Missouri Should Make It Easier to Keep Your Car Legal
Back when the television show "LIVE P.D." was on the air I noticed that a lot of people stopped by Missouri's law enforcement agencies on the show had expired tags. Now after living here, I understand why. Missouri's laws to keep your ride legally registered just seem onerous to me.
There's just a lot of moving parts to the process. And some regulations that just don't make a lot of sense to me. For example, registering and plating your car isn't very expensive. But, it's not like we're not paying just as much as other states to keep our vehicles legal. Missouri just makes us pay it later when our personal property taxes are due. So there's keeping up with plates and tags, then the personal property tax bill, and keeping track of the personal property tax receipt, so you can prove you paid your personal property taxes when you renew your plates.
Every other state I've lived in just rolls the taxes into the plate fees every year. You go to the license office. Get sticker shock at the window. Pay the bill. And move on. It just seems like that would be a heck of a lot easier.
And what's with the whole thing with car titles? Iowa was quite happy to have me pay my plate / registration fees without needing my title. The caveat is, you can't legally sell your car in Iowa without an Iowa title. But if you weren't selling your car, they didn't care where your car title was or what lienholder had it.
Indiana was somewhat picky about car titles too. Yet, Indiana just took care of it. They wouldn't plate / register a vehicle without an Indiana title. Yet if you didn't possess the title, if it was held by a lienholder, they took care of squaring it with your lienholder and or the state the car was titled in.
Here I got a letter the license office printed out and told me to fax it or send it to the lienholder and get the title or a letter by the next time I needed to renew my plates. If my lienholder has the title, I ask again, who cares what state it's titled in?
Why all the hoops? Why not make it a little easier on the taxpayer? Especially if they're paying all taxes and fees associated with car ownership in Missouri. Because when it comes to titles and registration and plates. It's mostly about the money, right?