FERGUSON, Mo. – The Ferguson Police Department will soon roll out an enforcement plan intended to crack down on drivers using expired temp tags around city streets.
Ferguson Police Chief Troy Doyle calls the effort “Temp Tag Tuesday.” He says the department will make expired temp tags its focus on Tuesdays moving forward.
Doyle, who was just sworn in as Ferguson Police Chief in March, says the effort is a matter of “safety and compliance” rather than generating revenue for the city.
“Enforcing expired temporary tags is tough. If we ticket someone with expired tags, they may struggle to pay the fine as they couldn’t pay for the original tags. However, not ticketing isn’t fair to law-abiding citizens who renew their plates per state law,” said Doyle via Twitter.
Temp tags have particularly been a concern since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago. During the pandemic’s peak, the state of Missouri waived certain vehicle registration requirements. Some area drivers say the result is a logjam of vehicles in Missouri, particularly the St. Louis area, with expired tags.
When you buy a car in Missouri, you receive a set of temp tags, with the expectation being that you’ll go to a Department of Revenue office or the DMV within the next 30 days to pay the sales tax and receive your license plates. However, some drivers opt to ride with expired temp tags because the sales tax is too expensive to pay at one time.
For instance, a car that costs $10,000 in the city would be $1,000 in sales tax. Because of that, some drivers may take their chances on a $100 or $200 ticket for driving with temp tags.
Along with Ferguson’s “Temp Tag Tuesday” effort, Missouri lawmakers have pushed for legislation to address expired temp tags. One bill sponsored by State Rep. Michael O’Donnell (R-Oakville) cleared both the House and Senate earlier this year. The bill is now on Gov. Parson’s desk for consideration.
HB 415 would require dealerships to collect sales tax at the time of a vehicle purchase, thus eliminating the need for a temporary paper license tag. Customers would be required to pay a lump sum before they can take home a car, or the sales tax would be rolled into monthly payments.