ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Shamicka Keys and Alleter Clinton say it’s an excessive use of the law that has them unable to drive their cars.
“When you’re doing the right thing, you should be able to drive whenever you want,” said Clinton.
Keys said she was doing a routine check when she called the office of St. Charles County Collector of Revenue to see how much she owed on property taxes for her vehicle.
She said she was shocked to learn she owed taxes for 2016, because according to her, records show they have been paid.
“I said 'Huh?' I said, 'I’m confused. Well, I titled my truck in 2017, so I wouldn’t been able to title my truck if my taxes wasn’t paid,” said Keys.
Keys said that didn’t matter to St. Charles County. Keys said St. Charles County didn’t just suspend her vehicle registration, but also a car she co-owns with her mother and two cars that are independently in her mother’s name.
“It’s wrong for me to have to pay the price for something they said she did not pay, which she did pay so,” said Clinton.
Clinton said based off documents, all of her property taxes are paid and are up to date.
News 4 reached out to Michelle McBride who is the St. Charles County Collector of Revenue.
Because Clinton’s name is on the title of the co-owned vehicle, revenue office employees said that left her open to getting that registration suspended along with her independent vehicles.
A legal expert told News 4 that St. Charles County is misusing the law.
“The revenue collector can only suspend license registration for vehicles with delinquent property taxes, not an owner's entire fleet,” said attorney Chelsea Merta.
She said the only way out for a driver is to pay the taxes or take the matter to court.
“Where I live at it’s scary, honestly, they can pull behind me, thinking I’m some young black person and do anything and they have the right to because my plates are wrong,” said Keys.
The women would have to take this case to circuit court to try to appeal the suspension.
News 4 reached out to St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann on this matter.
He said McBride is statutorily responsible for that office. She is the Collector of Revenue, an independent elected official and the County Executive has no role in oversight of her office.
News 4 reached out to the Missouri Department of Revenue. We are waiting to hear back.