ST. LOUIS – The City of St. Louis looks to address concerns around expired temp tags through a new effort.

The city plans to offer loans to drivers who need money to pay for proper registration and insurance on their vehicles, according to a report from our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

City officials say $350,000 is set aside for the program. The mayor’s office hopes this effort will help make the streets of St. Louis safer for everyone.

According to the Post-Dispatch report, opponents are concerned that many of the loans will never be paid back and that the program will end up costing taxpayers.

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Last August, the state of Missouri approved a new law that allows auto dealers to collect the sales tax at the point of purchase, and send that money to the state. However, officials say it could take up to two years to implement the law, so temp tags aren’t a thing of the past just yet.

Concerns around expired temp tags have mounted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic four years ago. During the pandemic’s peak, the state of Missouri waived certain vehicle registration requirements. Some area drivers say the result was a logjam of vehicles in Missouri, particularly the St. Louis area, with expired tags.

Until the new law fully takes effect, when you buy a car in Missouri, you receive a set of temp tags, with the expectation being that you’ll go to a Department of Revenue office or the DMV within the next 30 days to pay the sales tax and receive your license plates. However, some drivers may opt to ride with expired temp tags because the sales tax is too expensive to pay at one time.

For instance, a car that costs $10,000 in the city could cost around $1,000 in sales tax. Compared to a $100 or $200 ticket for driving with expired temp tags, some people may choose to take their chances with expired tags.

Nearby, the City of St. Charles launched a program last year in which the St. Charles mayor encouraged residents to take pictures of expired temp tags and send it to their office as part of enforcement efforts.