelling out of town and was in a small, one-horse burg I had never been in before, so some fast talking to the cop saved me from a citation. I was military and told him I was waiting for my paperwork to keep my Colorado DL and plates - I even threw in a made-up form number and sounded irritated with the whole process (cops know all about paperwork) - I should have gotten an Oscar for that one.

If you are cited, you can plead your case to the judge (bear in mind that lying in court is illegal), as the state is almost certainly not going to go to any extreme lengths to investigate your whereabouts for what is a misdemeanor traffic offense - it's simply too expensive.

However, to maintain a clean conscience, get your plates changed. If you are in an accident, as noted before, the insurance company may not cover you if they do a little digging and discover you were driving on a technically invalid registration.