Ever wonder about “drive out tags?” Drive out tags are those cardboard tags that are issued to someone when they buy a car. It’s designed to give them time to get a regular tag from the local tax commissioner. Of course, as with all good ideas, there are those who insist on abusing the privilege. There are a number of folks out there who drive around on drive out tags until, well, until they get in trouble. So this year the Legislature passed a new law about drive out tags.
Effective July 1, 2005, temporary plates issued by automobile dealers to new purchasers (drive-out tags) must now have 1) a holographic security image with a write resistant overlay which will show signs of tampering, 2) distinct numbers, and 3) be issued by manufacturers registered with Department of Driver Services. Then, hand printed on the plate must be the VIN# and the year, make and model of the vehicle. The expiration date must be in writing ¼” thick and 1.5" inches high. The month must be completely written out or with 3 letter abbreviation.
So that’s the rule for drive out tags issued by automobile dealers. Pretty straight forward. But what about a sale between two private individuals. Say Tom buys a car from Sam. Sam keeps his tag. How long does Tom have to get his tag? Under the law, Tom too has 30 days to get a tag. The problem is, how does Tom tell the world (i.e. police) that he has 30 days to get a tag?
There is no procedure for an individual having a drive out tag. Sure, Tom can make his own. It’s not “legal” in that Tom might still get stopped by an officer, but it can’t hurt. Tom still needs to carry with him the paperwork showing his purchase (within the past 30 days) of the vehicle. If Tom’s paperwork is in order, he is free to go. Unless of course Tom has 20 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle and the officer notices it. In that case, his paperwork isn’t going to help much.