Kansas Vehicle Tag Laws vs. Urban Legend

garden city ks traffic lawyerBeware citizens of Kansas because there’s a myth circulating out there, and incredibly it is often passed on by county clerks around Kansas. The tale involves how you can buy a car from someone and transfer your plates to the purchased vehicle and have a 30-day grace period to get the car titled and tagged.

However the truth is you don’t have any grace period, and the penalties for an illegal tag are very stiff. Although it is a misdemeanor it still carries a fine of up to $2,500 and the potential of county jail time of 30 days to 6 months.

So, how did this mythical urban legend get started?

Well, there used to be a law in Kansas allowing a person trading a car to use their tagged plate from the traded vehicle on the new car and have 30 days to get a new title and tag. This law had been around for so long that many people still think it’s on the books, including, believe it or not, county clerk employees. I recently had a client who was ticketed for illegal registration in a nearby County. It turns out the county clerk admitted telling him he could move the tag from the old car to the new and get a title within 30 days. Whoops.

When it comes to current vehicle registration laws you have two options for a tag. First, BEFORE driving the car, take the vehicle title straight to the county clerk (with proof of insurance) and buy a tag, or buy a 60-day temporary tag. If the car is bought or traded through a dealer, then the dealer can give you a 60-day temporary tag.

Lastly, if a county employee or anyone else tells you this urban legend do your fellow citizen a favor and set them straight. You just might save them from a whole lot of misery.

For help with Garden City KS traffic violations including speeding tickets, driving under the influence (DUI), and expired license, tags or insurance call my office at 620-275-9614.