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Johnson County runs out of handicapped license plates

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Don Burkett thought long lines might be his biggest obstacle to getting a disabled parking license plate.

"My legs aren't working like they're supposed to and I'm unsteady on my feet and I require the use of a cane just to keep me from falling," said Burkett.

But after visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles offices in both Mission and Olathe, he learned there were no handicapped plates to be had. Johnson County ran out last week.

"Maybe they don't have enough prisoners in Lansing to make license plates," joked Burkett.

Deputy Chief Amy Meeker-Berg with the Johnson County Treasurer's Office said the county has a list of nearly 20 people waiting to get handicapped license plate tags. Meeker-Berg said the Johnson County ordered new plates May 28th and was told a shipment would be delivered in July.

But recently she said the Department of Revenue informed her office that more handicapped license plates won't be ready until sometime in August.

"Definitely understand that the customers are frustrated and that's why we're keeping the list and contacting them as soon as we receive that inventory from the state of Kansas," said Meeker-Berg.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Revenue said only Johnson County is experiencing the shortage and she blames the county for not ordering the plates sooner.

Jeannine Koranda is the Public Information Officer for the Kansas Department of Reveune. She told FOX 4: "Under normal processing time it can take eight to 10 weeks for a plate order to be processed." Koranda added, "We had also recommended that counties allow additional time at the end of the fiscal year."

In the mean-time, Burkett was offered a temporary placard until his license plate arrives and it may not be long.  The Kansas Department of Revenue agreed to rush a shipment of 40 specialty plates to Johnson County on Tuesday afternoon.

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