JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri is trying to crack down on drivers who use expired or fake temporary license plates.
New holographic temporary tags are designed to prevent their being copied – although that still might not keep drivers from keeping them on vehicles long after the tags expire.
The Department of Revenue will soon start issuing tags with a holographic image that can be seen in the day and night, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The word “void” will appear if anyone tries to copy them. The new tags cost the same to produce as the current paper temporary tags.
“We always strive to ensure proper registration and identification of vehicles operated on Missouri roadways, and anything that aids law enforcement and keeps vehicles legal and safe is a win for Missouri,” Department of Revenue Director Ken Zellers said.
The department is encouraging dealers and license offices to use up their stock of current temporary permits before starting to issue the new ones. The department expects that the dealers and offices will start giving out the new tags by February at the latest.
The agency is struggling with drivers who neglect to purchase plates for their vehicles and continue to use temporary tags past their 30-day expiration date. That’s a problem because it’s when drivers buy new plates that Missouri collects the sales taxes on the vehicles.
Department spokeswoman Anne Marie Moy told the newspaper that officials estimate that 32,000 drivers owe the state $26 million in unpaid taxes on vehicles they have bought.
Lawmakers passed in 2018 a bill to require drivers to turn in temporary tags before they can get permanent plates. The goal was to prevent other drivers from fraudulently using the expired tags.
But Moy said the law was unclear on whether the department could refuse to issue a plate without getting the temporary tag turned in.
The agency issued close to 350,000 temporary registration permits between January and June. About 4.9 million vehicles are licensed in Missouri.
For information about tagging your vehicle, see dor.mo.gov/motorv/buying.php