Expired temporary license tags are common to see driving down the road in Missouri. Rep. Brad Pollitt, R-Sedalia, is proposing to crack down on the problem.

“These temporary tags that are outdated, some of them outdated as many as four or five years, that means those individuals that are breaking the law. They haven’t paid sales tax on that vehicle. They’re not paying personal property taxes. They’re not registered. They most likely don’t have insurance,” Pollitt told Missourinet.

He is sponsoring a bill that would let law enforcement stop, inspect, or detain drivers solely to find out whether a temporary license plate tag is current. Pollitt said the provision violates the Fourth Amendment and he plans to change it if the House debates the bill.

“The question is, what should we do in order to address this,” asked Pollitt. “You know, law enforcement has their hands full. And we have had St. Louis and Kansas City and Independence and some of our bigger cities have started to try to crack down on these temporary tags that are outdated, some of them outdated as many as four or five years.”

The Missouri Auto Dealers Association estimates somewhere between $60 million to $70 million a year is being lost as a result of expired temporary tags.

“I don’t want to do any of these things,” Pollitt said. “I just want folks to, when they purchased the vehicle, they purchased it knowing they had an obligation to pay their sales tax, to register their vehicle, to buy insurance for the vehicle, and then every year pay their personal property tax on the vehicle.”

A House committee could vote soon on his proposal.

“I, in no way, shape or form, want that to happen to anybody in the state of Missouri that’s driving on an outdated temp tag,” he said. “But what I do want them to do is to get right with the law, take care of their financial and insurance obligation, and everybody play by the same rule. My goal is not to crush folks that are having financial trouble. I understand that there’s folks out there that are dealing with that and I sympathize with that. But at the same time, I also know folks that are out there that also are struggling financially but they make sure that they follow the law. You know, that’s what I’m looking for is just to put everybody on a level playing field.”

To view House Bill 1754, click here.

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