Posted on May 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Friday, May 13 at 4:23 PM
Cars with Illinois license plates are nothing out of ordinary on the streets of St. Louis, but News 4 constantly gets viewer complaints about people who live in Missouri but have their cars registered in Illinois. News 4 took a drive through Soulard on quite a few early mornings and spotted dozens of cars with Illinois plates parked in the St. Louis neighborhood. Not just cars parked on the streets, but parked in spots assigned to specific apartments. These were not a one-time catch either. On multiple mornings, News 4 spotted the same car parked in the same spot, both off and on the street.
This is not just happening in Soulard, we spoke to one Downtown St. Louis resident who has been living in Missouri for more than 5 years, but still has his car registered in Illinois. Based on the make and model of his car he has avoided paying more than $1,400 in Missouri personal property taxes.
That downtown resident spoke about if he had any incentive to register his car in Missouri, “No incentive to get Missouri plates because I have lived here for six years and there are no repercussions and I've saved some money.”
We contacted the Missouri Department of Revenue about Missourians having their cars registered in Illinois. The department spokesperson could not give specific numbers but did say it is costing the state money. It is a Class B misdemeanor to register your car in Illinois if you live in Missouri.
News 4 checked with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office, they tell us that residents who spot this problem should call the police who will issue a ticket. It then goes to a city court where a judge decides the car owners fate. So if people do not call in tips, nothing happens.
The Missouri Department of Revenue has an investigation unit if you would like to report an offense.
Missouri Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Bureau
St. Louis Office – (314) 877-0393
Jefferson City Headquarters – (573) 751-4689