Missouri bill aims to cut down on expired temporary tags

A new bill that passed the house resoundingly would change where and when sales taxes are paid...
A new bill that passed the house resoundingly would change where and when sales taxes are paid on vehicle purchases.(KCTV5)
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 10:34 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A new bill that passed the house resoundingly would change where and when sales taxes are paid on vehicle purchases.

The premise is that it would cut down on the number of people who drive around on long-expired temporary tags, avoiding the tax, and help people afford to title their cars

It’s rare to find someone who says they like going to a motor vehicle licensing office.

“The lines, yeah,” said April Rimpson, “or not having the right thing.”

KCTV5 met her at a licensing office just east of the Country Club Plaza.

Another woman had just pulled in after giving up at the office in downtown Kansas City.

“When I checked in, there was 103 people in front of me,” said Tarai Jackson.

Jackson was there to rectify her temp tags that expired in January. There were other cars in the parking lot with tags that were expired for even longer.

“I see people from like 2020,” remarked Darius Carter, “and I’m like, ‘How are you all still moving around with those type of tags?’”

His tags expired in December. He said he intended to pay the tax, but other expenses took priority, then new ones arose.

“It’s really hard to actually get that type of money saved up,” said Carter. “It takes most people time.”

St. Louis Republican Representative Michael O’Donnell introduced HB 415. He said it started as way to address a perceived gaming of the system, but he learned something else along the way.

“You’ve got a lot of people driving around on temp tag who simply wish they weren’t driving around on temp tags,” said O’Donnell. “and I think there’s plenty of folks out there who would prefer that they’re not under this microscope.”

Under current law, a car dealer provides a temporary tag that’s good for 30 days. In those 30 days, the purchaser must go to a licensing office to pay the sales tax and get a title.

HB 415 would require the dealer to collect that sales tax upfront. It could be paid in full or rolled into a car loan.

“$2,000 is a lot of money to come up with at one time,” said O’Donnell. “But if you can roll it into $30-a-month payments, then it can be a lot easier for folks, helps folks get on the right side of the law.”

“I think that would be much better,” said Caresa Doakes, who was at the licensing office to get her son’s driver’s license replaced. “The reason is so that you could roll it into the loan so that you don’t have to come up with a big lump sum of money all at once.”

The bill would make the routine similar to the current process Kansas. Pay upfront. Get temp tags. Get your permanent plates in the mail.

That means one less trip to the licensing office. Jackson said she wished the law had been in place when she bought her car.

“That would have been convenient, because I wouldn’t be down here driving back and forth,” said Jackson. “I’ve been doing it all day today.”

The bill applies to all motor vehicle dealers. That includes used vehicles and cash sales. It does not apply to private sellers.

The measure passed overwhelmingly in the house, with 155 in favor and just one against. It now has to make its way through the senate.