New Missouri law aims to crack down on temporary car tag abuse

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Beginning Tuesday, those who buy a vehicle in Missouri must turn in their expired temporary tag in order to receive a permanent license plate.

Police say drivers using expired or phony temp tags is a widespread problem across the metro area.

The state hopes to cut down on the growing number of expired and fake temp tags on Missouri's roads and highways.

It doesn't take very long to find expired temp tags around Kansas City. FOX 4 spotted numerous vehicles on a drive to Independence, Mo.

The new law requires drivers who show up at state license offices to pay sales tax on car purchases to also turn in their paper temp tag before a license plate will be issued.

"When someone purchases a vehicle, not everyone thinks down the road that they have to pay for that sales tax and things like that," said John Syme of the Independence police. "They don’t take that into account when they purchase it. When it comes time to register their vehicle they are not prepared. That’s part of buying a vehicle. You have to do the right thing."

The Missouri Department of Public Safety says too many paper temp tags are illegally displayed on cars and trucks operating in the state.

Syme says the violation usually results in a ticket for expired license plates or failure to register the vehicle.

Police in Kansas City, Independence and Raytown all call the new law a positive step. But they also caution that it's not a cure-all. Officers say they see many drivers go to great lengths to avoid obeying the law.

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