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Glove Box: Do's and Dont's

Things to keep in, keep out of your glove compartment


Wednesday, January 09, 2013 3:02:40 PM

Linda Melone


What's in your glove compartment? Organizing this convenient catch-all can save you time and aggravation if you're in a car accident. Or it can give a car thief everything he needs to know to steal your identity.


Instead of stuffing it with napkins, ketchup packets and breath mints, turn your glove box into a useful tool. Not all items belong in it. Your address and other identifying information make certain paperwork prime material for thieves to find out where you live, for example.


Here's what the experts say you should keep stashed in your glove compartment and what you should leave at home or in your wallet.


DO NOT keep in your glove compartment


1. Personal papers.


Never leave anything with personal or identifying information -- such as credit card bills -- in your glove compartment, says Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the nonprofit National Insurance Crime Bureau. "It’s just too easy for thieves to take your ID and use it to make phony credit cards, loan applications -- you name it," he says.


2. Vehicle registration.


While vehicle registration papers must be presented when asked for by a law enforcement officer, you do not need to store the originals in your glove compartment. Instead, keep a copy in your wallet next to your driver’s license, Scafidi says.


3. Receipts.


Stashing any kind of receipts also can cause problems. Some establishments print receipts with a customer's full name, home address, email address and even credit card number. Any information that may be associated with your residence should not be stored in your glove compartment.


4. Driver's license.


Keep it, along with your original registration, in your wallet to avoid identity theft.


5. Vehicle title.


Your car's title should be stored in a safe place, not your glove compartment. If it's stolen, your title could be used to create fraudulent titles to help sell stolen cars, Scafidi says.


6. Checkbook and wallet.


Both may enable a thief to steal your identity along with your bank account numbers.


Do keep in your glove compartment

1. Proof of car insurance.


A card issued by your car insurance company proves that you have insurance coverage for your vehicle, including the minimum amount of liability insurance required by state law, says Loretta Worters, vice president of the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute. Forty-eight states require a certain amount of auto liability insurance.

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