JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)
Missouri is cracking down on drivers who use fake temporary license plates with new holographic, temporary tags.
The Department of Revenue this month unveiled new 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.
"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 expects that dealers and license offices will have the new tags by February at the latest.
The agency still is struggling with drivers who continue to use temporary tags past their 30-day expiration date. That's a problem because Missouri collects sales taxes on vehicles when drivers purchase new plates.
Department spokeswoman Anne Marie Moy told the newspaper that officials estimate that 32,000 drivers still owe the state $26 million in unpaid property taxes.
Lawmakers in 2018 passed 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 is not clear on whether the department can refuse a plate without a temporary tag.
The agency issued close to 350,000 temporary registration permits between January and June. About 4.9 million vehicles are licensed in Missouri.