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More Arkansans are driving with expired tags

In Little Rock, 11% of tickets issued last month were for expired tags, and the state says thousand more are breaking the law.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — More people have been driving around with expired temporary tags. It's illegal and could mean you will face hundreds of dollars in penalties if caught.

In Little Rock, 11% of tickets issued last month were for expired tags, and the state said that thousands more are breaking the law.

"We see cars that are a year past due, 3 months past due, 8 months past due. How are they getting away with it," asked Scott Hardin, Department of Finance and Administration spokesperson.

Out of the more than 2 million cars that are registered in Arkansas, 27,000 are with expired temporary tags.

The Department of Finance and Administration has noted that they've seen a significant increase this year.

The DFA saw between 14,000 and 16,000 cars with expired temporary tags in the past few years.

In 2022, that number jumped to 27,000, which was 12,000 more than the previous year.

There was a reason for that— the COVID stimulus checks.

"When those direct checks went to Arkansans and hit bank accounts and checks were in the mail, we saw people go directly to car lots, and then we would see the sales tax on motor vehicles go up immediately," said Hardin.

In Arkansas, you must pay sales tax when you buy a new car.

In central Arkansas, if you buy a new car priced at $30,000, the sales tax will be roughly $2,000. 

But let's say that you didn't register that car and don't get your permanent license plate for the car— the penalties and fines will rack up.

The state will add a 10% penalty on the sales tax, which could take your $2,000 dollars to $2,200.

If you get a ticket in the city of Little Rock for an expired tag the fine will be $240.

Ultimately, you're gambling with your wallet and the odds of being pulled over for the expired tag.

"What are the odds that one, an officer gets behind you, two, decides to pull you over, three writes a citation... it's just a matter of odds and numbers," said Hardin.

According to Little Rock's traffic court, if you get a ticket for an expired tag and get it corrected before your court date, the ticket will then be dismissed.

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