ST. CHARLES, Mo. — The St. Charles Police Department implemented a zero-tolerance policy to crack down on expired temporary tags in the area.
Just two weeks after implementing the policy, the department has already issued 300 tickets. St. Charles police said they will give out tickets and take the tags away if they’re expired.
“I mean it’s the law, so they should enforce it,” said St. Charles resident Mark Cundeff.
St. Charles police said they started testing out a stronger stance on a long-standing issue. Once the temporary tags expire, drivers will face a ticket and a fine for driving illegally, summoning them to court to get registered for legal plates.
“There’s no discretion,” said St. Charles police Lt. Tom Wilkinson. “If your temp tag is fraudulent or expired, there is zero tolerance. We’re going to issue a ticket and seize it as evidence.”
The 300 tickets recently issued amount to half of the 600 tickets given out for the first six months of 2022 and one-third of tickets given for the whole year in 2021.
“A lot of the stolen cars will have Missouri temp tags plates on them, or they will steal one, and they will become expire,” said Wilkinson, “It’s another way to target criminal activity as well.”
In St. Louis County, concerned residents prompted Florissant police to address the response to illegal tags in their city via a Facebook Post on June 17.
A spokesperson from the Florissant Police Department told FOX 2 that they will continue to enforce the temp tag law but won’t take the tag. They released a statement stating:
“In the event that a vehicle is involved in any type of criminal activity or possibly a motor vehicle accident where a vehicle leaves the scene that temporary tag can still be used to identify the vehicle either by witness testimony, surveillance video, or license plate readers.”
“I don’t think people should be driving around with temp tags that are over a year old,” said Main Street visitor and St. Peters resident, Teresa Deguire. “I also can understand why people might not be able to afford a license right away since vehicles are so expensive,”
The policy will be in place until at least September 12.
After the summer ends, police will have discretion again, but the plan is to use the data collected over the summer and re-evaluate which strategy works best.